ESL Activty: The Envelope Game for Junior High/High School

Before exam time schools often ask their resident ESL instructor to teach a review lesson. Going over previously taught content and structure can be a little dull. I’ve done more than one review lesson which were nothing more than a series of simplistic writing drills echoing the structure found in many traditional written tests. This might…

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VIDEO: Star Wars Snack Attack – A Quick Bite In Japan

Everyone’s going Star Wars crazy at the moment; myself included. Here in Japan there has been a real barrage of stuff appearing on shelves and in freezers. Not one to waste an opportunity to indulge in some less-than-healthy nibbles, I swept up as much rebel scum snackage as my feeble arms could handle, and documented my findings here….

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When a Christmas Activity Goes Sour

This is a quick post as this event just happened and I wanted to get it down while it’s still on my mind. There are times in the classroom when things do not go smoothly; where they don’t go as the teacher expected. Often these things are unpredictable but other times a drop of consideration…

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Winter In Japan – Get the Tauntauns ready!

Surviving winter in Japan, especially the northern Tohoku region, can be a struggle; but it’s not impossible. With a little thought and careful planning anyone can pass through these treacherous times of chilliness relatively unscathed. Keep it toasty When the temperature starts to drop I know it’s time to set up possibly the greatest Japanese…

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Activity: Word Trees

There are many sounds in the English syllabary that ESL students struggle with. Sounds like the ‘th’ in “this” or the ‘v’ in “va-va-voom” just don’t exist in some other languages and many students struggle to contort their mouths into the right shapes. So what can the ever-resourceful ESL teacher do to support their flagging…

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Akita With A Friend Continued

Getting to know the locals is an essential part of blending and feeling comfortable in a foreign culture. Luckily for me I have found Japanese people to be very welcoming, particularly in the northern Tohoku region of the country. One of my Japanese co-teachers even invited me on a trip to stay with his family…

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