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Hatsushiba Hashimoto High School - International English Program
Course Coordinator Guidelines
Course Coordinator Guidelines
Slow ESL Learner Teaching Strategies
Speaking Test Guidelines
Teaching of Speaking Guidelines
Discipline Guidelines
English Teacher Work Guidelines
General Teaching Guidelines
Teaching of Listening Guidelines
Paper Test Guidelines
Teaching of Vocabulary Guidelines
Video Guidelines
Official Advertisement for the ESL Teacher Position


Course Coordinators coordinate the creation and implementation of curriculum and lesson plans, as well as manage a particular course’s testing and student grade record keeping.


Some English courses have only 1 class grouping, and thus only need 1 teacher.  In this case, that teacher is the Course Coordinator.  Yet most will have 2 or 3 class groupings, mainly because our policy is to keep conversation class sizes to 16 or less, preferably around 12.  This is turn means that each course will have 2 or 3 teachers teaching the same course and giving the same tests to their students.  The role of the Course Coordinator is to make sure all cooperating teachers for a course are using nearly the same curriculum and teaching methods, so that a fair and accurate evaluations of the students can be achieved.


Course Groupings

Where the total the number of students for a course are too large for a single class, the Course Coordinator will need to divide these students into smaller groups (at most 14 for seniors, 12 for juniors) for conversation-style lessons.  The primary goal is to assign students based on which students will work best together.  The secondary goal is also to have classes which are more or less equal in academic ability.  If the overall academic differences between the classes becomes too varied, then the tasks of keeping a steady and similar curricular pacing, and of producing a fair exam can become problematic.  In order to accomplish this, the Course Coordinator should discuss possible groupings with the teachers of those students from the prior year. Usually this means identifying which students can and cannot work well together.  Looking at the past year’s scores (grade sheets) and saved individual exams, should also be helpful.  The Grade book Name Lists should be by student number and copies of each list should be of the size which will match up well with the grid squares of the grade book .  The original list of names in romaji can be gotten from the prior year’s grade worksheets or homeroom teacher.  Try to put an even distribution of the best or the worst students among the class groups.


First-year classes should have a placement test (writing, listening [about one-third to one-half of the test], and possibly speaking) to help in deciding their ability. A speaking test is problematic because students are not apt to perform to their abilities immediately.  At any rate, teachers of first-year classes should be on the lookout for students to be moved from these original lists, either because it seems some students cannot work well in the same class or classes have an imbalance of academic abilities. It would be a good idea to still give a 20-minute opening year quiz which you collect and mark.  The idea behind this that students will get the idea immediately that this is an academic course which they need to do their best for, that they need to study for.  The quiz can be something simple like the dictation of questions which are then answered in writing, and possibly in speaking as well (1 or 2).  The test should not be too hard nor too easy, and should include the basic target language from the previous year and / or what you would expect students of this year to know.


If it turns out there are 6 or more students who are particularly slow-learners, with scores typically 20 percent or lower, it may be advisable to have a special stream or class for them.  Doing so will allow the rest of the students and the lower group to progress faster.  However, most likely the lower group will not be able to cover the same amount of contest, nor as proficiently.  Therefore, separate tests will have to be developed, mostly likely a copy or adaptation of the standard one.  The end result will likely be that the lower group can score in the 40 to 60 percent range, whereas they might have only scored in the 10 to 30 percent range, if included in the mainstream group.  For teachers of such course, please refer to the Teaching Slow-Learners Guide.




Class Coordinators should type out the target language for each unit they plan to teach to the students, as well as the term syllabus.  Whenever this information is updated, it should be distributed to the cooperating teachers and the course folder.  At the end of each term, the up-to-date computer files for the term syllabus and the Target Language Lists should be copied into the respective computer curriculum folder.


The Syllabus Schedule should include the class dates for teaching each unit, review lessons, the Speaking and Paper Test dates, and the Test Revision date.  The review lesson may be run in a competitive game style, where teams get a score (5% of CP or term grade) that counts.  The Speaking Test and Test Revision may be combined into one lesson, particularly with 1 class a week classes such as S-Course junior high students. For IEP students and P-course junior high school students, it may be better to do both independently so if the schedule should change and suddenly drop a lesson spot, the Speaking Test would not be lost as well.


