I run Japanese conversation workshops focusing on practising spoken Japanese. I plan the agenda carefully depending on the level and the personalities of the participants and facilitate the workshops with the aim of improving their speech, discussion and active listening skills.
My Japanese conversation workshop is based on grammatical/expressional corrections during a natural discussion guided by me as a facilitator. “Let them (the participants) talk” is the key element of this workshop instead of “let me (teacher) talk”, which is common in language lessons using a textbook! My participants prepare for their topics and I facilitate their discussions so that they have an “equal” opportunity to speak and to be listened to and suggested better linguistic choices and more natural expressions. It should be naturally guided with everyone participating and contributing while at the same time, avoiding conflict between participants. Otherwise the workshop looks too hierarchical and artificial. My objective is that everybody is happy, they have learnt something useful and are glad they came (and paid for privilege to do so). The workshop lasts for 90 minutes and there is a maximum of 7 students. I know whether it was successful or not by seeing whether they come back. This is very important for me as someone who works in business and with customers.