1. Years 9-10
  2. Japanese
  3. Activities
  4. Letter to a Penfriend
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Letter to a Penfriend

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 5 (end of Year 10)
Grade A Lou  
Grade B Ashley   Pat   Cam  
Grade C Sam   Kim  
Grade D Lee  

Description of activity

Students will write a letter to an imaginary penfriend in Japan about their summer holiday activities. The letter should follow these guidelines:

  • Include the date, the name of the addressee and their own name at the end
  • Use appropriate starting and ending phrases, and include a detailed message in between
  • Use genkōyōshi correctly
  • Structure paragraphs as appropriate for English
  • Add details to the activities (eg I went to see a movie. The name of the movie was….). Use as many kanji as possible. Check the stroke order and shape of the kanji.
  • Write about a page of genkōyōshi.


This activity occurs towards the end of a unit of work about holidays. Students have learnt vocabulary and structures relating to going places, participating in holiday activities and giving opinions. They have engaged in a range of learning activities to consolidate new vocabulary and structures. They will now write a letter to a Japanese penfriend about their summer holidays.


  • 5.UL.4 A student experiments with linguistic patterns and structures in Japanese to convey information and to express own ideas.
  • 5.MLC.2 A student uses linguistic resources to support the study and production of texts in Japanese.
  • 5.MBC.1 A student explores the interdependence of language and culture in a range of texts and contexts.

Criteria for assessing learning

(These criteria would normally be communicated to students with the activity.)

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • convey information and express own ideas by selecting and incorporating particular linguistic structures for a specific purpose and context
  • demonstrate effective communication in clear and cohesive text by
    • making linguistic choices to enhance intended meaning
    • applying grammatical rules and conventions consistently
  • apply knowledge of the conventions of the writing system by writing kanji, hiragana and katakana in the appropriate context
  • apply appropriate conventions of letter writing
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