1. Basic English reading books with pictures
2. Dictionary and thesaurus
3. Pictures of your family, friends, house, school, hometown
4. Things from your hometown, area, state, country:
-postcards, maps, atlas5. Seasonal Items:
-stamps, coins, flags, anything representing your country
-slides, videos (British and Australian videos are not compatible with Japanese VCRs, but they can be transferred to the Japanese format at the International Center free of charge. US videos are compatible with the Japanese system.)
-Objects, stories, local products, famous or historic places, local handicrafts, traditional songs, dances, costumes, etc. The state tourism department at home or the embassy or consulate in Japan may be able to provide you with some information & resource materials.
-Easter egg coloring kits6. Magazines: music, fashion, entertainment
-Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine, Easter greeting cards
-Items pertaining to festivals specific to your country
7. Pictures of food: traditional dishes (Black Forest cake, French toast, Yorkshire pudding), Italian food, Mexican food and recipes.
8. Toys which could be of interest: puppets, games, quizzes, dolls in traditional costume, etc.
9. Music: pop, folk, traditional
tunes, children's songs, nursery rhymes, Christmas carols, songbooks
10. Pen pal organizations
Remember, these are just suggested items which could help you in the classroom or even to break the ice in the office. Some JETs have not felt the need to use any of the above. You will be given loads of information on teaching materials and techniques during the Tokyo Orientation, so don't weigh yourself down with text books. Embassies, national tourist boards and various associations such as the Australian Japan Foundation, the British Tokyo Club and the Fukuoka American Center will send out free information upon request. The latter three organizations also have book and/or video libraries. So don't worry about stuffing every pamphlet into that bulging suitcase!
The materials you will get from JET include and ALT Handbook and a Resource Materials Handbook. Both are guides to orient you to the joys and potential pitfalls of teaching in Japanese schools. The Resource Materials Handbook is full of games, exercises and clip art to make teaching easier. You won't be totally on your own!