EFL Activity: Battleships!

Developing EFL activities for the English Language classroom is a big part of teaching English. I’ve found classic childhood games to be a great source of inspiration. One example of a classic game turned EFL activity is Battleships! The Rules Battleships is a two player game. Each player has an identical grid onto which they…

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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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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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Jagariko: A Quick Bite In Japan – VIDEO

On the last day at one of my schools this year some (… many) students gave me one of my favourite snacks: Jagariko (じゃがりこ). Since I now have so many of them clogging the hallways of my apartment building I thought it best not to waste the opportunity, and make a video of me munching…

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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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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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