Please note well that junior or senior students should not be told term scores or end-of-year scores at any time throughout the year.  Furthermore, third-year writing class students are not allowed to see their end-of-term tests for the second term, even for test revision, nor even to even know what their tests score was, due to school policy.  If third-year writing class students ask you what their score was, it is forbidden to tell them.  The same policy is in effect for second-year writing class students and their final tests concerning the third term. Teachers are forbidden to tell senior high writing students what their third term tests scores are.  


The first lesson or two of the first term should cover getting-to-know material as well as go over class expectations, rules, grading, and how to communicate using basic classroom English (Turn to page 10, What did you say?, Get out you homework, …)  Make sure to plan review learning activities in the first lesson back of the second and third term.   


In cases where one homeroom class has several more classes than the other, or a rotation schedule cannot be made to divide equally between the cooperating teachers, the final class may be an independent study class.  In such classes, the Coordinating teacher should invigilate that class.


The Target Language Lists  may be organized by questions, single words or expressions or grammar.  Each cooperating teacher would get this list before teaching the lessons of a unit. The lists would go into their respective folders as well. Teachers would still be meeting on how to teach the English for their particular class just as they have been doing. The reasons for doing this are to: (1) make it clear to the teachers what it is the students are to learn; (2) make it clear to the teachers what can be on the exam; (3) once the list is made, it can be easily updated and improved if need be, (4) the lists can give us an overview of how well the target language of one year correlates with that of the next. After teaching the unit, coordnators can update this list as they will then more fully understand which target language should be added or taken off.   I don’t want the lists to be too extensive, just what is to be taught.  And when it turns out some classes couldn’t do it all, this does not mean that language will be on the exam. We can only test what we taught. The Target Language Lists  would go in their respective class folders, to each of the cooperating teachers, and Word file version in the online curriculum folder.


Rotation Schedules

Rotation classes are those where each teacher has the primarily the same target language, but a difference skill focus: speaking, listening, vocabulary, pronunciation, or reading / discussion. This information should be recorded on the syllabus schedules. All coordinators with rotating classes should give up-to-date copies of the teaching rotations to their cooperating teachers as well as the head English teacher (Bayer).  One final note: in rotation classes, avoid having just 1 review where only this particular class gets your skill focus review. Instead, prepare a joint-effort review where each teacher prepares about 20 minutes of the review lesson.


One more suggestion is that for once- a-week junior classes, in cases where there are less than 5 classes, it is a good idea to print out the term schedule for each student and go over it in class.  Because it is quite likely the schedule will be short and irregular, it is advisable that students know well ahead of time when any tests and classes will take place. 



Lesson Plans

All cooperating teachers should be given the basic plan and teaching materials for each lesson, as well as a short (verbal) explanation and discussion of how the lesson is to be taught. Cooperating teachers need not teach using exactly the same methods, but the learning outcomes should essentially be the same for all teachers of that course.  For non-rotating classes, it might be helpful to schedule a “catch up” day near the end of each term, where each teacher has an opportunity to teach whatever content may have been missed or needs further practice.


Absent Teachers

Please let the head English teacher know as soon as possible if unable to teach due to sickness or very important commitments.  In such cases, 2 sections may be combined, another teacher may substitute for the missing instructor, have a writing-focused lesson for the whole homeroom class with 1 or 2 teachers,  or have an independent study session (jishu).  If a jishu is opted for, please bring work for the students to do, or insist they do some studying, preferably English where the teacher could be of assistance. For junior classes, unless the students are extremely mature, it is better to not combine conversation classes, for reasons of classroom management.


Absent Students

As soon as any students in your classes start missing several classes, speak to the homeroom teacher to find out the reason.  Whenever possible, prepare study support for work at home, and for when students return to class such as: unit outlines, target language, worksheets, homework assignments, textbook pages covered.  If students are absent for most of a term yet return for the tests, please give homeroom teachers the test guides to be given to these students as soon as possible.



Class Reports

At the end of each term, the students will receive a report which provides feedback on their work for the term.  The purpose behind the report is to encourage students to work more effectively by giving them specific learning areas they are improving in, or need to improve in.  The Class Participation and any Speaking Test Scores should be record on this report.  The Class Participation Scores should evaluate students in terms of:

(1)   their efforts to learn,

(2)   cooperative behavior,

(3)   the quality and completion of their homework, quizzes, and classroom assignments, and

(4)   current English abilities.


The course coordinator will primarily be responsible for the distribution of the class reports to the appropriate cooperating teachers.  For rotation classes, it is recommended that together or separately, the cooperating and coordinating teachers work on the reports, with the coordinating teacher having the main responsibility to fill them out. After all reports have been filled out, the teachers may decide to give these to the students directly, or to the homeroom teacher who will then pass them back. 


