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any ideas? 
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:59 am
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Post any ideas?
I have 20 junior high 2nd and 3rd year Japanese students who will visit our high school in Australia. I need some games/lessons that I will get them talking and break the ice. They are painfully and shy and obviously nervous being overseas for the first time. They're coming at the end of the month and need something ASAP! Much appreciated!!!!! sally


Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:04 pm
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I played a game at an adult English class party that might work well. Everyone had to write their name on a name tag, the sticker kind. Then the teacher distributed the names randomly and we had to put them on our backs. Next we had to walk around the room and introduce ourselves to everyone until we got our name tag back saying, "Hi, my name's Matt, what's your name?"

It went something like that, it was almost a year ago so I might have forgotten some details... Hopefully an idea like that will work. Good luck! :D

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Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:38 am
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I always find it easier to get teenager to talk about someone, anyone, other than themselves. So, maybe get them to interview each other (in English is best but maybe in Japanese to just get to the meat of the lesson.) Then have them introduce or talk about their partner. That serves to introduce everyone and maybe get the students to learn more about the others. You could even do it in groups of 3. They like groups but 4-5 and they start to get insecure again.

Another option is to prepare a quiz about you. have abunch of random questions that they can't possibly know and simply have to guess.
What was the first Japanese word I learned? Konichiwa, Sayonara, or Ninja
What was the first movie I watched at the theater? Top Gun, Star Wars, E.T.
What's my favorite website? MES-English, Tools for Educators, or 123Certificates
...

I like to put those into a 3x3 grid or 4x4 grid. Students choose their answers and if they get the answer correct, they can put a circle in the square. At the end they look and see how many bingos they have with the cirles (correct answers.)

I've found that with JHS students a passive listening activity is best at first and then work towards production. They need a little time to settle in with each other. They have to determine who are the alpha-dogs first :P .

It's also good if you can get them to laugh at you a bit. That relaxes them and is a sign of in-group type behavior in Japan. Being part of the in-group really helps to relax everyone.

They are shy, but they all really like English and want to speak. They want to learn. But, it's hard to tell sometimes ...

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Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:49 pm
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I agree with Mark that it is easier for them to talk about someone else.

I taught some studnets with another teacher for a few weekends that are going to Canada and we did a variety of things.

First each of them asked both of us a question about oursleves. I have a playful sometimes silly personality and we had them laughing in no time.

Then the other teacher and I asked each of them one question.

Next we had them ask another student some questions about themselves and they told the class about the other student.

We also had each of them think of a yes or no question and then they polled the class and presented the results afterwards. Some of the questions were "Do you have a boy/girl firend?" Have you ever eaten turtle?' "Do you like Stevie Teacher?" That's me and of the 30 only one said no. When I found out who it was they said That of course they liked me. It was a joke.

Finally we used the Bigtown cards. If you haven't checked these out yet do.

They are great because this is some of the stuff they will talk about when they make new friends. Look at the Hightown cards as well if you haven't already.

We had them take on the role of the character and then afterwards introduce another character as their friend.

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:41 pm
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When I teach older students I generally start out with a couple icebreakers for the first few classes.

One of the ones I use is actually sort of a variation of what Mark mentioned.

I will write down various words on the board. These are words such as red, chicken, tiger, and USA. (I generally write about 7-10 words). Students have to figure out what these words mean to me. They should try to ask questions about these words until they figure out what each word means.

Example question: "Do you like to eat chicken?" "Is your favorite color red?"

Some words should be easy....others more difficult.

Once you have done this for yourself you can let your students prepare a list of words about themselves and then go up to the board while the others ask them questions.

I originally got this idea from a forum a couple years ago so I can't take credit for it. It always goes over well with my new classes.

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Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:02 pm
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KeppUpRichard - Welcome to the site!

KeepUpRichard wrote:
I will write down various words on the board. These are words such as red, chicken, tiger, and USA. (I generally write about 7-10 words). Students have to figure out what these words mean to me. They should try to ask questions about these words until they figure out what each word means.

Example question: "Do you like to eat chicken?" "Is your favorite color red?"

That's a fun idea. Taking that a bit further for adults or more advanced kids/teens, you can make a 3x3 bingo board with just 2-3 words that are related; "blue", "white", and "baseball". Students can ask yes/no questions to try and figure out what those words might mean or how they are related as it comes to you the teacher.

"Are blue and white team colors?"
"Is it a famous team?"
"Do they play in New York?"

Then, they write what they think the relation is and you move to the next set. At the end of the game, you check the answers and students see how many they got right. You can also discuss what those "answers" are all about. So, if the answer is the New York Yankees, then you would explain what relevance the Yankees have to you.

To make this more of a class activity, you can draw a big 3x3 grid on the board and have 9 people give you a few words, putting each person's words in one grid. As a class go through the list asking questions and playing the game. Students can draw a small grid on a scrap piece of paper, just big enough to write in their answers. If you have a large class and this is an introduction type activity, just do 9 people one day and then change to a new set of 9 students for the next class. For really large classes, you might want to break them up in groups so you can get more people involved at any one time.

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Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:25 am
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nice! That's taking what I said to an entirely new level and then some. I will try that version out sometime in the future with a new class.

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Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:38 pm
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