1 Revise the names of the countries from the Talk Japanese book and extend vocabulary by selecting a few other countries and one or two major towns from all the countries. Write them on the board or OHP and use with the whole group to practise pronunciation.
2 Ask everyone to choose one of the towns as their home town but not to reveal which one.
3 Explain that, working in pairs, A will guess Bs nationality (according to the town chosen) then they reverse roles and B starts the conversation.
Conversations start with (nationality) desu ka - the nationality being chosen at random then develop along the following lines.
4 When the nationalities/towns of each pair have been established, everyone circulates to find the nationality of any three other people in the same way, then report their findings back to their original partner, e.g. Richard-san wa furansu-jin desu.
Alternatively, everyone can be asked to give the nationality and home town of their partner to the whole group.
1 Divide the class into groups and give everyone a role card. Ask them to assume that role and to imagine that, while they are waiting in a queue, they start chatting to the people next to them.
2 Their objective is to exchange names and information on nationality, home town and occupation. Allow a few minutes preparation time to work out the questions they might ask.
3 As they start talking, encourage them also to greet each other and to say goodbye.
4 A potential follow-up activity could be for people to work in pairs and write a complete conversation using their two role cards as cues.
1 Prepare for the activity by asking your class to work in pairs to practise the numbers. A shows a number using his/her hands and B says that number as quickly as possible. Repeat ten times then change roles.
2 Highlight the question Denwa bang wa nan-ban desu ka.
3 Explain that the aim is to compile a list of everyones telephone numbers - but make it clear that anyone who prefers not to circulate their number should simply invent one.
4 Ask everyone to circulate and ask the others individually for their phone number, repeating the question each time, prefaced by Shitsurei desu ga, and saying thank you when they have the number.
5 They write down the number they are given. If necessary, it can be repeated for confirmation.
6 At the end of the activity, check the numbers are correct by asking everyone for his/her number and writing them on the board.
With a large class this activity can be done in groups of five or six instead of the whole class and the check reduced to one or two per group.
To encourage strong group dynamics, you can collate the telephone numbers, distribute them to all the class members and then suggest that learners contact each other if they are unsure of things like homework, class times, vocabulary etc., or simply to chat about the lesson and to have an extra opportunity of practising their Japanese.
Individual completed list of phone numbers can be used as portfolio evidence of competence.