Source: Gaijin Pot

Unfortunately, summer is over. That means it’s time for students and English teachers to return to the classroom. Heck, teachers working for eikawa (conversation school) may have never even left. Autumn is also considered the next hiring season for schools in Japan, so many teachers meet entirely new classrooms.

Around this time, deciding whether to use Japanese in the classroom is always a tricky decision. Perhaps more so with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic still looming over our shoulders. Teachers want to immerse their students in English, but Japanese comes in handy for new or unruly students.

There are also occasions when teachers might be expected to use Japanese in the classroom to help communicate more effectively or when the learners are too young to be effectively engaged in English.

For these situations, here are some practical Japanese terms and expressions you can use in the classroom.

Taking attendance

Photo: iStock: Xavierarnau
Japanese students in the classroom.

One situation where speaking Japanese is useful is during roll call. It can be an essential part of the job at some schools to record attendance and even make reports about it.

Englisj Japanese Romaji
I’ll be taking attendance first. まず出席(しゅっせき)をとります mazu shusseki wo torimasu
Present 出席


Absent 欠席


Is everybody here? みんないますか

minna imasuka?

Who’s absent today? 今日(きょ)は誰(だれ)がお休(や)みですか? Kyo wa dare ga wo yasumidesu ka?
Every student is in attendance today. 学生全員がくせいぜんいんが出席しゅっせきしました gakusei zenin ga shusseki wo torimashita
She is absent from school. 彼女(かのじょ)は学校(がっこう)を欠席(けっせき)しました kanojou ha gakkou wo kesseki shimashita
That student is absent due to an illness. 生徒(せいと)は病気(びょうき)のため欠席(けっせき)しました seito ha byouki notameni kesseki shimashita

Classroom order and discipline

Photo: iStock: D76MasahiroIKEDA
Kao wo age nasai.: “Show me your face.”

In Japanese, there are many ways to tell someone to be quiet. Not surprisingly, …continue reading