EFL Activity: New Words

The act of learning new words comes with the territory when studying a language. For English it’s the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher’s responsibility to help students in pronouncing and, sometimes, understanding any new words they encounter. New Words I’m speaking from the point of view of an English Teacher who’s taught at public schools in…

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EFL Reading Activities

Pop quiz: What are the four key language skills? I’ll let you phone a friend, which coincidentally involves two of those skills. They are: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. If English Language proficiency were the Apocalypse then these would be it’s Horsemen. That ill-advised analogy aside it is important to consider which of these skills…

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ESL Activity: Mind Maps

When teaching English as a foreign language I’ve often found it useful to get the students to generate their own ideas. There is many an ESL activity to get the mental cogs turning and one such activity is Mind Maps. When? Then! Teach. In Japanese High Schools I’ve found lessons to be most effective when they contain a solid…

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ELT In A Special Needs Class

English Language Teaching, or ELT, in a Special Needs class can be a drastically different experience from an English Teacher’s regular classes. Trying to communicate with someone in a foreign language whilst also being sensitive and aware of any other issues they may have is a challenge that I worried about a lot before my…

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The Halloween Lesson

ESL Lesson topics are often chosen based on the time of year. So students might spend some time discussing what they plan to do in Summer or what Christmas presents they’re going to buy. One of the most popular themes is Halloween. There are , here are just a few thoughts for a Halloween lesson. Short Activities…

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When There’s Nothing To Do

Not all of the time a teacher spends at school is occupied with actual teaching. For many foreign teachers a majority of their in-school hours are taken up with tedious desk-sitting. This is the ideal time to prepare for future classes, and that’s what most Japanese teachers and private company supervisors expect. However, what does…

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Activity: Board Games

Board games are a classic tradition that have enriched the childhoods of many and vastly improved countless rain-drenched caravan holidays. The most famous games can be found throughout the world but every country has board games of its own. In Japan it’s not hard to find someone who enjoys a game of Shogi, the Japanese…

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A Standard Lesson Plan For Junior High and Up

I’ve already written a little bit about some activities that can be used in the ESL classroom and about how to forge an effective worksheet but how do these elements come together to make a decent lesson? Here I’m going to go through a standard lesson plan for Junior High or High School based on…

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Junior High and Up Activity – Shiritori

Batman’s Utility Belt is a marvellous thing. With everything from smoke pellets to grappling guns to shark-repellent bat-sprays he’s prepared for every situation. ESL teachers can equip themselves with an equally useful, if slightly less flashy, set of tools. One of those tools is Shiritori. I call it by it’s Japanese name since learning it…

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My Car in Japan – A video

Anyone who comes to work in Japan as an English teacher, or in any profession really, will likely need to get a car. Especially if located in a rural area. In this, the first full video from Where? There! Teach., we’ll take a brisk tour around my vehicle and talk about how to handle gas stations. Let’s…

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