Filling up your lesson plans with enough great Japanese material to last you through the school can seem an insurmountable task, especially if you do not yet have years of teaching experience under your belt.
How will you teach Japanese grammar?
How can you keep your students engaged in the material?
What can you do to reinforce your lessons without driving your students to the brink of insanity?
But crafting your lessons doesn’t need to seem as complicated as following an Ikea instruction manual.
In fact, with so many great Japanese teaching materials available online, putting together incredible lessons can seem practically simple. With these seven unbeatable online resources for Japanese teaching materials, you’ll have no trouble filling your lessons with awesome content and activities.
Why Use Online Japanese Teaching Materials?
Using online materials can save you valuable time. Why spend time recreating material that’s already available from learning websites? Existing materials are often tried and true, so there’s no reason to spend too much time crafting your own. Instead, you can focus that time on selecting which resources are perfect for your class’s current needs and level (or rehearsing for your next taiko drum performance).
Plus, outside resources are easy to use as a backup if you have extra time in class. No matter how much you practice your class’s schedule to try to time it out to the second, there will sometimes be a few extra minutes at the end of class. It happens. Japanese games and grammar games can fill some of that time, but when you want to change it up, you can also continue the Japanese learning with materials you found online.
Finally, online resources offer terrific variety. There is just as much variety in online teaching resources as there are ways to practice Japanese. Since the available material is so vast and varied, you can find resources to help you teach virtually any concept you can think of, including vocabulary, grammar and culture.
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Erin’s Challenge offers so much great teaching material that you might inadvertently start jumping up and down with joy. And if that’s not enough to excite you, this material is free.
The Erin’s Challenge website offers 25 video lessons that target beginning students, covering topics like introductions, telling the time and more. The videos are brief but feature realistic interactions in culturally relevant settings. Plus, the videos offer subtitling options that include Japanese, romaji and English, making it easy to cater to the needs of your class.
But each video offers so much more than that. You can also access scripts for the video, questions about the video, a list of key phrases, a vocabulary list and quizzes and activities. So while each video may only take a few minutes, the site offers enough supporting material to take up a whole class session if you want.
Brought to you by the Japan Foundation, the same awesome people who gave you Erin’s Challenge, Classroom Resources offers up tons of unique ideas, activities and lessons that you can use in your Japanese classroom
Perhaps best of all, these resources are conveniently organized into three levels: primary, junior secondary and senior secondary. This differentiation will help you find materials that are age and level appropriate. And with nearly 200 lessons, you’ll have plenty to choose from.
Each lesson offers an array of materials, which may include instructions, tips, required materials for activities, printable PDF worksheets and more.
If you don’t want a full lesson but would like some new flashcards, Classroom Resources also offers tons of printable flashcards, covering kanji and vocabulary.
The Japan Foundation is at it again with another great website for Japanese teaching materials!
This website is designed to accompany the Marugoto textbook, which are beginning-level textbooks. However, while it may be intended to accompany the book, there are plenty of great resources teachers can use without actually using the textbooks, too.
Just select the appropriate level to view associated resources. Available materials can include videos, dialogues, activities, grammar lessons, vocabulary lists, culture lessons, dialogues and more. Basically, Marugoto is like a self-contained course you can access for free online or pair with the textbook for more well-rounded instruction.
Meguro Language Center (MLC) is a Japanese language school in Tokyo, but you don’t have to travel to Tokyo to enjoy some of what it has to offer.
That’s because MLC offers free study materials online. Since the material is printable, its perfect for Japanese teachers. You might share worksheets or even post printouts on your walls.
Printable files cover topics like hiragana, katakana, kanji, verb forms, vocabulary, dialogues and more. You can find an assortment of different material, including practice worksheets, grammar explanations and vocabulary lists.
If your class has access to a computer lab, you might also try out MLC’s quizzes and/or audio dialogues.
If you are looking to teach your students about Japanese culture, Web Japan can be your go-to source for materials.
Web Japan offers videos that cover Japanese trends, culture and news. Plus, these videos are available in English or Japanese, allowing you to select which is best for your class’s current skill level.
Web Japan also offers printable fact sheets that you can use to teach your class about Japanese geography, education, religion, sports and more.
If that’s not enough for you, Web Japan even provides a printable web magazine full of articles about Japan.
Kids Web Japan
Maybe you want your class to learn about Japan through English-language resources, but maybe you want them to learn about Japan while reading Japanese. Regardless of your preference, Kids Web Japan is a great website to meet your needs if you’re teaching young learners.
Available in both English and Japanese, Kids Web Japan offers articles about news, culture, folklore, cooking and more. The site even features some basic lessons in the Japanese language. While the format isn’t easy to print, Kids Web Japan might be the perfect resource to use the next time you’re in the computer lab, or you can assign your class articles to read outside of class.
And if you want even more material for your students to use the next time they are on a computer or device, Kids Web Japan also has fun quizzes and games to help students practice things like Japanese gestures and how to drink miso soup.
Embassy of Japan
The Embassy of Japan wants your students to have top-notch learning materials, too! Through series called “Teaching Tuesday” and “Wednesday Wisdom,” the embassy has provided hundreds of printable PDFs that teachers can use with their classes.
While there is not new material every week, the embassy has been putting material out since 2014, so there’s plenty available in its archives.
And the materials cover a nice array of different topics, including kanji, history, special events and culture. Best of all, much of the vocabulary introduced is included alongside a cultural lesson, helping students put vocabulary in context and learn language and culture simultaneously.
You don’t have to spend hours upon hours of precious time putting together your own original Japanese teaching materials. If your classroom needs a little boost, just check out these seven unbeatable online resources for Japanese teaching materials.
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