To get kids to understand some of the longer words I've been exaggerating what I say, like I do with adults. Problem is, the adults sometimes don't get it for a long while. The kids, however, do. Well, sometimes. Other times they still mispronounce, but mimic my silly intonation exactly. It's the funniest thing ever! It's also made me realise just often I put on silly voices (to kids and adults alike) to drum home a point.
Japanese speakers have great difficulty differentiating between various pairs of sounds, like 's' and 'sh', 't', and 'th', 'l' and 'r', and making exaggerated face shapes, etc is the best way to try and teach this!
I've also realised that I'm picking up a lot of Japanese-isms, like bowing and waving to people when you are a few centimetres in front of them (not at the same time!) . Seriously. All Japanese do it, I just don't know when I started it!
My timetable is getting ridiculously full now in all my schools. Today I taught TEN classes in six hours, most of whom were beginners or kids. My final class was a more advanced adult. We discussed population demographics and the problems of old people. What a relief! Especially as the lesson before, with two intermediate adult sisters, is always so painful. Today one of them told me about a movie she saw at the weekend with Santa Clause and a polar train, or something like that, so I started discussing Santa Clause and asked if department stores had Santa Clauses in Japan, and if parents took their kids to see him. I thought I'd asked about quantum physics or something, as it took them nearly five minutes to say no. GAH!