Classroom Resources

Simple Classroom Language

It is important to start using Japanese right from the start to demonstrate clearly that language is for communication so that students accept the use of Japanese in class as normal.

This section covers the following:

  1. Greetings and introductions from the first day
  2. Taking roll call
  3. Conducting the lesson in Japanese
  4. Suggested activities

1. Greetings and introductions from the first day

Teacher:
おはようございます、ジョーンズです。Call me せんせい。
Good morning, I’m Ms. Jones. Call me Sensei.

Student:
せんせい、おはようございます。
Good morning, Ms. Jones.

Students understand that in Japanese teachers can be called ジョーンズせんせい or せんせい, without the name. Students compare with English ‘Miss’, ‘Sir’.

Additional expressions

  • こんにちは Good afternoon / hello
  • みなさん everyone

2. Taking roll call

Teacher:
アンさん、いますか。
Is Anne here today?

Student:
はい。
Yes.

Teacher:
トムくん、いますか。
Is Tom here today?

Student:
いいえ。
No.

Students notice and reflect on aspects of language use such as 〜くん、〜さん and to compare with English and other languages.

3. Conducting the lesson in Japanese

There are different ways to start the Japanese class. Which expressions would suit your class?

Starting The Lesson

はじめましょう。
Let’s start!

みなさん
Everyone

いいですか
Are you ready?

Students identify Japanese words that have been borrowed from English, and how the pronunciation can change when used in Japanese

Additional expressions

  • 日本語のレッスンをはじめましょう。 Let’s start the Japanese lesson

Ending The Lesson

おわりましょう。
Let’s finish.

またあした。
See you tomorrow!

さようなら。
Good bye

Students understand non- verbal communication such as the use of gestures (eg bowing)
ましょう can be used to give instructions in a gentle manner

Additional expressions

  • また らいしゅう See you next week
  • かたづけましょう Please tidy up

Lost for words?

How would you say ‘have a great weekend’ in Japanese?

Feedback

Giving feedback and praise, both spoken and written can be done in Japanese from the earliest stages, and makes classroom communication meaningful and natural.

いいですね!
Very good!

〜ですね is often used to give feedback in a caring manner

Additional expressions

  • すごいですね  incredible
  • がんばりましょう  keep trying
  • じょうずですね  good
  • やめましょう!  Stop!
  • すばらしいですね!  great, terrific
  • だいじょうぶ  you’ll be fine
  • だめですね!  Don't do that!
  • よくできました  well done

Lost for words?

What would you say to a student who didn’t do well in a test despite making an effort?

Classroom Instructions

Demonstration techniques make the following common expressions comprehensible to students. Flash cards are a useful resource when teachers are introducing and/or clarifying meaning of instructions Click on the picture to download PDF flashcards.

E-1

たって

Standup

E-2

すわって

Sitdown

E-3

てをあげて

Raiseyourhand

E-4

てをおろして

Putdownyourhand

E-5

みて

Look

E-6

よんで

Read

E-7

あけて

Open

E-8

かいて

Write

E-9

きいて

Listen

E-10

しずかにして

Bequiet

E-11

もういちど

Onceagain

4. Suggested activities

The following activities can be used to introduce and reinforce classroom instructions.

1. Flash cards

2. Card games

3. Get physical!

4. Songs for greetings and instructions

Greetings Song (to the tune of 'Frere Jacques')

  • おはよう、おはよう, Good morning, good morning
  • こんにちは、こんにちは, Hello, hello
  • さようなら、さようなら, Goodbye, goodbye
  • またあした、またあした, See you tomorrow, see you tomorrow

Instruction Song(to the tune of 'Pick a Bale of Cotton')

  • どうぞ はいって ドアをしめて, Please come in,close the door
  • たって、すわって、きいてください, Stand up, sit down, please listen
  • しずかにして、こくばんをみて, Be quiet, look at the board
  • ノートにかいて、おぼえてください, Write in your exercise book