This year I’m taking a trip back in time to Japan with my A-Z of Japan series, so it’s the perfect time to introduce you to some flashcards the children have been using to learn a few words of Japanese. Language flashcards do take me back to teaching English in Japan…and now I’m teaching Japanese in the UK.
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We received a box from Tuttle Publishing of Let’s Learn Japanese Flashcards which contained:
- 64 Flashcards
- Audio CD
- Wall chart
- Learning Guide
The kit is aimed at children from the ages of 4 and up; which seems right on track, and it can be used either for individual lessons or for groups, which makes this a very flexible option for everyone.
The front of each flashcard has an illustration on it of the target vocabulary word, along with the name of the object – both in romanji (English) and in Japanese. The cards are also split into ‘topics’ which are colour-coded at the top of each card.
What if I don’t speak Japanese?
Don’t worry! This kit is aimed at kids, but us parents can also learn, too! Although I spent almost 2 years in Japan, I am embarrassed to say that I don’t know very much Japanese at all, for various reasons. But I’m still very determined that I WILL learn it! So the kids and I are learning together, which makes it fun for us all.
The back of each flash card gives the Japanese spelling, Romanji spelling, and English spelling as well for each word. You’ll also find some additional information about how to use the word in context. Check out this example of san, the number 3:
The audio CD will give you the right pronunciation, and the booklet will guide you along. You’ll also find some additional vocabulary in the booklet for words such as, yes, no, hello, how are you, etc.
Interested in learning Japanese? Why not check out our collection of Japanese language resources.
There are some songs on the CD, with the words (in English, Romanji, and Japanese) in the booklet. My children most enjoy If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands; most likely because it’s the most recognisable to them-but of course, it’s always very fun,; especially if you swap out the vocab for other body parts!
Making Japanese flashcards fun:
There are instructions for a few games, and I loved seeing Ohashi (chopsticks) in the booklet. I vividly remember my students playing this in the hallway before class, and trying to teach me how to play. We’re still trying to get going with it smoothly, but it’s a great 2-player game, and will help reinforce numbers. The photo below is their first time trying Ohashi.
There are also instructions on how to play Fukuwarai (New Year’s Blindfold Game); and it goes perfectly with a fun face set Mom made almost 40 years ago (Speaking of 4 decades; I’ve just discovered a fun connection between my family and Tuttle…but I’ll share that with you on another day)! We also use the pieces while not blindfolded to learn the body parts; I lay out the pieces, say a name, then the kids repeat the name 3 times very fast and loud, then race across the room to pick up the correct piece and put it on their face. This is a version of how I taught some lessons in Japan (but my kids drew the parts on a whiteboard face). I’ve been waiting years to do these fun games with Tristan and Kallista….and it was worth the wait, it’s so much FUN when things all come together like this!
There are other ideas for games…but I have to leave something a mystery for you!
If you’re interested in purchasing this set or other Japanese books by Tuttle, here are some Amazon links for you: