Immigration Game

Students use "How long have you. . . " to try and make it through immigration.

Goal: To get the most amount of people past immigration in a short period of time

Materials: Dice, Shallow box (to keep dice from falling), Origami hat (optional)

Push all desks except for 5-6 to the side of the classroom
Split the students up into teams of 5-6ish
Have students play rock, scissors, paper to decide who sits at the desk first
Students make a line in front of their team member

Students will have 3 minutes to get as many people past the officer as possible.
The officer will ask the first student in line “How long have you lived in Japan?”.

The student will roll the dice and say “For (dice #) years.”
The officer will roll the dice. If the numbers are the same they will say “Welcome to Japan!” and the student will stand behind them. If the numbers aren’t the same, the officer will say “No.” and the student will go to the back of the line to try again.
After the 3 minutes is up count the number of students standing behind the officer. The row with the most students wins.
Switch the officers with a student and play again, this time changing the question to something like “How long have you studied English?” or something.

My goal for this activity is to get them used to the phrase “How long have you…” and how to answer as well as to give them a healthy fear of immigration officials and procedures.

You may want to add more desks than there are rows and split the teams up smaller so each student gets more chances.

Submitted by KeiT04 June 13, 2023 Estimated time: 15-40 minutes
  1. KeiT04 June 13, 2023

    I made origami hats and wrote "JAPAN" on them and drew a little Japanese flag for the immigration officers to add a little to the activity.

  2. ArianneO June 14, 2023

    Interesting idea!

    Also, "to give them a healthy fear of immigration officials and procedures" gave me a chuckle.

  3. jiggswalsh June 19, 2023

    I like this. Perhaps after they have had more time to practice the present perfect you could do it again. If you elicited "very Japanese things" from the class, then made questions from them you could get some very interesting and memorable questions. Then if you get them to ask 3 questions (and janken after each) it could become a practice exercise. You gotta beat the immigration officer 3 times to get in! I think I would do it that way (as a 10-15 minute warm-up). You tagged the activity "past perfect continous". It should be "present perfect" right?

  4. KeiT04 June 19, 2023

    @jiggswalsh Good catch. It is present perfect.

  5. connichiwow May 20, 2024

    Hi! Just wanted to thank you for this activity, it was so fun today in class! We made groups of 4 members each, and 4 Rounds with a different question each round. So all 4 members got a turn in being the immigration officer. I also had them decide on the place/subject/animal/adjective for their group to use in the sentences. Got some interesting ones: How long have you lived in Hato's house? How long have you had an elephant? How love have you been crazy? Thanks again!

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