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English Only Challenge


                                                              SUBMITTED BY: Patrick Bickford  



                                                              GRAMMAR: Gesture  

DATE ADDED: Oct 30, 2009


15-30 min.

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BRIEF OUTLINE: The ALT/JTE put on their acting hats and become the role of various occupations/situations found in English-speaking countries.  The students receive Japanese sentences and they must communicate to the ALT, via any communication medium, the meaning of their Japanese sentence.



  • EnglishOnlyChallenge worksheets - there are 7 pages in total, which includes: two different Japanese-sentence options (cut the sentences into strips), a check sheet, and two teacher answer sheets.



  1. The object of the students is to portray the meaning of the Japanese sentences rather than trying to translate it. If done right, this sets up an environment where the students pull from every grammar in their arsenal and try to communicate what their Japanese sentence says.
  2. After dividing the class into groups of 4-6 students, g
    ive each group a ‘check sheet' and have them write their names on it.
  3. Lay out each of the strips of paper facedown on the teacher’s desk. One person from each group comes and takes a strip back to their group. As a team, they try and work out how they are going to express the meaning to the teachers without using any Japanese.
  4. When they think they can do it, one student comes to the ALT/JTE and tries to express the meaning. There are 3 levels for them to try and communicate on: 1.) verbal communication, using all the vocabulary and grammar their arsenal, 2.) gestures, 3.) drawing on the chalkboard.  If you can understand what they mean, sign their worksheet and check their worksheet.  The student then returns the strip of paper and chooses a new one.
  5. Group members should take turns on who comes to the ALT/JTE.



  • There are two options: One has the students being homestay students, while the other one has them challenging different situations in an English speaking country.



  • This activity teaches students that translating something perfectly is not as important as they are led to believe.  Communication comes in many forms.
  • You will need to change the numbers on their 'check sheet' to how ever many strips of paper you are using.
  • The better your grasp of the Japanese language is, the harder it is to pretend you don’t understand anything the students say to you in Japanese. Make sure the ALT/JTE are both on the same page and whenever you hear any Japanese spoken to you, you respond with: "I'm sorry.  I don't speak Japanese."


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