Testing and Grades

Course Coordinators make both the Paper Test and Speaking Test.  Look at past tests in the Exam Folder or in the Course Folder for examples.  When making a test, consider well what activities and target language were used.  You should also confer with your cooperating teachers using the Target Language Lists as a guide in determining just what was covered during the term.  The correlation between the test and the course content should be very close.  Common sections to include are: listening, vocabulary, reading, grammar, writing, and conversation.  Upon the completion of exam (hopefully 3 days to 1-week in advance of the testing date) give copies to the cooperating teachers for suggestions and feedback.  Always feel free to ask other teachers as well for supportive advice.


Course Coordinators should put blank tests for all 3 terms in the test folder pocket marked for that course  Written exams are on the front and speaking exams are on the back (facing outward).  Also put a blank test (facing the front) and the answer key (facing the back)in the last pocket of your course folder.  Put the course syllabus (facing the front) and target language outline (facing the back) in the first pocket.  The most current exam should replace the previous exam for that term (1st, 2nd, or 3rd).  The cooperating teachers and the head English teacher should also receive a copy of the course syllabus and target language outline.


Class Participation Scoring Guide

100 – 90  Virtually a Native-Speaker / Unbelievable

89 – 80   Wonderful / Goes Beyond What You Taught

79 – 70   Very Good

69 – 60   Standard / Average / Expected

59 – 50   Not So Good / Below Average / Sometimes a Troublemaker. 

49 – 40   Bad / Frequently a Troublemaker.

For junior students only, class participation scores may be lower than 40 percent where students have down virtually no work or have been extremely disrespectful or nearly constantly interrupting the class.


Test Revision (also known as “handback day”)

The class following the last term test (Paper or Speaking) should normally be a test revision class.  This lesson’s aims are:

(1)   for students to learn from their mistakes on the tests,

(2)   to develop a greater appreciation for the importance of tests,

(3)   for students to check for any marking mistakes by the teacher. 

Students should locate all incorrect answers (not including listening), and do the following revision format-style paper:

(1)   write the problem number for these questions, copy the sentence in error,

(2)   rewrite them correctly, and

(3)   write a further example. 

It is highly recommended that each student do their own revisions on their own paper for maximum learning. Students may work together, and it is OK for them to look at one another’s answers for their corrections. For cases where there are a lot of students, or very low students, and / or 1 supervising teacher, it might be helpful to have several answer keys posted around the room.  You may also wish to assign the work as a quiz or bonus work which counts towards the semester score (perhaps plus or minus 2% to 10%). You may also wish to provide an educational puzzle worksheet (for example, word searches or crossword puzzles) for students who finish early, that may count a few extra points  towards either this term’s class participation score or the following one. Test Revisions should not be done before another class has had a chance to take the same paper, and hopefully also before any absentee students have done so either.


This test revision class should not include any students who were absent for the test. Instead, one other teacher should give them a make up test in another room.


If you wish to include for a revision of the Speaking Test, you can print out the questions and prompts, and have students write out the answers.  For the comprehension parts of the Listening Section of the Paper Test, you can do revision by printing out the script and questions, and having the students write out complete sentences. 


All tests and work must be collected by the end of the class. Course Coordinators should not do the handback lesson all by themselves if they decide there are too many students for them to help, or students, such as the juniors, are too immature to work in a large class by themselves.  In this case, 1 or 2 Cooperating Teachers can also help lead the revision work, either in the homeroom, or in their normal conversation classrooms. Do not give jishu to any until students have finished their revisions. A good revision of a mistake should include 1 extended example of the correct way to answer a specific question. It is natural that the students with higher scores would need to do less revision.  One possible revision plan is: 90% to 99% 10 revisions /  80% to 89% 15 revisions /  70% to 79% 20 revisions /

60% to 69% 25 revisions /  50% to 59% 30 revisions /  40% to 49% 35 revisions /  0% to 39% 40 revisions /




 Test Types by Term

The types of test to be scheduled normally for each term are as follows:


Junior S-Course

Junior P-Course

Senior P-Course

Senior International

1st / 2nd / 3rd Years

1st / 2nd / 3rd Years








































Paper Test (PT) =  Speaking Test (ST) = Paper Test AND Speaking Test (PT+ST)


In cases where a Speaking and a Paper Test are administered for the same term, it might be best to give the Speaking Test first so that students do not get too rusty with the speaking.  The reason for giving the Paper Test first is that it provides the teacher more time to get the marking done.  In any case, and if possible, it would be a good idea to provide extra practice outside of class can be given to students one or two days before the test.


