The Hi Friends! books aren't great.

The language introduced isn't always useful, the methods to introduce the language aren't always effective, and calling some of the activities inside "fun" is an insult to the word.

Unfortunately, if you teach at Elementary Schools as an ALT in Japan, you are going to have to use those books whether you like it or not.

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Up until recently I haven't really seen much of Japanese music, apart from the stuff we are blasted with in our daily lives. Up until recently, that is.

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Whether you have made your own sets of vocabulary cards or another ALT (or Japanese teacher) has, generally a lot of effort goes into making them. If you want to put them to use, here are a few different ideas of how to use those big sets of English vocab cards.

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I was looking for ideas to break past that tension and self-consciousness a group of students has the first time they have an English class and I found a page for English speaking kindergarten icebreakers.

I think some of these would translate well to elementary or junior high level English lessons in Japanese schools. I haven't read them all, I got as far as #4 (Name Puzzles) and that suited me fine.

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The first step in learning new vocabulary is listening and repeating. Before complete understanding and being able to use it, students should be able to recognize the sound of the word and be able to say it.

Here are some quick games for elementary school students to make listening and repeating a more exciting learning process.

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Here are a few warm up activities you can use in class to get your Japanese students ready for another English class.

I teach English in one of the worst schools - notorious in my prefecture - and criss-cross gets groans every time. Yet as soon as we start the kids are on board and ready to play. As long as you remember why you are doing the warm up, the following warm up games and activities should serve you well.

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