Pair Interview Activity and Worksheet

Spring Break has come and gone, but has given students a lot to talk about.  For the first lesson after the break, I like to do an interview and presentation activity to get my students back into English mode.

We begin with a simple greeting and question activity using follow-up questions to elicit more information after a simple yes/no question.  From there, we work through the question words on the worksheet and make four questions to use in our interviews.

Students then form pairs and are given 5 to 10 minutes to interview their partners about what they did over the break.  They use that information to make a short paragraph about their partner’s activities.  When the time limit is up, one of the students from each pair stands up and presents the paragraph they have prepared to the rest of the class.  When the presentations are finished, students find a new partner and repeat as before, this time the students who didn’t present in round one present their prepared paragraphs.

It’s a fun and simple activity that allows students to exchange information and support each other while shaking off some of the rust that invariably accrues over a long vacation.  It also works well for mixed level classes, where more advanced students can assist the lower level learners.

Pair Interview Worksheet

Winter Break Questions

Winter break has come and gone, and everyone is back in study mode.  Here is a worksheet I made up to help students talk about their winter break experiences in English.

It is a fairly easy task that can spark some interesting discussions.  First, using the question words at the top of the page, students make 5 questions to ask others.  The question words and verbs are mixed up, students should pay attention to which verbs they are using with the various question words.

Once the questions are written in the provided spaces, students make pairs and ask and answer one question each about their winter break, writing their partner’s answer in beneath the question.

What did you eat over winter break?

Billy ate fried chicken over winter break.

– or simply –

Billy ate fried chicken.

 

For more advanced students, encourage (or require) them to ask at least one follow up question before changing partners.

 

 
winterbreak_questions worksheet

Some Grammar Worksheets for Junior High ESL

As of April this year, I’ve begun teaching ESL and English Communication in junior high schools here in Japan.  It’s taken some getting used to after years of teaching in elementary schools, but I feel like I’ve hit my stride.

There’s very little need for me to introduce new structures and drill grammar because the students get more than enough of that in their regular classes with the Japanese English teachers.  I try to minimize teacher-talk and maximize oral communication time, and to that end have made up several Q&A worksheets to practice various expressions and grammar points.

This is perhaps the most basic, and most versatile, of the worksheets I’ve made so far.  Students prepare five questions based on any relevant grammar points or lesson themes, then in take turns asking their questions and writing down their classmates’ answers.  As an activity it allows students to exercise thinking, writing, speaking and listening skills while creating a quantifiable result that teachers can check and grade.  Plus, it’s fun!free_question_sheet

Hi Friends 1 Lesson 1 “Hello!”

The kids are back and classes will be starting sooner than you know it!  Are your ducks in a row?

Hi Friends 1 Lesson 1 is all about greetings and introductions.  Here’s how I plan to attack it.

 

(1) Introduction
Write names on books (in English)
Make English nametags (if necessary)
Let’s Listen 1, write the names of the characters in English
Play game using “My name is~”

(2) Flags of the World (Flag cards can be found here)
Let’s Listen 2 (International Greetings)
International Greetings Janken Game

(3) Review International Greetings
Make business cards

(4) Review International Greetings
Let’s Listen 3
“My name is ~” “Nice to meet you.” Card Swap Janken

 

For the business cards, I have prepared a template for students to use.

One A4 sheet makes 8 cards, which can be colored and embellished as desired. Don’t forget to make some for yourself too!

HiFriends 1 name card 名刺票

Teaching in Japan Chat

In celebration of the end of the school year and in anticipation of the next,

Hiconic Image is proud to present the Teaching in Japan Chat Room.

All you need to do to participate is enter a chat nickname, no password necessary.

Join the chat to share thoughts and ideas, ask questions, or just blow off

steam.  Please mind your manners, tho.

You can connect through HiconicImage at the link above,

or if you prefer to use your own chat client, point it to

irc.geekshed.net  #teachinginjapan

English or Japanese, either one is welcome!

ABC Practice for Big and Small

The days are slowly getting longer, and time is getting shorter for Japanese students.  Graduation is less than two months away, and a new crop of first graders start in April.  What better timing for some ABC practice?