For that term’s speaking test, please add a bonus based on the Question of the Day Contest, as follows: the class with the highest QOTD total (+5%), next highest (3%), next (2%), (1%), and the fewest (no bonus).


For S-Course Junior High Students, where the students are not below average academically, a Speaking Test MAY be given at the end of the 2nd term. It is probably a good idea to give these students a Speaking Test for their 3rd term as there are not many actual class periods available due to a shorter, school event filled term.  Therefore only 1 or 2 new topics might be possibly covered, with the main focus on reviewing for the year, with the Speaking Test being the means of evaluation.


If students have missed an exam, meet with the student and let them know when the make-up exam is.  Reschedule a “retake for these students after school, during lunch, during the revision [hand-back] classes, a speaking test, or during an independent study day [jishu]. Otherwise use the formula.


When checking end-of-year worksheets, show all your term final scores so that they can be verified.  Those who check scores should make sure the side-by-side scores match.  If necessary, coordinating teacher should provide checkers with source of final scores.


Before submitting a grade sheet and its work sheet calculations to the head English teacher,

each course coordinator must have another teacher (preferably a cooperating teacher for that

course) double-check both the grade sheet and its work sheet calculations. Be sure that the

grade work columns for ST (speaking test), PT (paper test), FT (final test score), CP (class

participation), and OG (overall grade) scores are clearlymarked and arranged. Calculations to

check for include: {(SP+PT)2 = FT and (FT+CP)2=OG.}



For each grade sheet, make sure it follows the format as given in B4 size Grade Sheet Explanation papers.  Information as explained there should include:

a.      class name;

b.      subject;

c.      teachers’ names;

d.      coordinator’s signature, initials, or hanko stamp; and all exam scores, all term scores, grade marks, absence totals, and exam score totals term score totals, exam score averages, and term score averages. 

When this work has been checked (and correctly revised where necessary), the checking

teacher should initial the corresponding box on the Double-Check Grade Sheet.  When all

courses that a teacher is the Course Coordinator for have been double-checked and signed off

on, submit all final grade sheets and work sheets to the head English teacher.  As a precaution,

Make sure that the grade sheets in computer file Excel format have been copied to the Grade

Backup folder in the English Curriculum folder.


If an error is found, these Excel grade files will be used to recreate the grade sheet. In addition, if any errors have been found and corrected, do not use your own personal Excel file copies (which have the errors on them). For any errors in grades, it is important for you to update your grade book / worksheet area with any corrections so that these errors are not mistakenly put back into the live system. Always use the live version (the EC Folder called “Grades”) for calculating grades.  Please do not keep your own version of the grades in your computer because it just increases the chances for errors.  I have a backup of these files so if you lose information or if you would like to confirm what the original state of information was, please see the International Director for another copy of the current file.


NOTE: For attendance purposes, all classes taught in December (not including the exam, the writing classes), count towards 3rd term attendance, while all classes taught in July, (not including the exam), count towards 2nd term attendance.


Failing Students

Only senior class students can fail.  At Hatsushiba Hashimoto High School, senior students who

fail a term subject MAY be given make-up lessons during the off-peak months of March, July,

August, December, and early January. If the End-of-Year Overall is failing (below 40%), the

subject teachers themselves MUST give the lessons to their failing students, and then provide a

kind of second chance exam.  Conversation teachers, however, have their holidays during

these times, and therefore cannot fail their students unless they are willing to give make-up

lessons during their holidays.  Consequently, the English Conversation Program

policy towards student term grades which fall below failing, has been to raise the Overall Grade

Score for a term to 40 percent. Therefore, raise test scores only enough so that the Overall

Grade Score may equal to 40 percent. In order to justify this, assign extra work to such students

during vacation time or during the school year. Some possible extra work assignments include

further test revision, textbook work, and / or answering metacognitive study-related questions.


Where students have sub-40 percent test scores and yet still pass when their Term Tests and

Class Participation Scores are averaged, put their actual test score on the Grade Sheet, and the

Overall Term Score on the Grade Sheet as well.


It is imperative that before any student is failed, the homeroom teacher be informed and the

situation be thoroughly discussed as to other alternatives. 


