Information and tips about English-related things you may have to do in the workplace, that aren't strictly inside the classroom.

  1. English Boards
  2. English Clubs/English Speaking Societies
  3. Newspapers
  4. English Camps

English Boards
  • At first, you can use an English board to introduce yourself to your students. Short, easy sentences and pictures work well.
  • Depending on how often you update the board, you can keep the students updated with news and events in Japan and/or your home country.
  • You can write up information on major traditions during the year in your home country (Christmas, thanksgiving, valentines, easter, any special festivals from your home town/area etc.)
  • Give topical information on events in the Japanese school year, and how it is in your home country. For example, sports day, tests, singing contests, graduation. Also, general differences between schools in your home country and Japan can be interesting (lunch, cleaning time, subjects studied, club activities etc.)
  • Drawing comics in English is a fun way to get students to read English, and the visuals can help understanding. If you don't want to draw comics, you can copy from online and write your own dialogue, or even use popular Japanese manga and write your own dialogue.
  • Putting a 'Help box' on the board with translations of difficult/new words is useful.
  • You can showcase students work (with their permission, as they might be embarrassed/angry if you put it up without warning them).
  • A place to distribute extra activities/worksheets/puzzles for students to do, and give to your for extra credit (stickers, points, treats or however they reward students at your school).
  • You could attach a whiteboard to your English board, and use it as an area for communication, or asking questions.
  • Create a postbox where students can ask you questions.
  • Have a picture area to show places you've visited, or things you've done.

English Clubs/English Speaking Societies (ESS)
General ideas and activities that have been done.
  • Mafia card game (works best with 8+ people, though around 24 it starts to get unwieldy)
  • Spooky/Scary story & Urban Legend exchange
    • Take scary/ghost/campfire stories
    • Good for around Halloween or anything that has to do with ghosts
    • Ask your students if they know any stories
  • Cultures around the world
    • Making simple food from that culture (guacamole, bruschetta, etc). May or may not involve having to ask to use the cooking classroom.
  • Mythology Exchange;
    • The students at one school were particularly interested in learning about Greek mythology and stories like Hercules
  • Catch Phrase
    • Prep: Write words on cards (or get an app for the iPhone/iPod Touch). They can be things like "fire" "sky" "castle" "high school" "bear".
    • The students sit in a circle are divided into two teams, alternating every other.
    • The goal is to NOT be the team with the card stack when the timer goes off.
    • To pass the card stack, students must get their team mates to guess the word on the card without saying the word itself.
    • For a more challenging game, consider doing Taboo instead (with more words they can't say)
  • Apples to Apples
English Camps