AJET Announces TEFL Scholarship Winners

As part of the AJET Outstanding Educators Program, we are proud to announce Meredith Smith and Emily Johnson as the winners of this year’s TEFL scholarships. Both winners demonstrated outstanding activities not only in teaching, but in spreading the values of the JET program and internationalization in their communities. AJET would like to thank everyone who applied – with so many people extolling so many virtues, the decision was not easy.

We would also like to remind everyone that the AJET Outstanding Educators Program is offering a standing US$95 TEFL certification discount for all JETs. The online is offered to JETs for US$200, and includes tutorial support. To sign up, please go to http://ajet.net/outstanding-educators-program/tefl-discount-for-jet-participants/. You will need your JET number (to verify that you are a current JET) and an email address.

You can read the winning entries below:

Emily Johnson 1) How do you demonstrate an outstanding commitment to improving your English educational skills?

In my JHS, several of my students borrow English language comics, newspapers and books to read. As this is understandably challenging, I usually review the comics with the students and explain the meaning of the words they don`t know. In relation to this, I also set listening challenges, where the students listen for key words in English songs.

In Elementary School, I have implemented a `Jikoshokai Book` after I noticed that many of the students often forgot what they had learnt. The book contains all the major grammar points from Eigo Noto and every time we finish a chapter, the students add a new grammar point to their book.

I have also set up an exchange between one of my elementary schools and a school in the UK. We exchange PowerPoint’s and videos about our schools and daily lives, which helps to widen the students understanding of other cultures.

2) How do you uphold the principles of the JET Programme, including internationalization and commitment to your schools and local community?

Within School, I am a member of the Tea Ceremony Club, which I attend twice a week. I have participated in several field trips and helped during the school bunkasai.

Outside of school, I have taichi and dance classes once a week, as well as Japanese Lessons. This allows me to interact with many people within my community and I will be performing in the City Bunkasai soon.

I also attend an English conversation café, which I introduced to several new members (both JETs and non-JETS). I have also initiated an English cooking class in my city, which currently has fifteen members aged from eleven to fifty-eight.

I have also volunteered at several city events and festivals, specifically focusing on helping children make Jack-O-Lanterns. I have also volunteered at the AJET orphanage visits and at events raising money for the Tohoku relief effort.

Meredith Smith

1) How do you demonstrate an outstanding commitment to improving your English educational skills?

As an assistant English teacher on the JET Programme, it’s my duty to continually better my understanding of the English language and how to teach it. During classes, I take note of how JTEs explain parts of English grammar to their students. I also take note of student questions that frequently arise during lessons. I do my best to understand how the students and teachers approach English so that I can help them better. During my free time at work, I often read about how English grammar works so that I can feel more confident that what I’m teaching is clear and correct. I constantly focus on ways to improve my teaching by watching other teachers and how students respond to different activities and teaching styles. There is always room to improve.

2) How do you uphold the principles of the JET Programme, including internationalization and commitment to your schools and local community?

I have been working at my school in Fukui for just over 3 years now. My relationship with the students and staff is outstanding. I make myself open anytime to the students and staff for English practice/advice. I run my school’s English club and offer time after school and during lunch recess for tutoring. I am also very active within the Fukui community. I help the Fukui International Club promote and run their events, I’ve lead workshops/games/activities at the Fukui City International Festival and other events around the prefecture. I participate in nearly every English camp/seminar that the Fukui Kencho offers an opportunity to join. After students graduate from my school and if they are interested, I help them gather information about study abroad opportunities and make time to practice English with them on the Internet. I’m very committed to my job, co-workers, students and community.