We held the second GK Recital.
When we had our first one in March, the children said, “What will we do next?” right after the play is over. We were glad that children like doing this. This time, we did 3 little pigs. We also had new content, kids presentations.
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At GK, we usually take lessons separated from parents. Therefore, there is not much opportunity to show what children usually do in the lessons and how the children express themselves in the group. We try to share about children as much as possible, through monthly reports and online photo sharing, but we feel that it is hard to know everything through text and photos alone. This is why we have this kind of event as an opportunity for parents to actually see what their children are working on, what they enjoy and what they feel about their problems.
Last time was Momotaro, one of the old Japanese tale. This time, it is an globally known fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs. This story is often used as play material at schools. We chose this one so that if children ever go school abroad or meet a child attending a foreign school, they have something in common; “I know the story!” And “I have played that too!” Knowing what everyone knows is very effective in getting familiar with the first time community. This applies to grown-ups world as well. If you know a world-famous movie or music, it often becomes an ice breaker in the business scene, so having a drawer of “common topics” in your brain shelf is very important. However, finding common topics for today’s children may not be easy. Now, with the development of technology, films and books can be consumed as much as you want whenever you want. It is a great thing in itself. On the other hand, we feel that the number of opportunities for children to share a topic has decreased.Back in old days, everyone at the school talked about the TV program the day before, or read the same book at the library. It is not like that now. There are a lot of children who can not find a common topic and do not know what to talk about. At GK, we usually have at least 1 or 2 activities based on these old tales. Our intention is to help children have “a common topic” beyond generations and nationalities.
As there were more children who acquired the basic phrase compared to the previous one, we made the script be more advanced. Since many of children at GK currently working on Phonics, we took this opportunity for using what they have learned.
For example, “Chinny Chin Chin” has been devised to make it possible to learn the consonant blend of “ch” and rhythm. In addition, there are more question phrases using “Who”, “What”, “How”, etc., not just “Do you?” The This was a struggle for children at first, but at the end they got used it and started to use in the real life. On the day of the show, when everyone was eating a lunch box, someone was talking about a topic that was completely different from the play, but the moment they heard the word “How much?” The children started to say “This much? “This much? This much?”
This time, we had presentations for the first time. The children who actually presented were children who didn’t have English at all 6-12 months ago. It was great to see the children introduce their experience using a clicker like a professional in front of adults. Each presenter choose their topics based on their own experience. They also choose a slide design and choose photos.
Everyone was nervous for the first time. Although they could speak fine at a practice, there was some who couldn’t deliver what they have planned at the show. This happens to adults as well. It is often said that Japanese people are not good at giving presentations, but we do not think it is because of the nationality but lack of opportunity. That’s why we want to offer lots of opportunities for practice. Everything is an experience. If there are a lot of opportunities to do, you will become stuck with tips and become better and better.
“My child doesn’t want to speak English at all at home.” “My child is tired today, so he/she might be grumpy in the class” We often hear these stories before and after a lesson from parents. In fact, children are enjoying lessons and doing well, despite their parents’ worries. Some of the children have grown amazingly. Even for this time, there was a parent who was worried that a child gets angry at practice at home. What happened during the show was that the child said to the teacher “Could you tell me my line of that part? I want to practice one last time.” She probably felt that she want to do it being surrounded by other classmates and that’s why she tried to practice till the last second and try her best for the present. Many would care how well kids do on the stage by memorizing the line. That may look well, but if they forget everything right after there is no learning. Here at GK, we value more of kids’ motivation. We want more children who will work towards their goal not because they were told but because they want to get better.
Thank you very much for watching over the children warmly for everyone who came.