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This paper examines the business conditions facing small-scale English conversation schools in the increasingly competitive Japanese market. It looks at their staffing requirements and current training methods and then endeavors to develop and effective training programme that can be operated within the limited resources available to these schools. The intention is to provide new staff coming from non-teaching backgrounds a practical introduction to the realities of teaching through a two-week period of observation, team teaching, and supervised solo teaching followed by two months of directed study on classroom management and methodology. This allows for gradual assumption of responsibility for classes, latitude for trial and error in the learning process, and the passing on of accumulated knowledge. Training is supported by a manual, which recognizes the beginner's lack of experience and attempts to introduce basic teaching techniques along with the rational for their use as simply and succinctly as possible. Emphasis is placed on understanding why things happen in the classroom so that trainees will learn to problem solve by themselves and recognize that reflection upon their successes and failures will enable them to continue to improve their standard of teaching. The ultimate aim thereby to produce "thinking" teachers who value self-development and see it as a necessary on-going process.


Teacher Education and Professional Development