Hello everyone. This is your hyogoajet.net webmaster, Whitney. I’m a third year ALT up in Kami-cho (Tajima). Truth be told, I don’t always make bulletin boards. But when I do, I take a lot of time to make sure they look sloppy in a professional kind of way. I am posting only as a guest. I will not be the head honcho around these parts.
On to the topic at hand, this had been my first English board in relation to phonics. During my first year, I squandered all of the obviously American cultural themes such as summer vacation, Halloween, Christmas, New Years… and I do not enjoy repeating themes. I got my inspiration for this board from one of the several forums out there for JETs.
The idea was to show a model of what the mouth looks like forming certain difficult sounds. I chose two: “s” versus “th” and “v” versus “b” as you can see below. New Crown’s second year textbook has an appendix on pronunciation entirely in Japanese, so I copied their tips on pronouncing “v” and “th.” For the sake of simplicity, I did not distinguish between the separate “th” noises as can be heard in father and think.
Then, I supplied a mirror for the kids to check themselves while practicing several words. It turned out to be aesthetically pleasing and simple enough for the students to understand. The sumo wrestlers were, of course, my own personal touch. There were there primarily to demonstrate that these sounds are, in fact, not the same.
Making this took very little preparation, but working with the pictures of my mouth was a little awkward in the teachers’ room.
I had barely completed the final touches when a special needs girl came over and checked it out. On the first try she definitely said very with a “v.” That spelled success enough for me!