Created: 2016-03-24

Activity Planning

Akita JET Wiki - Made by the Akita JET ALTs. It has many useful resources for all levels of English.
Englipedia - Lots of activity plans for every grammar point in every text book. It can be hit or miss sometimes, but it’s often a good way of jump starting your brain for ideas.

I bookmarked these because they looked useful. However, I have never used them before so I don’t know if they will help.
Skype in the Classroom - Specifically, Mystery Skype. That activity has been done at the English Camps here in Akita and can be very fun.
Niigata JET Wiki - Made by the Niigata JET ALTs.
Postcrossing - It’s a project that allows anyone to receive postcards (real ones, not electronic) from random places in the world. I always wanted to try it but never found a chance to.
Free Printable Worksheets

Spaced Repetition Learning

First, read the Wikipedia page for Spaced Repetition Learning. Once you have a good idea of what it is, these tools can help students study.
AnkiSRS - Flash card program that uses spaced repetition. Very highly recommended in foreign language learner circles.
Memrise - A useful website for creating more class based materials around spaced repetition. It’s supposed to have a fun element to it too.

Fun Stuff

Highlights Magazine is a children’s magazine that I loved reading as a kid. They have an official website where you can print out games, stories, and other things to use in the classroom. Students can also play games on the Highlights Kids website.
Highlights Hidden Pictures - A fun “find these hidden things in the picture” game.
Highlights Teachers Toolbox - Hidden Pictures, arts and crafts, stories, puzzles, rebuses, and other fun things that you can use in the classroom.

National Geographic Magazine has a website where you can print articles, wildlife pictures, and even play some games.
National Geographic
National Geographic Kids

Comics, in particular newspaper comics, are a great way to get students more interested in English. Some are even popular in Japan.
Peanuts - Snoopy is super popular in Japan. You’ll have to pick and choose since the English can be tough in some of these. I suggest using the search function on the website to find comics students can relate to. For example, holiday comics, ones about school, or seasonal changes.

Speed Reading can be tough. It’s already hard enough to just read, but if some of your students are up to the challenge, how about trying to read faster?
spritz - An interesting way to practice speed reading. Take a look at their get spritz page to see the different ways to try it. In particular, the spritzlet bookmarklet makes it easy to use this on any website. It could be really fun if you can do a class in the computer room. There are also mobile apps and websites using it. Definitely worth taking a look at.

Clip Art & Pictures

Need just the right image for your new worksheet? Or for a presentation? These are good places to find non-watermarked, free for educational use clip art.
Art4Apps - Very nicely made clip art all in the same style.
OpenClipArt - The quality can be quite random, but the collection is the most expansive.
Wikipedia Commons - Great source for Creative Commons images.

These are free, but require attribution. For educational purposes, this shouldn’t matter.
Google Images - The filters can be used to great effect to find just the right image. I suggest turning on Safe Search though. - Cutesy clipart that looks quite good.


Typography is very underrated. Using the right font can help make your worksheets easier to read, more fun looking, and can even help students with dyslexia.
Google Fonts - Made by Google for websites, but you can download the fonts too and install them on your computer.
Google Noto Font - Universal font that looks good anywhere. Created by Google and supports a TON of different languages.
OpenDyslexic - A font made specifically to help dyslexic people read more easily.
Dyslexie - Another font made specifically to help dyslexic people read more easily.
Comic Neue - A font based on Comic Sans. It actually looks very nice and is my favorite for using in instructions. The letters resemble handwritten ones but are still neat enough to look good as a computer printed font. Also, research has shown that handwritten style fonts, such as Comic Sans, are easier to read for dyslexic people.
Chalkboard - This is Apple’s rendition of Comic Sans. I personally think this is the best font to use since it perfectly resembles how you are taught to write letters in English. So students won’t get confused and start writing letters with serifs; especially lower case “a”. This is only on OS X, but there are ways to transfer the font and install it on Windows. I won’t explain how to here, but it might be worth the trouble.

English Grammar

Got questions that Google can’t answer? I suggest searching or asking questions at these sites:
English Stack Exchange
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips


Free Phonics Lessons - A good breakdown of the different phonemes in English. Also, lots of word lists. Lots.

Words & Phrases

Word stuck on the tip of your tongue? Can’t find the exact word you’re looking for? These might help.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Big Huge Thesaurus - There’s also a story plot generator in case you need ideas for writing a passage for a test or quiz.
Word Find - Super useful for finding words containing, starting, or ending with certain letters. Or words of a certain length.
Omniglot - List of the most common phrases used in many, many languages.

Note sure how something sounds? Or curious about different accents? Try these:
Forvo - Great website of user submitted recordings of English words from around the world.
Acapela Text-to-Speech - Interesting text-to-speech converter.


It can be tough starting out without knowing Japanese. If you’re in a bind, these may help.
Google Translate - Did you know the mobile app lets you scan for words using your phone’s camera? It works surprisingly well.
Jisho - Japanese to English dictionary. It can also do handwritten kanji.
kanji.sljfaq - A good handwritten kanji recognition program. Works well even if you use your mouse to draw unreadable kanji.
English to Katakana Converter
Tangorin - Japanese to English dictionary. Very good for looking up readings for Japanese names.

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