Language Teaching: Activities from Travel
Travel and all that we can learn from it are an often-used context in our language teaching. A few activities from travel for your classes:
I love using postcards in my language teaching. I have picked many up during my travels over the years. They are so easy to make with free photo sites now, too.
I write everyone’s names on a small slip of paper. I write places from all over the world (or my target language countries), too. I place all of these slips in two bags. Students select a name and a place. They write a post card from the place they “visited” to the person they selected. I usually give them specific requirements based on what we are working on. For example, I might have them research food, sites, apartments and excursions from the place they chose. They then have to include these in their postcard.
Mail delivery day is fun when everyone gets their post card.
Realia is one of my favorite tools for learning and language teaching. Some ways to incorporate it into your classes:
1. Create a scrapbook of realia from your target language for your class library.
2. Have students do a scavenger hunt to find realia covering specific things (i.e. menus, tickets, advertisements, telephone numbers, etc.).
3. Require their use in projects, dramatizations and role-plays.
4. Create a reading assignment from your realia. These are very useful and practical, because these are they what people will encounter in the target language country when there.
I am hearing many teachers say that they are using free online templates to generate fake boarding passes.
This photo inspired a new writing project/prompt for language teaching.
Print out some maps of countries or cities and place them in a bag. The students will draw one place each.
Students will research 10 things/customs/meals (or anything you choose) from the place they drew. They will write a letter in the third person telling the class about their home country/city including the photos they found. Read these to the class, and hang them on the wall.
I think this will work best in a lower intermediate level, but can be adapted to any other. Select any place you choose (even your own home) if you are doing this on your own.
This is a fun game to play after you’ve introduced students to how to talk about where they’re from, their names, and greeting people. Print out photos (or use your postcards) and glue them onto construction paper or card stock. You can laminate them and then fold them in half. Students then have a place where they are from in their “suitcases”. Have them pick them out of a bag and ask where they are from.
I include them in this bundle: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spanish-speaking-World-Bundle-2132528
I love creating scrapbooks from places I have visited and placing them in my class library.
Students can read all the regalia and photos that I collected during free reading time. I love having students make their own scrapbooks too. I think regalia is an indispensable and essential part of teaching languages. After all, regalia such as menus, tickets, and schedules will be among the first things people experience when they’re in a target language country. It’s communicative cultural input. A very modern way to make a scrapbook would be to take the same regalia that the students collected, and I would base this on whatever theme I was doing, would be to take those photos put them on Google Slides and then narrate them in the target language on the Fishbole app. That becomes a great speaking activity.
If I were…
If I’m teaching some if… then structures, I give students a whole paper full of examples of the structure. They can then take this to write their own poems. I love teaching some If..then structures. I have them create a Si yo fuera… presentation or poem. They research and present as though they were travelling to the TL country. They can talk about what they would eat if they were from that place, or what time they would go to school.
Plan a Trip
Students can make their own Pinterest accounts and they can all collaborate on secret boards.
This is great fun. For example, if you teach French, your French class can collaborate on boards planning a trip, virtual or real to France. They can find restaurants and stores and hotels and transportation. More advanced French students can use French keywords, all of your students can be required to comment on everyone else’s Pins in the target language.
Not planning a trip with your class? The secret boards could be used for any theme that you’re teaching- the house, food in the target language, it’s great fun. We once did a project on our dream home. I had a small advanced class who all created their own group, their own dream homes and organized the décor that they wanted, by room, and they all commented on one another’s rooms and resources in the target language.
Looking for more ideas for language teaching? Check them out here: http://reallifelanguage.com/reallifelanguageblog/2019/08/19/teach-languages/