Patrick Alexander's Personal Internet

Lesson materials for English teachers in Japan

This Die Hard lesson is really, really popular

I never got around to posting about this, here on my main website!

For two years, from 2013 to 2015, I worked as an ALT (assistant language teacher) at a senior high school in Utsunomiya, Japan. During that time, I put a lot of extra hours into creating illustrated worksheets, games, and other lesson materials for my classes. I shared some with other teachers and got some enthusiastic feedback, so I started compiling and formatting the materials into PDFs, with full instructions so that any teacher could download and use them.

Those PDFs can be found here, at Patrick-sensei’s gumroad store!

(At the time of writing, there are still some materials yet to be formatted and uploaded. I’ve been busy!)

These lesson materials represent two years of my work as a cartoonist and creator, and include some of the best and most worthwhile illustration I’ve ever done. I even made a board game! So even though it’s not comics, I’d encourage you to take a look, if you follow my work. I feel like this is my humble equivalent of Will Eisner’s army manuals — those actually useful things he made, in between The Spirit and helping to invent the graphic novel.

And along with creating lesson materials, it was also a part of my job to do… The Morning Speech. (Again: Volume 2 yet to come!)

2 Comments

  1. Rhiannon says:

    This message of gratitude is way, way, way overdue!

    A couple years ago a fellow ALT introduced me to your work. I work at a Technical High School in southern Japan and your lesson materials have been a godsend! The students love your worksheet designs/characters, so that has helped to keep classes running smoothly as they are engaged with the work.

    Over the last couple years, I have used the Introduction worksheets for my self-introduction and follow up class of getting to know the students. The speed interview has gone so well that I have now incorporated it into the students yearly curriculum by using it as a speaking test. The 1st-years complete the questions you provided 3-4 times in a year, and from this year I have created new questions (level up) for the 2nd and 3rd-year students. I even run inter-class competitions by providing a prize to every student in the class which can raise their class average the most. It has been a lot of fun and is such a great way to encourage speaking!

    Last year I also used your Die Hard activity as the final lessons for the graduating 3rd-year classes. It was a bit of a challenge for some of them but they had a lot of fun, and it was a good reminder for them to keep practicing the foundation grammar they had learnt over the years.

    Anyways, I could probably go on and on about how much I love all of your activities but I’ll stop here… I hope you continue to publish ESL materials on here. I’ll be keeping an eye out for them :)

    Thank you for making my job a tonne of fun and much easier than it could be!

    1. Patrick says:

      Thank you so much for the feedback! It sounds like you use my materials even more effectively than I did, which is great! In the classroom, I was an OK teacher, but not the best, which is why I love to hear how other teachers use my worksheets etc. and the response they get from their students.

      I’m not creating new materials anymore, but I do still have a small pile of existing materials that need to be formatted and added to the gumroad shop. It’s been on my ‘to do’ list for a long, long time, I’m afraid, but messages like yours are a good motivator!

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