Genki English Newsletter

December 2000

Yeah, it's nearly Christmas!! I always look forward to this time of year, with trees and lights, mulled wine and Christmas songs! This year I'll be in Japan again, which doesn't quite have the same atmosphere as back home. But it's a great chance to teach the kids about what has to be one of the biggest festivals in the Western World! Check out my Christmas Ideas page!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Out of all the Christmas songs, I found this one the easiest to teach! Last year I took my music gear into school and my kids recorded all the instruments, sang and produced their own CD! So this month's new song,  in Realaudio, is Kuwa Primary School's "We wish you a merry Christmas"! Have a listen and sing along with your own kids!

Silent Night

2 years ago I found a great site to introduce some foreign culture into a Christmas lesson. The site contains versions of "Silent Night" in many different languages. The best ones are the ones that feature manuscripts. Showing the kids gives them exposure to some of the different alphabets that people use throughout the World. Some of my favourites are:

Chinese (Japanese people like this one!)

and best of all,
Have you ever seen an Arabic musical score before? It's very interesting!!  

Letters to Santa

Another great Internet site I found was On this site you can go to the Post Office and send an email to Santa! First of all the kids answer some easy questions such as "Are you a boy or a girl?", "Have you been naughty or nice?" then you choose your favourite toy and can write Santa a message (a good way to review their English!). You then send the message and a week or so later Santa writes a reply back!! My Junior High Students tried it individually last year, and my Elementary School kids did it as a class! They loved it!

(Note though that the above two sites are not part of GenkiEnglish and you should check them out yourselves before recommending them to students!)

Christmas in Japan

I'll be in Japan again this Christmas, but for me Christmas in Japan doesn't have the atmosphere of back home. Sure, there are Santas and trees in every shop window, but the idea of everyone being friends and coming together doesn't seem to exist here. Christmas Eve is a day for couples to go out on a date, and most Japanese children have to go to school on Christmas Day! I went to school on Christmas Day to find normal lessons, normal classes and no Turkey lunch! And although some do, most kids don't get Christmas presents! I looked forward to being back home with Christmas tree lights, warm houses and gorgeous Christmas food!! But of course Japan makes up for it with all the other festivals and events they have throughout the year!

Teaching Hint - Making a curriculum

In Japan it will soon be time to start thinking about next years Curriculum. On our page we already have my year plan, and also that of ALT Joel Bacha. We are also available to give you help and advice about making your schedule for next year. After travelling round the country and speaking to many, many teachers from different schools we should be able to help no matter if you're a school with 5 kids in the middle of nowhere, or a once-a-term teacher in a big city! Send us an email!

Genki English in the Press

"Genki English takes Primary Schools by storm" was the title of the article in the national  Daily Yomiuri newspaper on November 20th, complete with pictures of our wonderful yellow T-shirts! We also hit the national news in the Japan Educational Newspaper (Nihonkyouikushinbun) as well as many local TV and newspapers!

Merry Christmas

Look out after Christmas for a faster, improved Genki English website thanks to Charles Kelly of the Internet TESL journal - thank you!! Well, it's time for me to take a small  break. So to everyone, everywhere, have a wonderful, happy and very Genki Christmas!!


Richard J. Graham 
Primary School English Games, Songs and Activities 

Previous Newsletters: 

November 2000 Newsletter
September/October 2000 Newsletter
August/September 2000 Newsletter

July/August 2000 Newsletter
June/July 2000 Newsletter
May/June 2000 Newsletter
April/May 2000 Newsletter
March/April 2000 Newsletter
February/March 2000 Newsletter
January/February 2000 Newsletter


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