EFL Activity: Janken Battle

Repeatedly drilling words in the classroom can become pretty dull pretty fast, so let’s spice it up with some violence! Yeh, it’s Janken Battle! Rock, Paper, Fun … I feel so ashamed of that sub-heading. In case you didn’t already know Janken is the Japanese name for Rock, Paper, Scissors (or Rock, Scissors, Paper if…

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English Speech Contest

As well as teaching classes, prepping worksheets and making board games there are a couple of other duties an EFL teacher may be requested to do. Such as: You Speaking To Me? Once a year schools in Japan send two or three students to compete in a local, prefectural or national English Speech Contest. Usually…

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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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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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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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Class Sizes in Japan

There are many things that flit through the mind of someone coming to a foreign country to teach English. How will I get to school and back each day? Will students be able to follow the lessons? How many luminescent highlighter pen colours is too many? Well, I can’t answer all of these questions (except…

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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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Teaching With A Topic

Memory plays a big part in learning. After all, what’s the point in spending all day studying something just to forget it all the next day? There are many ways to help retention. For example, I used to use a specific incense stick every time I revised for an exam, then in the test I…

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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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