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Go: JHS GrammarLost in Osaka


SUBMITTED BY: Susan Chiang 

BORROWED FROM / INSPIRED BY: Englipedia's Subway Race


SITUATION: Directions  

EXAMPLE: Can you tell me how to get to Namba? 

DATE ADDED: May 21, 2009


Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)ÓHuge Classes (40+ Students)ÔBad/Misbehaved ClassesÕ


35-50 min.

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BRIEF OUTLINE: This follow-up information gap activity to Englipedia's Subway Raceand it will have the students practice asking for and giving directions via train/subway.





  1. Have the students sit in pairs facing each other, and distribute the maps and worksheets so that one partner has A and the other has B.
  2. Give a cover story if you’d like. If, like me, you have a not-so genki class that doesn’t find your acting or imagination amusing, get straight to the point.
  3. Go over the dialogue with the students. Using a color map and the JTE to demonstrate, select a station that is on both the A and the B maps as an example (I used Sakaisuji) so that the students can follow along. Then have the students repeat the dialogue.
  4. Make sure they understand that directions will always be given from Namba station (or any other station of your choice).
  5. Have the students janken with their partner. Winner starts off asking for directions for station 1, and loser gives directions. Then they will switch roles; they will continue taking turns giving and asking for directions until all 7 stations for both A and B have been marked on their black and white maps.
  6. As each pair finishes, have them check their answers to make sure the correct stations were marked.
  7. For the pairs that finish early or if you have extra class time, have the students write out directions on the second page. After having done the dialogue several times with a partner, they should be able to catch on quickly. If not, do the example with them.



  • If your kids are high level, you can change the stations so that the directions build off the previous station or alter the maps so that the directions will have to include changing trains more than once. Use the teacher's map from the Osaka Subway Race activity when making alterations.



  • Review the directions north, east, south and west if the students have forgotten the pronunciation and/or meaning. The station names might be difficult for the students if they aren’t used to reading romaji, so you and your JTE might have to help them out.
  • The dialogue was modeled after that of lesson 14, “Taking a Train” in the Oral Communication: Expressways 1 textbook. This worked incredibly well with my not-so-low-level-yet-not-quite-high-level high school first year OC1 class as a follow-up to the Osaka Subway Race activity. The students had an easier time with this activity as it allowed them to come up with their own directions.



  • There will be some confusion with the stations that don’t require changing trains, so make sure students understand that they don’t need to use the first sentence “Take the train to............and change trains.” Do an example if necessary.

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This page was last modified on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 03:50:13 PM