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Language Teaching Ideas
contributed by Claire Garbett

Claire writes: 'Here are some teaching ideas. I have used them mainly in Spanish and French but they would work for most languages. I am teaching in Key Stage 2 but most ideas I have also used with adult learners.

Flash Card Guessing Game

One child has a flash card and the other children have to guess what it is by asking closed questions, Is it an animal? Is it big? Is it a fruit? Is it blue? and so on. The cardholder can only answer: "yes", "no" or "more or less". They really enjoy this and it can be built on as vocabulary increases.

Pictionary (or in Spanish I call it Picionario)

Version one - a child draws something on the (interactive) whiteboard and their team/whole class has to guess what it is in the target language. Make sure they draw something you have taught!

Version two - Each child has an A4 piece of paper and folds it into 8. They have coloured pencils.

You then call out 8 objects linking to a topic or mixed, they have to draw the objects. At the end you can instruct them to "Muestra/Montrez" and they show their drawings. They enjoy seeing which ones they got right.

Teaching Food and Drink

I use real items and pass them around the class. if this is not practicle then use flash cards. Also I used a worksheet with a list of fruit and vegetables and ask them to split them into fruit or vegetable. then they can write an idea for a soup, salad and juice. You can encourage horrible combinations like strawberry and onion soup, garlic and cabbage juice. If they have time to draw their invention even better!

As a follow up, I give each child a paper plate and they draw and label food on i- e.g "Tapas", "Verduras" etc.

Sheep Drawing

This is a favourite with all ages of children (I did it with a mixed age class of adults and 7-12 year olds). I have a collection of sheep of allsorts of colours and patterns but any toy animals could be used. The children sit back to back, one describes the animal and then the other has to draw it. Then they all show their efforts to the class. This reinforces colours, body parts and words such as stripes, spots, checks.

Simple Maths

If you are aware of your children’s ability in maths then simple sums can be used to reinforce numbers.

Shops and Restaurants

This may seem obvious for those who employ such strategies in KS1 but turning the classroom into a French restaurant or Spanish market with a few props and giving children chance to interact in role (with some props to help) really works wonders for language retention and they enjoy and remember it too. So get an old tablecloth and start saving boxes and jars!'


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