I have tought English in Japan for two years now. I encountered the phrase “High Touch!” early on and even adopted it for a while when I was met with more than one blank stare at the request of a “High Five!” However, I’ve reverted back to the old form recently because I’ve discovered that using the phrase “High Five!” is an interesting topic as well as a easy way to initiate conversations with students. Once I got them with the old “High Five !” routine, I can continue talking about handshakes or try out some other conversation threads.
So, the next time you get a chance, go up to one of your students and say, “High Five!” and when they do you can ask them, “Hey, do you know why we call them that???”
Then you can go on to tell them about “low fives”, “skin” (if you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Stand by Me’ you’ll know it), “taps” and any other funny handshakes you know. You might even be able to give them a crash tutorial on giving a proper handshake.
It may be an old trick or new, but it is a great way to connect with students, share culture, and start a conversation. All your students will say “You had me at ‘High Five!”.