Classroom Resources

Ideas for Using Flash Cards

The advantages of card style teaching materials are numerous - portability, ease of access, no mechanical problems to name a few! Each teacher will no doubt have many ways of using flash cards. Here are a few suggestions for basic use.

1. Using the picture side only

Teachers can use the picture side to teach words in Japanese. Primary or junior secondary students in particular find it easier to memorize basic words with the help of a visual stimulus. Some cards can also be used to teach sentence making. For example, the teacher can show the cards [もういちど] and [みてください] together. Giving a wider context can make it easier for students to memorizethe phrases.

2. Using the kana side only

The teacher can use the kana side to teach students to read Japanese - the cards actually work as hiragana/katakana flash cards. Each kana word has the pronunciation in romaji to assist with reading if necessary. If not, this can easily be whited out.

3. Using both sides

By using both sides, the teacher can integrate the students' learning of new words with reading of script.

4. Reducing the cards

The cards can be reduced for a number of uses. Students can be given a set of hand sized picture/word cards to carry with them and use as a vocabulary learning aid. The picture and kana cards can be used to play a variety of group card games such as Karuta and Concentration.

5. Enlarging the cards

The cards can be enlarged and put on the wall as posters to expose students as much as possible to Japanese script.