English Games and Activites for ALT's

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

Using interview sheets is a great way to encourage students to speak to a large number of other students in their class, sometimes students they otherwise wouldn't normally speak to, using the target English language of the lesson. A benefit is that they get to learn about their classmates at the same time.

This is a lesson activity for the Junior High 3rd grade text book introduced in 2012. There is a part that deals with catching a train and asking for directions to catch a train somewhere. This activity gives the students a chance to have a go in a somewhat real world example.

The head, shoulders, knees and toes song is one that most students in elementary school seem to know and are very able to sing along. Singing is fun and children love it, so here is a way to make the old song a little bit more fun and challenging.

Animal groups is an activity that uses the animal sounds as a way to communicate a student's agreement.

Don't try this activity if you value class time. This is a bit of a P.R. stunt for English and a chance to get the students outside and running around. Perfect on a nice spring day and it does help students remember the shapes of the alphabet.

Newspaper twister gets kindergarten or young elementary students playing twister with numbers. Younger students have a blast getting tangled up and it is a good activity not only for English, but also to build balance and motor skills.

To practice the question and answer for "What do you want?", students exchange letter cards trying to spell out simple words. When a word is complete, points are earned.

Touch a color is a no prep color drilling activity perfect for younger elementary classes with extra energy. Your students will be running around the class touching different colors and yelling out loud.

This activity might take a large portion of class time so you'll need to be sure the JTE is on board for that. In this activity, students will have to get creative, use their group work skills, negotiate, and even get a bit artistic so it's really great for building important life skills in addition to the English grammar point of the day.

This scenario can be used in many different ways to give students a chance to use the phrase "What do you study on Monday afternoon?" but in a much more compelling way.

Memory is a match the cards game I'm sure we all played as kids. As a child, I played with playing card but in an elementary English class, vocabulary card sets work better. If you have them, this game can be used to drill vocabulary.

A fun English lesson activity for studying the facial features vocabulary. You can keep it very simple just using the nouns: nose, eyes, ears, etc, or you can include an easy question and answer.

The goal for the students playing this game is the find their partner. The goal of this game from the teacher's perspective is that the students are practicing listening and understanding numbers between 1 and 100 (or 99 to be precise).

No answers allowed is a great warm up for English conversation classes. It is quite an old game, and is sometimes a drinking game, but it can also work a conversation class starter game.

This communication based activity is a very special kind of vocabulary review. Of course, there will be lackadaisical or even downright negative students but everyone else will enjoy the freedom of this quick, fun, and creative speaking challenge.