Though Kinney Brothers Publishing is best known for its Phonics & Spelling and Stories For Young Readers series, we also have teaching material for adults! Like all of our textbooks, our Trends: Business and Culture Reports series was created out of a need for classroom resources that, in this case, would spark the varied interests of adult language learners.
The first time I lived in Japan…
The first time I lived in Japan in the early 1980s, my classes were almost exclusively adults. I had a couple private junior high school classes that were a lot of fun, but for the most part, I and most teachers I knew while living in the gaijin house in Takadanobaba, all taught adults. The kids’ market just wasn’t there yet for many ex-pats living in Japan.
When I returned to Japan in the mid ’90s with my brothers in tow, a lot had changed. For one, every school I worked at came with a roster of children’s classes. These classes had become the new bread and butter for many private schools. Though I had taught children’s theatre in the U.S., I wasn’t so sure about teaching kids in language courses. Within a short period of time though, I found my niche and gave up teaching adults altogether.
My brothers went in the opposite direction. Robert focused on university curricula at Saidai University and the language demands of those clerking for the Japanese government at the National Diet. Michael moved between adult classes in private schools and an intensive language program for young adults preparing to study abroad. For these classes, topical lessons that promoted critical thinking and a more nuanced response in conversation were the lessons du jour.
Catering to the interests of his students…
Catering to the interests of his students, Robert put together a series of readings and exercises specifically geared toward adult intermediate and advanced students. These exercises became our Trends: Business and Culture Reports, Books 1 & 2. Each topic has a 1-2 paragraph reading with comprehension questions, rigorous language drills, and roleplay or business-oriented activities.
Below are a few examples from the Trends series. Three are free. As these readings are intended for adults, we had more room to broach culturally delicate, complex or dangerous topics. You can download individual lessons or the full textbooks by clicking on the images below. This series is also available as printed books from my Web site.
I’d love to hear how your students respond to these lessons! Please let me know in the comment section below!
As always, best of luck in your classes!