Title: Team Teaching in a Junior High School
Over the past 25 years team teaching has become an essential part of the English classroom in Japanese junior high schools. Combining their different abilities and strengths can allow ALTs and JTEs to teach more effectively. However, this synergy is not easily come by, and like any other relationship team teaching partners must work to maintain it. Kaitlin Kirby and Chiharu Takebayashi make it look easy. The rapport they have developed with one another showed Gunma JALT attendees how team teaching should be done. Kirby and Takebayashi discussed the contrasting roles and perspectives of ALTs and JTEs. Through their presentation and subsequent discussion they explained how they approach some of the challenges of compulsory English education in Japan. Kirby and Takebayashi have worked together for two years at Takasaki Sano Junior High School where they strive to give their students authentic communication experiences. Prior to teaching English in Japan, Takebayashi lived abroad where she taught Japanese as a foreign language. Her experiences there give her a unique perspective on the language-learning classroom. Originally from Seattle, Kirby came to Japan in 2010 via the JET program. She has a MA in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University.