 

Junior High English lessons begin at ABC and slowly ramp up.  Students who can clearly and confidently print the alphabet will be able to proceed quickly to more interesting fare while others are churning through drills.

New elementary school students also benefit from early and frequent alphabet practice.  The sooner children can recognize and write the alphabet the more effective phonics practice becomes.  From there its a small step to basic English reading skills, and then the sky’s the limit!

 

Here are worksheets for lowercase and uppercase letters.  A double sided print (uppercase on one side, lower on the other) is environmentally friendly and an excellent quiet activity for older students.  Going through the letters slowly and emphasizing proper stroke order is a very good lesson for younger students.  It’s never too early to start and never too late to improve!

ABC alphabet practice writing worksheet esl efl eigo abc alphabet lower case esl efl eigo writing

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! We are back and getting ready for the 3rd and final term of this school year.

Hi Friends 1 and 2 present us with much the same content as Eigo Note did, so we will be doing pretty much the same lessons as we have done in years past.

Hi Friends 1 brings us the “I study Japanese” theme, followed by the “What would you like?” theme.
For the “I study Japanese” theme, I use these sets of cards.
First, Days of the Week

Next, School Subjects

I finish with this up with a group project, planning an original time schedule.

As a group, students assume the role of teachers and decide what subjects to teach and when to teach them.

Once the schedule has been decided, they then complete the time schedule worksheet, taking turns filling in the days and the classes.

Additional rules may be needed to avoid things like six straight hours of P.E.  I limit subjects to at most twice a day, and require that all

subjects are taught at least twice a week.

Weekends are for things like sports practice, homework, piano lessons, shopping and so forth.

Students also need to come up with a name for their school, an English name of course!

When everything is complete, the groups present their original schedules to the class.

schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the worksheet, I recommend one B4 size for the group, but smaller individual worksheets could

work better if students prefer not to share.

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hiconic users, here’s hoping your Christmas was happy and your New Year is bright. Thanks for visiting, hope you found some useful tidbits to freshen up your classes in 2012. We will be taking a short break, but will be back in 2013 with tips, hints, and tools to breathe some life into Hi Friends 1 and 2.

So, all you teachers out there, enjoy your holidays and rest up. The kids will be back before you know it!

I like… and I don’t like… worksheets for Hi Friends 1

Hi Friends 1 covers a lot of grammatical ground in two or three pages in chapter 4.
You could blow through it all in a lesson or two, but really it is an excellent opportunity to do a little writing and speaking.  I like to use this worksheet for practice.  Students write their likes and dislikes (in English, of course) then present their lists to the class.  It makes for a good confidence builder and a fine opportunity for more advanced learners to show off their chops a little.

The completed list also lends itself well to interview type games and activities, and can be illustrated and embellished if desired.

Likes and dislikes I like esl efl eigo hi friends worksheet english

Sports Sports Sports Sports

Sports. Kids like to play sports and like to talk about sports. Sports vocabulary can be used in a variety of ways in the ESL/EFL classroom. In particular sports vocabulary lends itself very well to teaching “I like…” and “I can…” expressions (as well as “I don’t like…” and “I can’t…” ;-)).

It just so happens that “I like…” is the subject of Hi Friends 1 Unit 4, while “I can…” is the subject of Hi Friends 2 Unit 3. While these expressions can be used to discuss a variety of things, using sports can help get the ball rolling. This set of flashcards doesn’t cover all the bases, but presents a broad enough range to encourage further discussion.

I’ve opted to use “soccer” because in Japan (where I teach) and in the US (where I’m from) that’s the term we use. I’ve also intentionally left out American Football because very few places outside the US have an interest in the game, plus it’s just a mouthful to say. If your favorite sport is missing, leave a comment and if there’s enough interest I’ll make up a flashcard for it!

When teaching “I like…” foods and fruit are also great conversation starters. Animals work well also. Mix it up and have fun!

Update: Had a bit of a think and decided to make up a football card as well. No reason not to!