I enjoy teaching English to my classes, here in Japan. I've been working on getting a project ready for one year of students which I hope they'll enjoy and learn from.

They're reading a story about the Kakapo, a flightless parrot-like bird in New Zealand. The Kakapo is an endangered species that people are working hard to save. After reading the passage, I thought it'd be a great idea to reenforce their new vocabulary, by taking a look at some extinct animals from the Quaternary Extinction Event.

In looking at various species we no longer have among us, I've learned a bit, too. So many of these species died out due to man's expansion of his domain, as well as due to climate change from the ending of the Younger Dryas. I also stumbled upon an article regarding the use of cloning to bring back recently extinct species. It's still a very young and experimental science, but I'll likely bring it up in class.

I feel very fortunate that I can even bring up a topic. I imagine it might be something that would be poopooed about, if I was teaching in my home state of Texas. I'm not going in as a science teacher. Hardly, I'm just a native English speaker, but I think sharing a part of the article would be nice. ...I may have to simplify it for their level, of course.

So, when we get together for class, students will use new vocabulary and grammar points in the process of making posters about extinct species. I would imagine some of the names will be exotic to them, but most are phonetically the same in Japanese as they are in English, so that will be alright.

I would like to teach, whenever I go back home, but I worry what limitations I'll have, especially if i go back to college so I can teach Science...

Views: 36

Tags: environmentalism, extinct, paleontology, science, teaching

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Comment by Steph S. on September 27, 2011 at 5:03am
Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm interested in climate change and endangered species too.

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