As stated earlier, in the case of junior high students, do not adjust their scores since they will

pass no matter what their score is. 


Vacation Homework

In order that this be fair to the other students, as well as help better prepare these students for an improved score, work with the homeroom teacher in having these students do this extra work during their summer and / or winter holidays, or as soon as possible.  For International Program students, scores which are just sub-par, such as less than 50 percent, may be also assigned such extra work.  The homework should be a combination of review problems and short questions and answers which focus on improving the student’s study and work attitudes in and out of class.  All such homework may be given to the homeroom teacher for distribution to the students.  The due date will be the first day class for the following term.  Failure to satisfactorily complete this work has the following possible consequences: deductions in term scores, a doubling of the work, or a time-out in or outside the classroom where this work must be completed. :





Absent Students

Ideally, all students who are absent for either a Speaking Test or for a Paper test should be scheduled to take it as soon as possible. If a student is absent, find out from the homeroom teacher as to the reason, and how long they have been away from school.  For students who have been gone more than a week, it may be decided that the student will not take any test this time, and should be given no score at all. It is a good idea to give the student a chance to ask questions on the content of the material and / or receive a review paper outlining the test content.

Providing an answer sheet for textbook and workbook problems is also a good way to help students prepare better for the test.


For tests which are rescheduled, make sure the student knows the time and place. Possible times to reschedule tests include the following revision class, lunchtime, or after school.  The retake should take place before the test revision for that class.  If this is not possible, then the test to be taken should be altered since other students now know the answers to that test. If there is no opportunity for a student to retake a test, then a Calculated Test Score may be given. 


For cases where the student does not have a good excuse to be absent, the calculated score can be reduced according to the rate or percentage assigned by the homeroom teacher.


Homestay Students 

If a student was overseas for the first and second terms, but returned for the third term, only fill in information for the third term, and leave the rest of the record blank. If a student left for a homestay after the first term was completed, but did not return for either the second or the third term, only fill in information for the first term, and leave the rest of the record blank.



For 2nd and 3rd term Calculated Test Scores (CTS), use the following formula:







REASON FOR ABSENCE RATE will typically be a <1> (100%) for an excused absence but between 0.70 to 0.90 for less than an excused absence. The homeroom teacher will decide this.


Make sure if you are calculating for a Speaking Test that you use Speaking Test Scores in the above formula.  However, there is one exception to this, and that is for 1st Term Calculated Test Scores.  Because there is no prior test score to use in the calculations, please leave the 1st term score blank.  When a second term test has been taken, then go back and use a calculated score for the first term.


For 1ST term Calculated Test Scores (CTS), where no test has yet been taken, give a blank score for now, and update at the end of the next term with an “expected” score (CTS) using 2nd term test scores.







Grade Ranges



100 – 78


77 – 60


59 – 45


44 – 40


39 – 0





100 – 80


79 – 65


64 – 50


49 – 0





End of Term Grade Submission

All term scores should be shown on the worksheet in your grade book, as follows:


CP= Class Participation

ST= Speaking Test

PT= Paper Test

FT= Final Test Score

MT=Midterm Test (only writing classes)

OG= Overall Grade Score




Checkers should see that all calculations for these scores are correct.  Those who check scores should make sure the side-by-side scores match.  When checking grade sheet, make sure all exam, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd term, and overall grade scores match from the worksheets.


Don’t forget to go back and calculate any “expected” (calculated) scores for students given a blank on the Grade Score sheet for the prior term.  Also, students who should receive blank scores should be noted on the worksheet.


Before submitting the final grade sheet and worksheet to the head teacher, each course coordinator must give a copy plus your grade work columns for ST (speaking test), PT (paper test), CP (class participation), and OG (overall grade) to at least one other teacher (not the head teacher) for that course for a look-over / double check.    When all supporting teachers have given their OK for the scores, then the official grade sheet may be turned in. If a correction is found by a coordinating teacher, make sure both the worksheet AND the gradesheet excel file and printout are updated.  When all worksheets and grade sheets for the classes of a coordinator have been checked and updated, submit these forms to the head teacher, and copy excel grade sheet files into the Grade Backup Folder for safekeeping.


If there is a mistake found by the head English teacher on the final grade check after the rest of the foreign teachers begin summer vacation, make sure the correction goes into your grade book and excel grade sheet files.  The head English teacher should have provided a written copy of the mistakes for you to refer to.