International/Cultural Understanding

By Stephanie Vasse, 13 April, 2018

Summary: This Christmas lesson is based on an Englipedia lesson, modified for the ability of my students (ichinensei). First, we preview the worksheet as a class, checking the character names and meanings of the Word Box words. We do the first question together as a class, then the students are responsible for the rest of the questions as we watch the video.

By Stephanie Vasse, 11 April, 2018

Summary: This lesson combines English, origami, and Christmas into a fun cultural exchange activity. The students will follow your verbal English instructions while you slowly go through the Youtube tutorial step-by-step. At the end of the activity, they'll have a Santa Claus or two to take home.


By Bridget Cassie, 23 March, 2017

This is the lesson plan discussed at the April Kobe JET seminar. Basically it is a fun powerpoint that you can use and change to suit your purpose.

In my example lesson I used it in the following way (please note I used the audio room for this lesson):

1. First I got the students into 9 groups and drew a square divided into 9 parts on the board to record the points.

While I did this, the JTE handed each group a sheet of paper with their group number on it.

By Bridget Cassie, 23 March, 2017

1. Introduce the grammar point: “When is ~ ?” with a short listening activity using holidays.

A worksheet is not required, but it is a good idea to have a reward scheme set in place for volunteers. If you have a quiet class you may want to choose the students randomly from the roll.

The ALT and the OTE have a short and simple conversation about their *fictional* coming weekend. The students need to listen, so make it simple and repeat.

By Natalie Barbieri, 22 March, 2017


  1. Mardi Gras! 
  • Show pictures of the festival, people with masks, and dancers.
  • Show the students a calendar of the month of Mardi Gras. 
  • Show them a map of the United States and where New Orleans is located.
  1. Review the color vocabulary: red, green, blue, yellow, black, white, orange, pink, and purple.
  2. Review the school supply vocabulary while showing them the supplies: paint, paint brush, string, plate, water, towel, and photo.


  1. Using the given colors, have studen
By Jessica Kavanagh, 21 March, 2017

The aim of the KICP is to encourage the students to speak with foreigners in English and develop an interest in people from other countries. The game show format makes it fun and exciting and helps break down some of the nerves the students may have about speaking with strangers.

It takes roughly 6 lessons and works best at the end of the first grade when the students have developed their speaking skills through the hamburger shop/asking directions/answering the telephone modules.

By David Dowell, 21 March, 2017


In EUB, a reading course, we spent a unit focusing on two people whose actions have positively affected the lives of many people in their homelands and around the world: Wangari Maathai and Muhammad Yunus, both of whom have won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work.


At the end of the unit students were asked to form pairs and then do the following:

By Rose Sabanal, 21 March, 2017

1.) This project requires students to have previously learned how to use software for making narrative slideshows (e.g. PowerPoint, moviemaker). It also requires the school IT administrator to create an online message board especially for the project, and a partner school to have Japanese language courses in their curriculum.

By Graham Nolan, 21 March, 2017

This lesson is a result of discussion at Job Training 2012. Special thanks to Matt Sitchanoff, James Tohill, Alex Aono and Julie Tran.

Start the lesson by first introducing or reviewing the above grammar points. The students will use them for the following activity.

By Jennifer Frederick, 21 March, 2017

This activity was done on Rokko Island, but it can be adapted for your neighborhood. The key component is to find English speaking store owners and residents in the area around your school.


Building Background Knowledge

By Jennifer Frederick, 21 March, 2017

This is an economics lesson in English.  I have done it twice in Japan with H.S. grade 2 students in a “Comparative Culture” class (it is an elective social studies class taught in English). It fits into our unit on Global Inequalities.

The lesson is quite popular in American classrooms.  A thorough description can be found on many websites.  Here are a few links to the lesson plan:

By Amanda Paul, 21 March, 2017


Students present an international festival in pairs to the class using pictures and music.


1 .Introduce students to an international festival in class with a presentation including a lot of pictures. This is a sample of the the final product expected from them. (Can also be used as a listening comprehension exercise.)

Give them a list of examples (with one or two pictures) of many interesting world festivals e.g. La Tomatina, Rio Carnival, Orange Throwing festival, Chinese New Year etc.

By Amanda Paul, 21 March, 2017


Students each create a poster and do an oral presentation on an international music genre and artist of their choice.


