Hi Friends 1 Lesson 2 “How are you?”

Hi Friends 1 Lesson 2 is a scant two pages, covering a topic most students already have a fairly good handle on.  The “How are you?  I’m fine thank you.” call and response is fairly entrenched in most Japanese learners of English.  I like to take this opportunity to break students out of the “I’m fine thank you” habit and teach them some other expressions and feelings.


To that end, I have created a set of feelings flash cards that can be found here.

Also, to make a more meaty lesson, there is an interview worksheet available here.


Even with the extra material, this lesson really only requires one class period to complete.  I have some supplemental materials that I use at this time which I will post in a few days.

Simply put, the plan for this lesson is:

1- Greeting

2- present vocabulary (cards)

3- Listening in book (page 8)

4- present Interview task

5- do Interview activity, glue finished interview sheets on p.9

6- Finish


Pretty smooth, don’t you think?

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

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.














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.




Countries and Flags for Hi Friends 1

Hi Friends 1 starts out with the same sort of international greetings topic that Eigo Note did.  When teaching international greetings, I like to use the big world map and flashcards of the flags of the countries mentioned.  I’ve been using the flashcards from Mark’s English School in Nagano Prefecture.

Flag Flashcards from MES-english

Hi Friends chose to include Finland, which wasn’t included in the pdfs from MES, so I whipped up a Finnish Flag Flashcard.  Enjoy!


Hi Friends 1 and 2 Classroom CD

For those of us teaching in Japanese elementary schools, the new school year brings new textbooks.  Unfortunately, those textbooks do not come with an audio CD to use in the classroom. The new books come instead with a DVD and software for use with a PC and TV.

Unfortunately, many schools have yet to set up a simple system for getting computers into the classroom, which makes the DVD and software less than optimal.

I personally prefer to work with a CD, and as such, have used the audio from the Hi Friends DVDs to make audio CDs to use in class.  If you’d like a copy, feel free to download the .zip files and burn your own copies.  There’s a tracklist PDF which should print to just the right size for a jewel case cover.


Hi Friends 1

Hi Friends 2

New English Textbooks for Japanese Elementary Schools

If you are teaching English in a Japanese elementary school, you are no doubt familiar with the now venerable Eigo Noto.  You may also be aware of the fact that Eigo Noto is being replaced by a new textbook called “Hi Friends”.  Curious as to what has changed?  Good news!  Not much has changed at all.  The Ministry of Education has posted PDFs of the “Hi Friends” syllabus on their website.  Not on the front page or anything though.

Here’s a link to the page.

Most of the teaching materials used with the Eigo Noto will be usable with the new text, as will all our fine Hiconic Images.  Relieved?  I know I am!