Jul 20, 2019
Anything that requires creativity is quite intimidating for me. Needless to say, that includes English Boards.
Back in April, I started my ALT job in Japan. I was a bit bummed by the dryness of class, and the lack of decorations in the classroom. Although it was a scary endeavor, I decided to make an English board, or rather wall in my case. (My junior high school has an English room, so I have the freedom to decorate the entire back wall.) I wanted to do something to help get the kids more interested in English.
I started by trying to search online for examples, but I was unable to find many examples that I liked, or a guide. So here is mine!
Here is a piece of my wall that I made for the Fourth of July!
1. Decide on your theme
This is the most important step and I recommend that you talk to your JTE about it. My JTE wanted information about the 3 ALTs at my school on the back. So that is what I went with. I also decided that I wanted to make space for a tongue twister. Additionally, I am putting some information about holidays on one of the side walls.
2. Print Pictures and Writing
Unless you have super good drawing skills and neat handwriting, I recommend printing everything. Be sure that your font doesn’t use the fancy “a”s. Make sure you take your students level of English into consideration. (If you want to use a difficult word, I suggest making a little hint to the side, or writing the katakana pronunciation above it.)
I think hint flaps are just the cutest things! Plus the students love having something they can touch!
3. Just get started
It doesn’t matter if you can only put a little up at a time. I actually prefer doing mine that way. Each day when my students come into class, they have one or two things that they can take a look at. My JTE actually has them read it out loud together at the beginning of class. Plus, I can add more advanced grammar as the year goes on.
Don’t worry if you are not the most artistic person ever. My trick is to print everything out, use a paper cutter, and glue everything on top of colored squares. It makes everything look fancy, and it is not super difficult!
I hope these tips help. My board is still a work in progress, but I hope it has given you some ideas and insight. (As a side note, my English room is only used for 1st years, so I target their language level.)
Teacher, Traveler, Dancer -
Currently living in Gifu -
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!