English Games and Activites for ALT's

Our full list of games and activities for ALT's teaching ESL English in Japanese schools.

With a grammar focus on using "have to" or "don't have to", this activity compares things we have to do in different countries. It challenges students' listening skills and then gives them a chance to compose some English.

This game, just like the "What do you have?" game, is about using your poker face. It's very interesting to find out which students in your classes can look their classmates in the eye and lie with a straight face.

This activity uses images to help students practice using this (to specify something near) and that (to specify something some distance away). Because students draw the images themselves, they have a greater sense of ownership of the activity. Plus, it's just a bit of (quiet, creative) fun!

In this activity, groups think up opinion based answers to the questions you provide and present them for popular judgement to the class. Vote by applause.

This activity gives students a chance to talk about things in their town or city. The format is somewhat malleable but the basic idea is that you use "are" to talk about some shops or landmarks in your town, then use "is" to talk about specific ones.

The premise for this activity is you, as the ALT, know nothing about clubs but are very interested in learning about them, specifically the rules. Students group up and come up with the rules from their clubs.

This activity is done in two stages, the first as review, the second to add a fun quiz element. Students ask for direction to certain rooms within the school. In the second stage, they see if they can mentally follow the directions to the correct room.

This activity for your junior high school 3rd graders lets the students use the "We call her Alex." grammar to quiz each other on famous things and places. Group work makes the prep easy for everyone!

Trying to create a realistic scenario students can act out where they might naturally use the grammar "I mean the man reading a newspaper." isn't so easy. Instead of trying to force it, I decided we should write a poem instead.

The man trying to look busy.
The ladies sharing gossip in huddles of office chairs.
The computers shedding heat into the stuffy room.
The B.O.E.

This is a quick little game for very young students that can be played every time you visit the class. It's a game where students get to run away from a monster (you) so they'll always be having an exciting time.

In this activity, students consider their upcoming school trip and think about what they'd like to see, eat, or buy there.

This writing activity brings communication to pen and paper and really livens up reading and writing for students. In this activity, students provide scenarios for other students to react to. What would you do if...

In this activity, students direct questions to one student about another student (to move from "do you" to "does she"). The activity is anchored around a portrait students get 5 seconds to draw. And that's what makes the game. It's a lot of fun!

In this activity, one student describe an image to her partner who has to try and draw the image by description alone. Because success depends on understanding and being understood, you'll see a real effort to communicate successfully.