Tag Archives: Speaking

Find your Match-Speaking Activity to Practice Foreign Language Vocabulary

This is a great well to keep students in the target language while they focus on a particular vocabulary theme.  The example below using clothing.  Give slip of paper to each student with pictures of five articles of clothing.  There are 6 six pairs total.  In the example below the slips on the left are paired with slips on the right.

Students circulate in the classroom and ask each other which clothing they have (they should not look at others’ answers or show theirs).  The entire activity should take place in the target language.  The objective is to find the other person who has the exact match.  If there are more than 12 students in the class, photocopy additional slips and students need to find their group of 3 or 4 that all match.  If there is an odd number of students in the class, be sure to give a slip that matches a group.

The first group to pair up without speaking English or looking at each other’s slip wins the round.  Students can then exchange slips and play a second and third time. Before playing, review the vocabulary that students will need.

These activities can be made in a WORD document by cutting and pasting images, or you can download the activities that are already made here:

Verb Tense Writing or Speaking Activity

This is a great interactive writing or speaking activity for students.  Students throw a die three times and write a sentence based on the number sequence (or they can throw three dice at once and line them up). Each number corresponds to picture of a  subject pronoun, verb and verb tense.  Students write the sentence or say it out loud.  This is a great way to get students writing without translating. Subjects and verbs can also be easily written on the board and numbered 1-6 along with various verb tenses as well.  This is a grid that I use with students.

Setting Goals in the Foreign Language Classroom

Update on this Post: I recently wrote a follow up to this goal setting post that focuses on setting proficiency goals using the ACTFL Proficiency Scale and the Can-Do Statements.  You can read it HERE.

Goal Setting in the Foreign (World) Language Classroom. (French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.comAs teachers we all understand the importance of setting goals and having students set goals for themselves.   Since the study of a foreign language (particularly for students beginning a language in middle school, high school or in college) is a new undertaking and and students generally have little or no previous experience, I find it very important to give them clear guidance as they set personal goals for learning a foreign language.  Students may set goals that are clearly too difficult to reach or goals that they will reach in two days.  Clear guidance from the teacher can help students to understand what attainable goals can look like in the world language classroom.  Here is an example of what I ask students to do when they begin setting goals for themselves.  I have them revisit each term and asses where they are in terms of reaching their goals.

  • As you look forward to the year ahead in, what do you hope to accomplish?  What are some areas of language or culture that you want to know more about?  What can you do to make sure that you are able to accomplish these goals?
  • Consider the many aspects of learning a foreign language as you create some goals for yourself this year.  Here are some ideas to consider: Speaking, Pronunciation, Understanding , Writing , Familiarity with Cultures, Vocabulary, Grammar.
  • Consider where your skill/confidence level in these areas is now and where you would like to be at the end of this school year.  Remember this about setting SMART goals.  Goals should be:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

  • Take some time to write down what you hope to accomplish this year and how you plan to go about it.

You can download goal setting sheets for foreign language students HERE.

Who is it? Speaking Activity for the Foreign Language Classroom

Who is it? Foreign (World) Language Speaking Activity. (French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpres.comThis game  motivates students to speak and to recall vocabulary.  Any type of thematic vocabulary can be used.

The Set -Up: Lay out abut 5 or 6 index cards or slips if paper.  Choose three vocabulary themes (numbers, colors, family, professions, verbs, etc.).  Choose one word and write it on half of the cards.  Choose another word and write it on the rest of the cards.  Do the same thing for the two remaining vocabulary themes.  Each card should have three words.  Make sure that no two cards have the same three words.

The Activity: Hand the cards out to students and have those students go to the front of the room.  Tell the rest of the students (and write on the board) all of the words that are written on the cards.  The teacher chooses one of the cards in advance and it is the class’s task to figure out who has the card by asking questions of each person who is holding a card.  They need to keep track of the information that they learn and make a guess when they think that they figured out the right person.

Keep it Communicative: Write digits,  draw lines in color, draw (print out) pictures, etc. for the cards so that students must use their own language to play the game rather than simply reading words.  Use these for the students who are asking the questions as well.

There are many variation for this activity, including more advanced questions using various tenses (the card may say “to eat-preterit” and the question would be “did you eat?”).  This can also be used several times in the same class, just switch the students and choose another card.

Foreign Language Speaking Activities Using Pictures and Photos

An effective way of getting students speaking is to have them describe a picture or photo, but this can a get a little old after a few times.  There are many paired and group activities that students can do with an image beyond a simple description.

Foreign Language Speaking Activities Using Pictures and Photos (French, Spanish) www.wlclassroom.com

I compiled 50 speaking activities using images and photos in the foreign language classroom.  Two of them are are:

  • One student orally describes a picture to a second student who then draws a copy of it.
  • One student orally describes a picture to another student who then is given a choice of pictures and must choose the one described.

You can download the entire document with all 50 ideas by clicking the box below.

These are fairly low-prep activities.  All the teacher really needs to do is find pictures (easily done on the Internet) that represent the vocabulary or topics. Why not involve students in process as well?

 

Writing Activities that Facilitate Foreign Language Speaking

Consider these writing activities that can be used to facilitate  speaking of the target language.

Free-Writing

The free-writing technique is one of the ways to make writing more like speaking. It is a pre-writing technique which encourages students to overcome their fear of the blank page and their preoccupation with correctness. By pre-writing is meant the first stage of the writing process, followed by drafting, revising and editing, when the purpose is to teach writing skills. In this case, however, since our aim is to facilitate speaking, we concentrate only on the first stage. Free-writing can be seen as the closest writing can get to impromptu speech.

Writing Activities that Facilitate Foreign Language Speaking. (French, Spanish) wlteacher.wordpress.com

Mapping

The goal is to generate and connect subtopics. The subject is placed in the center, and topics are added on extending lines as the writer thinks of them. So, if asked to speak on the “mapped” topic, the learner knows what to talk about, how to organize his/her speech and how to connect subtopics.

Classroom Phrases

These are great downloads that you can put up in your classroom.  They include key phrases for students to use and they are all illustrated so that no translation is necessary.

Download the Spanish version HERE.

Download the French version HERE.

Download the Italian version HERE.

Download the Chinese version HERE.

Lingt: Great Free Site that Facilitates Speaking

lingt

www.lingtlanguage.com

This is a great new site that is extremely easy to navigate and is very user-friendly.  The teacher can easily record his/her voice for students to hear, then the student simply clicks and records his/her own response to the question.  The student can then listen to what he/she said and easily delete and redo.  The teacher can add in text, YouTube Videos, and images as well.  The great thing about this site is that it is completely online and does not require downloading any software onto your computer or the student’s computer.  The students submit their spoken (or typed) response to the site and the teacher accesses the student work through his/her Lingt account.  Student do not have to sign up for an account, just the teacher (and it is FREE).  Students simply title their work with their name and the teacher accesses it that way.

I recently met the two MIT students who created this site and they are eager to get teachers using it so that they can make it as user-friendly and efficient as possible.  They are also committed to keeping this fundamental part of the site FREE.  You have to visit and try it out for yourself.  Wow!

Here is a rubric that I use to assess student performance using Lingt.

Try it out HERE.

Great Online Activities for French, German, and Italian

This is a website from Australia that is completely interactive.  There are listening activities, writing activity, and opportunities to read and respond.  Students have lots of fun with this one.

Check it out HERE.

French, Spanish, Italian, and German Games

This is a great site out of England that has pages and pages of online activities for students.  It is very well organized and you can find almost any topic that you want.  It is comepletly free.

Check it out HERE.