Teaching Tips of The Week For The Language Classroom
10th September 2018
Teaching Tips and Ideas To Use In The Classroom Each Week
I come across brilliant teaching ideas and teaching tips that would be fantastic to use in the modern language classroom or English Language classroom daily. Unfortunately, I don’t do anything with the majority of them; mainly, because there are so many and they are hard to keep track of!
Whilst there are many teaching ideas which are gimmicky, there are many that could be used to break away from monotonous lessons with the same activities week in, week out.
For this reason, I am challenging myself to collect lots of these teaching tips in one place; here, for myself and for you! The activities can all be used in any language classroom and with all language learners. So save yourself some prep-time each week by visiting this page and seeing what new teaching activity you can try out with all of your classes this week. You could also subscribe to my email list (at the bottom of this page) to be updated with the latest content, for free, directly to your inbox!
As the activities increase, I will collate them under skills to make it easier to add them into your teaching repertoire. This week, we’re on tip 9!
Modern Language Classroom Teaching Tip Of The Week – Edition 9
Modern Language Classroom Teaching Tip Of The Week – Edition 5 Tip 5: Synonyms and Antonyms Challenge Activity: Synonyms and Antonyms Vocabulary Challenge Skill: Vocabulary Development for use with all skills Ages/Level: All Languages: English, French, German, Spanish etc
Downloadable Editable Resource Available?: Yes
Title: List 10… Aim: to list 10 of anything you tell students (in target language to practise spelling and writing)
Level: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced
Resources: paper, pen and dictionaries for checking
Instructions: 1. Give individuals or groups of students a topic (e.g. environment / home) or theme (verbs / nouns / adjectives) or a photo (of something they have studied recently)
2. Advise they have to write 10 words / 10 sentences / 10 short paragraphs related to that theme in the target language within a time limit 3. Swap the work with another student or group of students and translate the items written in point 1 into English within a time limit
4. Finally, give to another student or group of students to peer assess and correct any errors
Teaching Tip Challenge: Instead of translating into English in part 3, you could get students to extend words into sentences, sentences into short paragraphs, or amend the tense of the 10 short paragraphs
How would you adapt this activity for your language classroom? Let me know in the comments below!
Teaching Tips Activity – Ping Pong Ball Random Name Generator
Title: Ping pong ball random name generator Aim: To allow students to be picked at random
Level: Any class
Resources: ping pong ball (per student), marker pen and bowl
Instructions: 1. Get enough ping pong balls for the number of students in the class you would like to ‘pick at random’
2. Write down each student’s name on a new ping pong ball 3. Allow to dry and put into a bowl ready to use
Teaching Tip Challenge: use a Sharpie style pen, rather than a dry-wipe marker to avoid having to re-write the names
How do you randomly select students in your classroom? Let me know in the comments below!
Title: Scrabble Word Starter
‘Skill’: Vocabulary Recall
Level: All, except complete beginner
Resources: Powerpoint, pens and paper
Aim: To revise previously learned vocabulary OR to check what vocabulary students already know about a topic
Instructions: 1. Set students up to work individually/in pairs/in small groups and give them the topic for the starter, i.e. music, film, technology, home etc.
2. Advise that the aim of the activity is to create words in the target language, related to the theme you have provided within a time limit. Each team will get points for the value of the letters in that word. 3. The winners will be the students who:
a) have the most words related to the topic
b) collect the most points 4. Share the rules with the students:
– words must contain 3+ letters
– words must be real ‘German/French/Spanish/English’ words
– words cannot be proper nouns (names of places/people)
– avoid shouting out / looking at others’ work – marks may be deducted – teacher’s say is final
5. Project the scrabble board onto the screen and set the time limit (3/5/7 minutes usually works well) using a bomb count down clock 6. When time is up, get students to swap paper and use a different coloured pen to mark in groups, help where necessary. 7. Share words with common errors on the board for correction and add the best words related to the topic for students to copy into their books
8. Allow students to tally points and write on the bottom.
9. Take the sheets in and announce winners.
Teaching Tip Challenge: put the words into a sentence for bonus points
Resources for Teaching Activity of the Week:
Scrabble Vocabulary Starter (133 downloads)
, which includes the instructions for the teaching activity to project to students, as well as a large copy of the scrabble board.
Have you used this teaching activity in your language classroom before? What variations do you use? Let me know in the comments below!
Level: All, except complete beginner
Resources: 1-3 x toilet rolls (depending on group size) Aim: to get students to talk about themselves spontaneously Instructions: 1. Before students enter the classroom, tell them to take as many sheets as they like from the roll. 2. Ask them to sit down in silence. 3. When all students are sitting down, ask them to count how many sheets they have taken. Get a show of hands to see who has the most and least.4. Advise students that they are now going to tell a small group of students about themselves in the target language. They have to give the same number of facts as the number of sheets of toilet roll that they have. 5. They must listen carefully to others and make summarised notes of what the person next to them says – they might have to tell us about their neighbour at the end of the activity.
Teaching Tip Challenge: the sheets of toilet paper could count as the number of minutes a student should speak for (their neighbour must time them)