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Useful Time Fillers for All Language Classes

Use Time Wisely with These Time Fillers for Every Language Classroom

From my experience of teaching French and German GCSE and A Levels, I know there is not a lot of need for time fillers. Mainly, because there is so much content to get through! Nevertheless, I believe the time fillers below would be useful for any language classroom, either as a filler activity, or to use as a teaching activity to practise speaking, listening and writing, as well as revision of vocabulary, and translation skills, for example.

chinese whispers1. Chinese Whispers
To communicate a word, sentence or chunk of speech from person to person and see how much of the original word or phrase is communicated correctly at the end.
Skill: Speaking
Area of Development: Vocabulary, Grammar and Pronunciation
Level: All
Prep-Amount: No-prep
1. Explain students will start off with a word or sentence of the first player’s choosing, which the first person must write down and hide.
2. The first person begins by whispering it to their neighbour and this is repeated until the speech has been whispered to all participants.
3. The final player must say the speech aloud (repeating if necessary), as well as write it down on a mini-whiteboard (if you’d like them to) and the first player must confirm how correct the speech was.
4. Award points for the accuracy and repeat the steps until your time allocation is over.

describe a photo2. Describe a Photo
To describe a photo. This is part of the current AQA GCSE specification, however, it’s a brilliant opportunity to showcase language knowledge and develop vocabulary, speaking and writing skills.
Skill: Speaking or Writing

Area of Development: Vocabulary, Grammar, Spelling and Spontaneous Speech
Level: All
Prep-Amount: Very low-prep
1. Either show students a photo from the projector, or get them to draw their own ‘photo’ on a piece of paper.
2. Students must firstly write down all the individual words they can associate with that picture on paper / mini whiteboards / post it notes. Share the ideas with the whole group after a few minutes to check pronunciation and spelling.
3. Elicit ideas of phrases students can use to describe the picture in more detail, i.e. in the foreground / at the top / to the left etc and write on the board.
4. Get the students to describe the photo individually, in pairs or small groups. This could be verbally or in written form.
5. Ensure other students give feedback to help improve

Please note that I will regularly be adding to this list of time fillers, so please come back soon. Alternatively, if you haven’t already signed up, why not subscribe to TheIdealTeacher’s mailing list to keep-up-to-date with all of my latest teaching activities and ideas for the language classroom?


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