Gestures

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Name of Teacher: Katie Young
Class/Grade/Language Level: Adult Eikaiwa
Textbook and specific lesson: Gesture
Goal: To have a fun cultural lesson on Western gestures and practice using gestures expressively in conversation.
Preparation: Worksheet
Class time: 60 minutes +

Lesson Plan:

10 - 15 min Do a warm up of choice or can do short discussion asking students to share how their day was or any exciting news, etc.

10 min Introduce the topic of gestures by doing a short one minute skit in English and Japanese. For the English skit, make sure to emphasize the gestures. After the skit ask the students how the communication styles of the English skit and Japanese skits are different. Then lead into a discussion about differences in gestures of Japanese and Westerners.

10 - 15 min Next ask students if they can guess when to shake hands, hug, or kiss (on the lips or cheek) during these situations. (There will be more than one answer depending on the culture of your area.) Hearing the responses will be fun! Then can discuss what is usually done in Japan.

a. celebrate New Year               f. acknowledge good work
b. greet someone                    g. say thanks for a good game
c. end a fight or conflict          h. show someone you love them
d. show friendship                  i. welcome someone home
e. congratulate someone


30 - 40 min Next activity is a skit. Have the students find a partner to perform the below skit. They have to perform the skit using as many (natural) gestures as possible. This is to encourage speaking English with more feeling and to let their bodies show more expression. Everyone can relate to the frustration brought by a rejected credit card at the cashier, right? Ad-libbing is highly encouraged! If the students seem too shy, demonstrate it with someone and don’t afraid to be over-the-top and silly. Your energy will be contagious.

A: The total for all these items comes to $36.78
B: All right. Here’s my VISA.
A: Hmm. There is something wrong with your card. 
B: What’s going on?
A: Your card was declined.
B: That can’t be right!
A: Would you like to try another card?
B: I don’t have another one.
A: What about cash?
B: I didn’t bring cash with me today.
A: I’m sorry. You can’t take the items until you can buy them.
B: I’ll come back for them tomorrow. 

10 min ~ End of Class Discuss how great the skits were and ask your students if they feel a bit more comfortable using their bodies more expressively.

Feedback and Notes: I have very shy students so this lesson helped everyone loosen up. Even the shiest of my students made attempts to do lively gestures. It was really funny to watch the skits. I was not concerned too much with the number of gestures. I was only concerned with the students speaking with feeling and making natural gestures to emphasize their language.

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