Great Speaking Ideas for First German or Language Lesson Back
Start As You Mean To Go On with Any Of These 5 Amazing Speaking Activities for the First German Lesson Back (or French, English, Spanish or any other language!)
How I do enjoy the first German lesson back after a summer holiday! I also love my first French lessons back and my first English lessons back too at the start of a new term! It’s a great opportunity to show your passion for the language you teach and re-enthuse your students to feel the same way.
Who has ever done a ‘find someone who’ speaking activity in their first German lesson back? Me. It meets the criteria of speaking task. But, it can get kind of dull. I’ve done it with my first French and English classes back too…!
This year as a spin on this, I’ll be trying out the 5 great speaking ideas for first German lessons back after a break, as well as for French, English and any other language’s first lesson back, too. Number 5 is my favourite so far.
I really do believe that the first lesson back should begin as you mean to go on, so get stuck in with revising grammar, vocab and speaking!
Try out some of the first lesson back speaking ideas below to get students motivated about speaking in the first lesson back!
1. Picture Cards / Images
BEGINNER – INTERMEDIATE
Find some great pictures related to topics you have/haven’t covered (food/parties/holidays/activities/families/train stations etc) and project them one at a time to the students. I recommend https://www.reshot.com/ for fab and free imagery. First, ask students to jot down all the nouns they can related to the image in a list, then all the verbs, then adjectives and a word to describe their opinion on the image. Then, get them to share their ideas in pairs.
They could tick the words they have and add the new words. You could take this one step further and ask the students to share with another pair if time allows. Next, ask the learners to describe what they can see in detail, what they think about the picture and extend with how the image does/doesn’t relate to their life.
2. Give Me A Sentence
BEGINNER – ADVANCED
Have a PowerPoint or similar with one high frequency or useful word or phrase on each slide. In pairs, students create the longest sentence (or a quick short story for differentiation) that they can using that word in 10/30/60 seconds . The other person must count the number of words. Keep a tally of words for points and swap over. After 2 minutes, switch the slide. Praise the winners at the end?
Over The Holidays, I … Speaking ChainDo a quick re-cap on the past tense, elicit examples and put them on the board. Then, get a speaking chain going in small groups using the past tense . Start off with: ‘Over the holidays, I…’ in the Target Language and the first student completes. If the group agrees it’s correct, they get a point. Next person repeats what the first person says and so it continues. The last person to remember the whole chain without any help, gets an extra 5 points. Remember to tell students what they say doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be correct!
BEGINNER – INTERMEDIATE
Verb RecallAs a group, elicit 10-15 nouns and adjectives and add them to the board. Then show the students three to five infinitive verbs and ask them to conjugate in pairs for present/past/future (conditional and imperfect for challenge) on a mini whiteboard. Get them to check with another pair. Project correct versions and ask students to underline the ones they got wrong, but add corrected version. Then, students must create sentences of 4-7-9-11+ words using the verbs and the nouns/adjectives on the board. This allows for revision of grammar, tenses, vocabulary and enables speaking!
BEGINNER – INTERMEDIATE
Question Me!Students do like to get up and about during lessons. However, ensure you set the rules beforehand, i.e. back to seats immediately when asked, stay in target language, move to a different person when asked to and spread out. Part of communication is asking questions and I found a fantastic set of 100 funny icebreaker questions on TES, which I adapted and translated into German. These questions can be used for intermediate and advanced students, but could also be adapted for beginners. You can download the 96 fun speaking questions for first German lesson back here:
INTERMEDIATE – ADVANCED
I split the 90+ questions cards with 5 questions per card. I then printed them out for my class on some card/paper. Allow students to choose their card at random and advise they have 3-5 minutes to speak with someone in the class, ask and answer the questions on their cards. Elicit the kinds of things they could talk about before the activity begins and write some examples on the board. Once the time is up, they must swap the card with their partner and find a new partner to repeat the activity. Keep going until you get bored! At the end, choose a few pairs to read a question and answer and cover any issues that have come up. Super fun speaking for the first lesson back, super quick (once you’ve printed the cards out) and really effective.
What other speaking activities do you use in your first German lesson back? Or any of your other first language lessons back?