By Amanda Hahn, 31 October, 2016

This lesson was inspired by a lesson Ovando did about misconceptions of many countries.  As most students forget anything I did in my self-introduction lesson after a year, I decided to give a little refresher about America.  And what better way to do it than by a true/false quiz?

By Amanda Hahn, 31 October, 2016

1.) Pass out worksheet.

2.) Go over the meanings of I’m sorry, excuse me and thank you in Japanese.  If you don’t know these yourself, make sure your OTE confirms.  There should be a few for each phrase that may or may translate differently in different cases:

I’m sorry: すみません sumimasen, ごめん (なさい) gomen (nasai), 申し訳ありません/申し訳ない moushiwake arimasen/moushiwake nai

By Jason Mejia, 21 October, 2016


1.Read the students the story San-Biki no Kobuta in Japanese

-Even if Hirigana is difficult for you, show your own enjoyment through using voices for the characters, gestures and hand motions, or actions related to the story.

2. Review the main words of the story with the students in English

Three  Sanbiki さんびき                     Straw     Wara わら

Wolf   Ookami おおかみ                   Brick     Renga れんが

Pig(lets)  Kobuta こぶた                      Wood (stick)   Ki 

By Andrew Foley, 17 October, 2016


Use the map of the world (one globe per group is also possible) to find Japan. Find various other countries, e.g. Jamaica, South Africa, India, UK, etc. This is useful to gauge what they already know from social studies class.

By Stephanie Edwards, 17 October, 2016


I did a lesson on Australian animals, where I introduced the vocabulary whilst reading the famous Australian children’s story Possum Magic by Mem Fox. I also had a copy of the same book in Japanese (ポスおばちゃんのまほう) which was read by the Home Room Teacher (HRT). This idea could be adapted to suit a variety of different sets of vocabulary, depending on the chosen story book.

By David Dowell, 15 September, 2016

Teams of 3-5 students can pick their song from the list of approved songs below.

Lyric Presentation Project

Presentation must be conducted entirely in English!

By David Dowell, 14 April, 2016

This lesson is best used as a fun team activity. Assign the class into teams however works best, and give each team a large card that says "TRUE" on one side and "FALSE" on the other. Then simply go through the prezi linked below - read the fact, countdown from 5 or so for the students to raise their guess, and record the points on the board or paper (this works best if you can remember the correct answers).

By David Dowell, 26 August, 2016

Introduce students to 15 popular English idioms, and let them try to figure out their meanings based on the pictures and hints. This can be as simple as asking for volunteers, or forming them into groups, giving them white boards, and making a point game out of it.

By Marie ?, 26 July, 2016

The powerpoint file is too large to upload to the speakraku site, but it can be found using this link (or see the KIIF-friendly link below) to a google drive document. To download it as a powerpoint, just select “download” from the file menu.

By Rachel Bowyer, 26 July, 2016


  1. In groups give the students a map of the world in jigsaw pieces.
By Emmanuel Parello, 22 July, 2016


Ask students what words they know that come from English, and write them down on the board.  Then, tell students that they will be learning three broad categories of Katakana English words: words that have different meanings  in Japanese than in English, (like mansion) words that have vastly different pronunciations (like Makudonarudo for “McDonalds”),  and words that have been shortened, (like conbini and air con).  The OTE should translate.

By James Tohill, 22 July, 2016

Choose eight famous pieces of clothing from festivals around the world, for example a yukata from Japan, or a tuxedo from England. Print them out as an A4 sized sheet, glue them onto the back of coloured construction paper,laminate, then cut them into puzzle pieces. Place each puzzle into a large envelope and label the outside so you know which puzzle is which.

By Joy Sung, 13 July, 2016

Perhaps the only thing that kids love more than bingo and board games is a FUSION of both!

I came up with this idea because in some classes the classroom was too small for moving around in and the kids got too rowdy during exciting games. And the kids. Love. Bingo. And board games. SO. MUCH. (Not to mention that it's more about luck than skill, so even kids who aren't good at English have a chance at winning.)

By Amanda Paul, 16 June, 2016

Make a 15 minute video with 10 ALTs from 10 different countries. Ask each person to speak for 1-2 minutes about the most popular/famous food, places, sports, music, animals, people, etc. in their respective countries.

Find pictures of the famous things each ALT talks about in the video and print them out. Print out a picture of each ALT. Make a description sheet for each country with the ALTs name and a list of all the pictures.

Timbers Space Kobe JET Dowell Consulting Dowell Media Backseat Bandits You Pick Farms We Love Maira