Genki English Newsletter

February 2001

Hello! Well it's only a couple of  weeks since I wrote the last newsletter, but there's so much new stuff happening that the February issue is coming out early, and packed full of ideas. Thanks to everyone who ordered CDs this month, the offer of free Worksheets certainly proved popular! The offer is still on, but we're not sure for how long, so get your order in now!

It is still International Understanding!

You will have probably read in last month's newsletter about an article in a national newspaper concerning what we teach in elementary schools in Japan. Well, I can confirm that nothing has changed, and the situation is still that English may be taught as part of International Understanding Education! Which is very good and means that if your Board of Education or school wishes it, then we can still keep opening our students' eyes to the wonderful things the World has to offer!

Also, the "final report of the Committee discussing improvements to English-language education" has also been released, you can find it on the net at It's written in Japanese, so you might need someone to translate it. Or you could try the free, online translator at for a rough translation!

Which leads me on into the big new update for this month...

See my house on video!

One thing that my teachers wanted to do was to try and incorporate elements from different subjects (such as maths or geography) into my lessons. My 5th year students were studying about European houses, so I took my video camera and went around my own house showing some of the things that Japanese people find interesting! The seven minute video was a great success, being lively, fast paced and the kids loved it! It's also in Japanese (mind you I'd only been in Japan 10 months when I filmed it, so it's not too hot, but it is understandable!!). If you have the "Realvideo" software installed on your computer then you can watch it on the website! Have a look and I'm sure it'll give you lots of ideas, and show it to your kids and teachers, I'm sure they'll be surprised!!

I'm looking at maybe redoing the piece and along with other clips from Australia, maybe making them available on  VHS video. That way you can use them in your lessons on a normal VCR - great if your Japanese isn't too hot!. Let me know what you think, and if there's anything you'd like to see included on there!

Who is it?

The alphabet dot-to-dots from the free worksheets pack ( proved popular, and gave me the idea for this "interactive dot-to-dot". On the computer, the kids connect the letters from A to Z and a picture will appear!! Best of all they hear the letters spoken as they move around the picture! You'll need to have the "Flash Player" software installed on your computer. Check it out...

Kindergarten, nursery, pre-school! Help!

I always get a steady stream of people asking about games for pre-school kids. I always intended doing a full article on this, but haven't had the time! Anyway, when I was teaching in kindergarten I found most of the games on the website could be used successfully. Some of the favourites were:
Tower Game

and the number one favourite game was ........

The ostrich game!

The trick is to just play with the kids, the ones who are interested will stick around, and the others will join when they see what fun it is.

During the Genki English tour we had several kindergarten groups joining the shows and they liked (and did surprisingly well at!), the Left and Right song ( and the "What's your name?" song ( The trick being to not be too fussed about them understanding everything at this stage, as long as they were doing the actions, listening and trying to sing! 

Genki English on your mobile!

Last month I told you about the page where Japanese students can learn some Genki English on their mobile phone. Well, the main Genki English page is also available to access via mobile phone, the address is . There are explanations of the games, articles and you can even download some pictures of Aygo and Mr Monkey if you have a "J-Phone" mobile! So tell your Japanese teachers to check it out! Stuck in a lesson as to what to do? Get out your mobile and have a look! If people are interested I might be able to upload the English version in mobile phone format. Let me know!

Fortune Telling Game!

This is a cool game! Look at the page on the website, then ask Aygo a question. Choose one of three cards set out before him. The cards will then magically reveal the answer, either yes or no!! It's great to use in Junior High, or for adding some more life to a primary school class!

You can even use it yourself for those important questions in life, such as "Should I go out tonight?" or "Should I send Richard some Valentine's chocolates?" (which is, of course, the custom in Japan!!). Speaking of which...... 

Valentine's Day Game Idea

Try playing a game such as the ski game ( ), but instead of the "Finish line", draw a picture of a cool restaurant and attach a picture of a famous movie star, actress, actor etc. (a member of Morning Musume could be a good idea!!). Then, instead of a skier or snowboarder, make a cut out of two people that the kids know. Good ideas maybe yourself, another teacher or the head teacher. Play the game, and the race is to see which person will reach the restaurant and get the Valentine's date with the famous star!!!

And finally.....

If you're in Japan, have a look at "kids com" magazine for a 4 page special interview with Genki English!! And check out Will's tour diary for "The Death of the Genkimobile"! ( )Well,  I think that's about it for this month!! Now we're on a break from touring it's great being able to spend my time actually realising some of the ideas that I keep getting!  Genki English is going to get better and better, and  we can all look forward to some great teaching!

Remember to check out the offer of free worksheets!

Till next month,

Be genki,


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

Previous Newsletters: 

January 2001 Newsletter
December 2000 Newsletter!
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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