This is a great way to get students reading new words and understanding their meaning. Begin by placing the same number of slips of paper as you have students in your world language class side by side on a table in front of you. On the first slip write the word for “start” in the target language. On the back of the slip of paper, write a new vocabulary word that the class has been familiar with for a few class periods. On the next slip of paper write the English translation of the vocabulary word. On the back of that slip, write another new vocabulary word in the target language. On the next slip, write the English translation of the word with another target language word on the back of that sheet. Continue with these words on both sides of the slips of paper until there are enough for all of the students in the class. Write “end” in the target language on the back of the last slip of paper.
In class, give a slip of paper to each student in the class. The student with the word “start” begins by saying his or her target-language word and the student who has the translation says the meaning in English, then turns his or her paper over and says the target-language word. The student the translation of that word then turns the paper over and says the target language word. The class continues until the student with the word “end” says “end”. Time the class and try to have them beat their time by repeating the activity. Have students exchange slips of paper to change the order and to expose them to other words. If a student is absent be sure to give two slips to another student so that the process continues.
This can also be done with verb tenses. Write a subject and verb on the card and the verb in a the chosen-tense on the other card. If the class has done a number of tenses, you can write a subject and verb along with one of the tenses (i.e. yo/comer/imperfecto or io/mangaiare/pasato remoto). Try using adjectives as well, with a noun and an adjective (des chats/noir) and write the correct form of the adjective on another sheet).
Another variation is to have students put themselves in the correct order without speaking.