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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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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Halloween in Japan

In my childhood I had mixed feelings about Halloween. Sure, I enjoyed the sweets and the campy horror theme, but I was never keen on Trick or Treating. The idea of knocking on a stranger’s door never appealed and when I became old enough to be “the one who answered the door” I became resentful of…

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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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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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Work in Japan – The Arrival

Flying half-way around the world can be a daunting thing, even more so when it’s to do a job you’ve no experience of, in an area that was recently devastated by a cataclysmic natural disaster. But for whatever reason, that’s exactly what I did in June 2011. I came to work in Japan. How does…

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