Class Ideas

Let's think about the merits and drawbacks of mobile phones(For Senior)

Author:Nishimura-Parke, Yoko (Senior Learning Design Officer, Learning Design and Services Centre for Learning Innovation, NSW, Australia)

Topic/Goals:Communication、Comparison、Self, Family, and Friends、Social Life、Technology


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Reading the text, What we have lost", students explore the relationship young Japanese people have with their mobile phones. Activities include: research etiquette in Japan, compare how people use mobile phones, conduct class survey and so on. Make a connection with the topic by brainstorming before reading the interview. Students study the interviewees' opinions about usage, handy functions, and drawbacks of mobile phones. Then give their own opinions. Through studying this interview, students are encouraged to think and discuss about etiquette, and safety issues of using mobile phones as their prime concern.


・Deduce and learn the expressions used in the interview by completing the activities.
・ Identify the result of class survey on popular functions of mobile phones and compare with the information in the interview.
・ Summarise and evaluate the research result on mobile phone etiquette for discussion.
・ Identify the interviewees' opinions about disadvantage and dependence on mobile phone and develop your own opinion.
・Identify the usage of abbriviated Katakana words.

Target Senior
Japanese Level Basic-intermediate
What to prepare

The beginner level version of “What We Have Gained, What We Have Lost”
(Word format) / (PDF format)


  1. In pairs, students answer the following questions in English or in Japanese.
    1. When did you start using mobile phone? / いつからケータイを持っていますか。
    2. How much do you spend on mobile phone? / 1ヵ月にいくらぐらい使いますか。
    3. Who pays your mobile phone bill? / だれがはらいますか。
  2. Distribute "What We Have Gained, What We Have Lost." Compare your answer with the answers of Izuho, Akane and Lisa.
    (Refer to the data shown on “What We Have Gained, What We Have Lost.”)
    1. Who started using it earliest?
    2. What was the reason of having a mobile phone?
    3. Who spends most?
  3. Brain storming/discussion in English.
    1. Do you carry your mobile phone all the time?
    2. What function do you use most?
    3. What is the drawback of mobile phone?
    4. What would you do if you can't use mobile phones?
  4. Divide the class into three groups. Each group reads one section.
    Report their findings to the class in English.
    Students could read the whole interview individually or in pairs.
  5. Students answer the following questions and participate in discussion, survey or research, which follow the questions.
    • Question 1
      1-a: Complete each sentence with the most appropriate words or phrase from the below box.
      • いずほくんは、____ケータイを持っています。______持って入ります。
      • あかねさんは、___学校に持って行きますが、_______使いません。
      • リサさんは、___学校に持って行きますが、いつも_________ような生活は好きじゃありません。
      いつも  おふろにも  電話したり音楽を聞いたりするのが好き
      毎日  ほうかごまで  時々  電話でだれかにつかまる
    • 1-b: Discussion
      • Do you know anyone who takes their mobile phone when they take a bath?
      • What do you think about taking your mobile phone to the bath?
    • Question 2
      2-a: Complete the table with the functions, in Japanese and in English, mentioned by Izuho, Akane and Lisa.

      Student's name Japanese English
      eg いずほ メール Email/SMS





    • 2-b: Survey your classmates: Which function of your mobile phone do you use often?
      よく使う ケータイの 機能(きのう)は何ですか?
      Show the class result in a bar graph.
      Which function is most popular among your classmates?
    • 2-c: Compare the functions you use and the functions Japanese students use.
      Do you see any difference? If so, think of reasons for the difference.
      (Refer to the data shown on “Most Often-used Cell Phone Functions "of the section": Enjoying the Cell Phone.”)
      Note Note:
      With mobile phones, メール refers to both emails and SMS (short message service, also known as texting). Emails are more popular as SMS has restriction such as length of messages, attachments, and use between different phone companies.
    • Question 3
    • 3-a: What kind of behaviour does Lisa dislike? Do you agree?
    • 3-b: What does Akane point out?
    • 3-c: Explain Izuho’s dilemma.
    • 3-d: What does Akane think dangerous of using mobile phones? Do you agree?
    • 3-e: What happened to Izuho’s friend? Discuss how you can prevent this happen?What could you do if it happens to you?
    • Question 4
    • 4-a: What would you do if you don’t have mobile phones?
      What do Izuho, Akane and Lisa say? Answer in English.
      Izuho says:_________________________________________________
      Akane says:________________________________________________
      Lisa says:__________________________________________________
    • 4-b: Who do you empathize most?
    • Question 5
    • 5-a: Discuss the merit of not having a mobile phone.
    • 5-b: Summarise Izuho, Akane and Lisa’s opinion in the "Enjoying the Cell Phone" section in English.
    • Question 6
    • 5-a: Make a list of the Katakana words you find in the interview.
      Write the meaning in English too. Then, highlight the abbriviated Katakana words.
    • 5-b: Add other abbriviated Katakana words you know in your list. Discuss with class.

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