A vocab centered listening game played in groups. A word is called out, and students slap that card.

Materials Needed

  • Cards with the target vocabulary. All the cards in one deck should be unique. You will need one deck per group.


This is a very simple game, that almost all students will already know, and any teacher you are teaching with should know as well.


You will be dividing the class into groups of 3-6. Lunch groups should work fine. Before starting, calculate the number of groups you will have.

Create a set of cards with the target vocabulary. The cards can feature the word written in English, a picture, the Japanese, or whatever you like as long as the contents of the cards corresponds to the words you want to teach/review.

Print up and cut a deck for every group of students there will be.


Divide the class into groups of 3-6 students. Have the groups put their desks together, or have them sit on the floor in a circle.

Give each group a deck of cards, and have them spread the cards out, face up.

Announce a card. You may do this in English, Japanese, or simply hint at the card depending on the ability of the students. The first student to slap that card gets to keep it. The student with the most cards wins.


Often this game is a fairly “one way” activity, but it doesn't have to be. For example, if you are doing a lesson on time, you may have a number of cards with clock faces on them that display different times. Instead of just announcing “Three o'clock,” and having the students hit that card, you can have all the students shout “what time is it?” and then reply to them with “It's three o'clock”


Depending on the students, and the JTE, there will be different rules regarding "otetsuki" (students who slap cards different from the one that was called out). Before starting the game, it might be prudent to clarify what the policy is. You can play with a "it's okay as long as it's within reason" rule, or you may want to go with "if you hit the wrong card, you have to sit out next round."

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