Comics that Speak to Students

Tons of people have downloaded the “3 ways an ALT can help” comic that I posted on Tuesday, and I’m happy to report that a bunch of ALTs from across Japan have written to me saying they are going to hand out the comic to their students. Best of luck to everyone! I really hope this comic gets your students lining up to talk and write to you.

On the same note,  I think comics are such a powerful and accessible medium for communicating important ideas to students. So I’d really like to make more of them. If you have any ideas for a comic strip please contact me or share your ideas in the comments section below.

If you haven’t already, please check out the original post and download your copy of the comic now. 

What are Students Saying about Communication Classes

We got back the results of our school-wide survey of the 2nd and 3rd year students. The results are overwhelmingly positive. The students are practically gushing their love for our classes and the idea of learning about communication. We are busy tabulating the results and I’ve started drafting a report of our findings with my JTEs. I think we’ll be done in about 2 weeks. When we have finalized our report, I’ll post the report in full (in English and Japanese) for all to see.

Did you give your students a survey?


Why “ALT-JTE Connect”?

Making connections is how English classes thrive.

-Because effective English teaching doesn’t truly occur without both JTEs and ALTs.
-Because this website is a place to talk about how to build relationships and maximize the effectiveness of team-teaching
-Because communication classes are changing the team-teaching dynamic and I want to show you how you can change the game too by building great relationships at work and creating communication classes at your school.

Where are the JTEs?

-There are about 10 JTEs that I know who are following this website either through email alerts or regular visits. Even if they aren’t active yet, they are following the developments on this site.

-My JTE wrote a post just last week, giving advice to JTEs about how to start a communication class at their school. I hope he will write more soon because his article was full of great insights for both JTEs and ALTs.

What can you do to help?

-Get involved with the site and help it grow by building good relationships at your work and telling your JTEs and ALTs about this website.

Suggest ideas to make the site easier for JTEs to use.

-Link to this website or suggest a link to your website.


It’s official. We now have our own domain name. Since it was created last year as an experiment to talk about teaching ideas and advice, ALT♦JTE Connect has grown more and more. With the new goal of spreading the idea of communication classes to all schools in Japan, I felt it was time to upgrade to an official website. There’s a lot of work ahead, but here’s to a fresh year of spreading new ideas and improving English education in Japan! Please bookmark the new URL.

It's a big world out there. But with the right ideas and enough people we can build whatever world we choose. Photo Credit: Brooker

Talk More! English Classes First Reviews

The students at my JHS have been reviewing our Talk More! communication classes in the little, “Ayumi” diaries that they all must write everyday. The results are good.

My JTEs tell me that after each communication class, students are writing glowing reviews in their diaries.

“Today’s class was so much fun. My heart is full!”

“I want to do a communication class every week!”

“I’m not so good at English, but with the communication class, I can have fun and improve my skills!”

This is a small sampling of over 100 mini-reviews that students have written about our communication classes.

The results are now in. Teachers love it. Students love it. I love it. We are now making plans to do communication classes once a week with 3rd and 2nd grade students, and to investigate how to start these classes with students.

If you want to change your role at work, change the way students are taught, and start inspiring students, why don’t you start some communication classes at your school? My guess is you can expect some raving reviews.

Message to Visitors and Subscribers

Since the new year, readership has doubled to about 40 readers a day. It is exciting and rewarding to have so many people interested in talking about teaching. Thanks for taking an interest in this project.

Of course, on ALT♦JTECONNECT feedback and participation is a big plus. If you have ideas to share or challenges to discuss, please post in the comments section. You can also send an email to eliotc1986[at]gmail[com]. Fast response guaranteed. Let’s expand the number of ideas and experiences being shared — and get more posts up about what others are doing.

With your help we can build a vibrant community of English teachers on the cutting edge of changing the way English it taught in Japan.

A Year of New Ideas

January is the 1 year anniversary of ALT-JTE Connect. With the new year I wanted to spell out the goals and focus of this website. While staying true to the ideas that inspired this website in the first place, I also want to focus the attention of this website in two areas: 1) Sharing teaching advice and 2) talking about ways to get students talking more.

Teaching Advice

In other words, any tricks, secrets, tips, materials, etc. that make an English teacher in Japan more effective

Talk More

This is all about fulfilling the ideal of making English classes more conversational. And the opportunity is now. English classes have increased to 4 classes a week in junior high and once a week for 5th and 6th graders. The Ministry of Education recommends that classes be taught in mostly English. That means that it is our chance to step up to the plate and start producing ideas, curriculums, strategies and connections to make this vision a reality.

What’s in it for you?

-Get free teaching materials and ideas to spark your imagination

-Join the conversation and become a part of the movement for more communication in English classes.

I created this website to have these kinds of conversations and I’m so excited to see where it takes us. Here’s to what I hope will be a rewarding and thrilling year of discoveries and new ideas.