Looking for some more easy-to-prep language class activities? Check out these activities for language classes at any level.
Errors are completely unavoidable when you’re learning a language and you want to master them. They need to be seen as one of your most valuable assets in any language lesson. There are many fun, engaging and effective activities for your language classes designed around errors.
Beginning/A. In each and every communicative activity that you give, I think it’s very important to emphasize that errors are okay. I recommend putting some very simple criteria to students that gives them the space to feel comfortable enough to take risks. The fun starts when they really know that errors are welcome in all of your language class activities.
Once they feel a little bit more confident, they will be more than happy to take your corrections.
Intermediate/B. Students are a lot more confident and understand that mistakes aren’t deal breakers in communication. I love to play a game when students feel confident in the intermediate level. I walk around the room with a clipboard while they talk. I write down the errors they make.
I then have a list of errors. Every student takes out a piece of paper and on our whiteboard, I write down their error and they try to correct it. They get a certain number of points for every correct answer. It’s great fun and gets them really engaged in what and why it’s wrong. Everyone spends a lot of time learning vocabulary and grammar in context.
Advanced/B. Again, if you have a class with an atmosphere of kindness, empathy, fairness and understanding, mistakes are accepted and expected. They can really add to the fun in your classroom. I love to put students in pairs and they look to find the errors by trading papers. They then trade papers again with another group of students. By the end, we tabulate many of the errors, go through and correct them. It’s a great way to learn vocabulary and grammar in context in all of your language class activities.
Cooking is a great way to learn a language. There are so many immersive, effective language class activities centered around cooking in the target language.
Beginner/A. Share a simple recipe in the target language students that can follow. Perhaps make a dip, or perform some other simple task.
Intermediate/B. I love to give students a recipe and have them actually draw out the recipe in pictures. They label all of the steps and all of the items that are mentioned in the recipe. It’s a great way to dig deep into reading.
Advanced/C. I love to have kids bring in recipes from the target language and they make a class cookbook.
At the Restaurant
The task is exactly as it sounds- students practice the target language in a restaurant.
Beginner/A. Students practice basic ordering and serving in a restaurant. This is a relevant, favorite language class activity at all levels.
Intermediate/B. students create their own restaurants to include the menu.
Advanced/C. Students have to actually complain at the restaurant and offer resolution to their customers.
Children’s books actually have quite a bit of complex vocab and grammar, so they’re a way to learn these things in context. They also offer the support of a familiar story in many cases as well as great illustrations to help the reader negotiate meaning easily. These books make great language class activities for learners of all levels.
Beginner/A. Reading a simple story with illustrations and acting it out for comprehension/TPR- style. It is a great way to provide comprehensible input.
Intermediate/B. They can create their simple poster or storyboard of one of their favorite fairy tales.
Advanced/C. Fairy Tale Trial.
I absolutely love this activity. If you have a class that is advanced or intermediate moving into the advanced level, this is great. Take a familiar fairy tale and take some of the students out of the room. You then explain to the students that are out of the room that they’re playing roles in a fairy tale. The students have to explain to the jury what happened.
For example, in Goldilocks, three bears were trying her porridge. In Fairy Tale Trial, the students get really creative and create a scenario around Goldilocks and her issues. For example, Goldilocks might be co-owner of a Michelin-starred restaurant, if you’re studying French. The three bears might break in, and one might be a restaurant critic.
After the students have decided what their scenario is when they are convicted of some mishap that you have created for their scenario, they go in front of the jury and are on trial for that crime. This is so much fun and a great way to practice narration in the target language. It is very communicative-one of my favorite language class activities.
Beginner/A. Answer a simple survey. I love using Google Forms to do this.
Intermediate/B. You can take the results from that same Google survey and create graphs and scatter plots of all different kinds. You then put them up and use this as a basis for speaking prompts. Create activities for your language class based on any theme you are working on.
Advanced/C. You can take the simple multiple choice Google form and ask a few questions on anything. Then add some complex longer questions that students have to answer in detail. It’s a great way to practice that advanced, paragraph-level discourse.
This has become one of my very favorite language class activities. I love using fake text generators online to copy and paste simple conversations into.
Beginners/A. Students have to read and understand.
Intermediate/B. I have students create their own text message conversations. It can be, for example, a shopping list that one sends to another, commands on chores, or directions for doing homework.
Advanced/C. Text Drama. You write out (or have one of the students) write out an advanced dilemma. Also, use target language text abbreviations- a great way to get more culture into your classroom.
The drama can be anything you think of, is audience-appropriate and that your students will understand. Perhaps a conflict between a boss and their employee-some issue that they can relate to. The students then have to write a detailed response. This is a great way to elicit paragraph-length discourse from students.
Looking for more low and no prep language class activities? Check them out here.