Language Teaching: 5 Weeks of Low and No Prep Fun- Week 5
Looking for some fun, low prep activities to incorporate into your language teaching repertoire? Have a look at these activities that can be adapted to any language and any level.
Talking During Class
Beginner/A. Basically, they have to be able to say words- a primary objective of language teaching. It’s fun to put them in small groups so it’s not so intimidating.
I give them some token or chip or bean. I might even do this with the dice. Students, when they say something, get to put a bean away or a token. That means they’ve talked. It’s great practice. Of course, the winner is the first one who is out of their beans.
It’s a lot of fun with dice. For example, if you roll a six and then you say six things, you get six points. Then the next person goes, let’s say they roll a four and they say three things. They get three points. It gets very competitive. It’s a great way for beginners to be a little bit less shy about saying words.
Intermediate/B. Fluency talks are fantastic. I love having students bullet point out some of the things that they knew how to talk about and brainstorm a bit. They then have to talk for a certain amount of time. It doesn’t matter what it’s about- they just have to talk on the target language and we have them record it.
Have them do this once every couple of weeks. It’s an amazing way to document their progress. They will be astounded at how good they get. This is one of my favorite language teaching activities. Once they get over the discomfort, they see the value.
Advanced/C. I love to have guest speakers in from Italki, or in person. I also like to let them have free talk. Let them brainstorm some topics they want to talk about and just talk.
High Interest Reading
Reading is one of the best ways to learn languages, and a staple of language teaching. Dr Stephen Krashen tells us to have a reading cart, with varied and interesting target language reading. I do think that we can also create a virtual reading cart in our classes by curating relevant resources online for our kids. They’ll then know how to access them outside of school, too.
Beginner/A. They can read cookbooks, children’s books, recipes, surveys, comics, magazines-anything with lots of visuals to help aid understanding.
Intermediate/B. They can be short stories or magazine articles.
Advanced/C. At this level, they can read screenplays, plays and novels. So much fun!
Acting in Plays
Beginner/A. Survival memorization of dialogues. The perfect way to move out of the novice range to creating with language fast. A fun activity for your language teaching toolbox.
Intermediate/B. They get to create their own play.
Advanced/C. Hot Seat. A lot of actors do this when they’re playing a role do some research on their character. They have to be able to answer all the questions that the class comes up with about them. They have to ask and answer the questions without notes.
Beginner/A. Identify objects, respond to commands. For example, sweep the floor, make the bed, et cetera. I love to have activities that allow movement in my language teaching as often as possible.
Intermediate/B. I love to have them design their dream house. This is so much fun! After designing it, then they write all about their dream house.
Advanced/C. Students pick one relative that they know of from their family in the past couple of generations. They then research about that person and the time period they lived in. They have to create the house they think that person lived in. It can be as simple as one drawn on paper or photos that they find or drawings that they find online. They then have to tell us about that person’s house and their life during that time period. Research projects are perfect for advanced language teaching.
Looking for more low prep activities? Check these out here.