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 General GameKatakana Karuta

SUBMITTED BY: Lizzie Joy / Tara O'Neil


DATE ADDED: Apr 13, 2008


  Large Classes (16-39 Students)Ó


15-30 min.

11 votes: 4.5-star

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BRIEF OUTLINE:  Students learn to hear the difference between katakana pronunciation and REAL English by playing this fast paced card game.



  • KatakanaKaruta attachments: Option #1 /Option #2  . You will need one set of cards for each group. Laminated for durability if you so desire.



  1. Say the 20 words featured on the cards for the students in exaggerated Japanese katakana and then in correct English. Help them to differentiate between pronunciations (ex. seh-ta and sweater). This is an excellent opportunity for the JTE to talk about how katakana is NOT an equivalent for English.
  2. Go over each word, having the students repeat the correct pronunciation.
  3. Divide the class into groups
  4. Give each group a copy of the cards and instruct them to spread them out over their desks.
  5. Explain that you will say a word and if you use katakana English they are NOT to grab it but if you say the word in correct English, they should get it.
  6. Play for several rounds.
  7. Have each group select a reader for their group and that student says the words in katakana or in English.



  • Feel free to change the cards to incorporate any of your katakana pet peeves, that's why I included asparagus!



  • This is a fun activity for all grades, even 3rd years enjoy reviewing their pronunciation. Exorcising katakana English is a lesson that is always relevant.
    This could possibly be used in elementary school with advanced students, but I haven't done it yet...let me know if you try!



  • Make sure you take time with 1st years and allow them to practice saying the words correctly or the 7th step of the game will be a total bust!



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This page was last modified on Friday, March 16, 2012 02:38:30 PM