With the new course of study comes new textbooks. In my case, folks use New Crown just about everywhere in Himeji for JHS.
In some ways, it improves upon the old (better grammar, focus on casual yet widespread expressions for more natural English, appendix dealing with pronunciations, more tables and reference material at the back etc.), yet fails to touch upon some key points (successfully linking JHS and ES, accounting for the widespread use of increasingly efficient eikaiwa in a post-NOVA world, increasing disparity between students going to good eikaiwa vs. cheap cram schools, misuse of expressions etc.).
One major concern of mine was how teachers would adapt to the new book, especially older teachers who had been running on auto-pilot for years now. The new course of study means more work for them and given the relatively low amount of time consecrated to actual teaching related tasks, when would they find the time to dissect and master this new book?
Already, I noticed that my JTE have simply NOT done more than cast a cursory glance at the book. It's much busier than the last, offering numerous options with varying levels of necessity, so teachers are obviously overwhelmed by it - even if Japanese dominates the book. It so far seems as if the main talking point is all they care about in each lesson, leaving all other things aside. Discussions about "word corner" and "idea box" tend to summed up with a confused, vague answer as if they aren't sure what these portions of the book are for. One JTE grumbled about all these new words and how to fit everything in one neat little lesson.
The increase in vocab is large enough to be noticeable, and the inclusions of common expressions seems to be confusing my JTE who don't fully understand them. "What's the plan?" had them mumbling about lesson plans and what this had to do with anything.
As the books move towards "natural English", many teachers may be left in the dust. ALTs might rejoice that this may mean more freedom for them, but I would be careful.
Right now, I fully expect for 2 nensei to have gone through the first third of the book by early May. I'm sure the JTE at my old, bigger school would balk at this. I recall them filling up two distinct lessons with material from a few pages of the old book.
What about you folks out there? Are your JTEs on the ball with clear ideas of how to approach the changes or are they struggling? Any denials that there even is a new course of study?