There are many reasons for learning English, or any other language: to travel, to get a job, to listen to music, read books or watch films. In Japan today many people want to learn English so they can participate more fully in global society, economy, and culture. This is all good. At a deeper level, learning a new language gives you the chance to make a new identity, a chance to recreate yourself. It can give you more freedom to be what you dream of being and to find others who share your dreams.
Games are fun, challenging, active, interesting. Games are often creative and physical. Games are good for communication and body language. In games we play, learn, share, and create. We make jokes and play characters. Using English is these ways is a great way to practice and learn. Games give us simple rules that help everyone participate and play. In games we are all equal. We can play various roles. Games can help us feel free.
About the Author
I have taught English for many years, in New York City, USA and in Tokyo, Japan. I have learned from experience that the most important thing is to "feel free."
Joker draws a series of images to tell a story or describe a situation.
Players write the story as they understand.
Compare results then compare to joker's explanation.
Listeners keep track of what they knew before, what they did not know before, and what they want to know more about as they listen to a presentation.
A circle game like Me --> You, but in this variation the initiating player addresses a comment or greeting or question to the other person, who replies, then greets another.
A writing activity in which people are asked to describe a memory in terms of the five senses.
A volunteer describes an incident they experienced -- something embarrassing, funny, puzzling, etc. -- to the whole group. The joker asks questions to clarify details and verify understanding. Then, the joker asks for volunteers to enact the scene. They are free to improvise in any way they like.
The "fist to five" technique for voting or consensus decision-making (see "Dedocracia" can be used for rapid, on the fly, evaluation. It gives people an easy way to practice an important technique for democratic decision-making and the experience of expressing their judgment in a group context. For the facilitator(s) and the group, it provides important information about the usefulness of the techniques being used.