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Go: JHS GrammarMeaning Gestures


SUBMITTED BY: Richard Fleming

BORROWED FROM / INSPIRED BY:Book of 70 Japanese Gestures

EDITED BY: Tatyana Safronova

GRAMMAR: Gesture


DATE ADDED: Nov 27, 2008


    Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)Ó


15-30 min.

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BRIEF OUTLINE: Students find out about gestures used in Japan and the different meanings they have in the UK. 



  • MeaningGestures worksheet: It has three parts -- Japanese gestures, UK gesture clues and a worksheet



  1. Before class, print and cut out the Japanese gestures and the UK gesture clues.
  2. After the students make pairs (or groups), distribute the worksheet and put the UK gesture clues and the pictures of Japanese gestures up on the walls.
  3. Explain to the students that they must explain to the ALT what each gesture means in Japan, and that they must check with the ALT what each gesture means in the UK, or the ALT's own country if he or she decides to change the gestures.
  4. Show students that there are clues for both the Japanese and the UK meanings on the walls around the room.
  5. When students find the appropriate meanings, have them write them down using correct English sentences.
  6. If students finish all the gestures, ask for volunteers to come up to the front and demonstrate scenarios using the gestures from both country.



  • Change the gestures on the worksheet.
  • Fold the gesture pictures and put them in a bag. Let students choose at random the gestures they will have to learn about.
  • Add more gestures.



  • Change the UK to your own home country: Australia, Canada, USA, etc.
  • At the beginning of the lesson you can ask a student to come up to the front to shake your hand. After that, offer to high-five them. They should know both of these. However, if you offer a 'fist bump', they probably won't know what to do.
  • This is a good way to start off the topic of culturally-specific gestures.
  • I taught this as part of a special "culture lesson" on non-verbal communication.


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