Are you a second or foreign language teacher looking for fun ways to engage your language learners and mix things up in the classroom? Learning a new language is exciting and there are many different ways to make the learning process fun, engaging and so much more than rote memorization and grammar worksheets!
If you have students that are able to read in the target language then tongue twisters are a great way to practice pronunciation and get in a good laugh. There are so many different tongue twisters to choose from, it can be difficult to decide. I usually start off with shorter ones and build up to longer and more complicated twisters. I have students listen to me read the tongue twister slowly and ask them if they have any questions about the pronunciation of the words. We practice these words in isolation and then I have them read the tongue twister slowly. As their confidence builds we pick up speed and eventually try to read it 3 or 5 times fast. You can even challenge your students to write their own tongue twister to gauge their understanding of phonics and letter sounds! Click here to view my go-to website with countless English tongue twister options!
Let's Get Talking! Games to get your students speaking!
Would You Rather
Would you rather is an excellent game to get students speaking in full sentences and expanding upon their ideas. Many students are reluctant to give long worded answers on a consistent basis but this game gives students the opportunity to share their thoughts. If you are teaching in a classroom you can have students defend their answers and try to convince their fellow students to take their side! This game is a great way for students to practice speaking about hypothetical situations and use the modal auxiliary verb "would" to express the conditional mood.
How to Play: This game involves asking a question where students must choose between two options and explain why they would prefer to do the option of their choice.
Looking for some examples or need more guidance? I have created a resource for ESL/EFL teachers that contains 100 conditional question cards to help you generate questions and play this game!
Click to access or view this resource!
Two Truths and a Lie
Two truths and a lie is another fun and simple game to play with students. This game is also a great ice breaker and fun way to learn more about your students. In this game, students come up with two things that are true about them and one thing that is untrue. Depending on the skill you wish your students to work on, you can have them write out these three statements or deliver them orally. Once every student has three statements, their classmates must guess which is untrue. You can focus this assignment even more by requiring your students to create statements in the present or past tense depending on their level and what tenses they have been practicing.
Conversation cards are a useful tool in any classroom. You can use them as a brain break or as a formal class activity. Students can read and answer different questions in front of the entire class or you can break the class up into smaller groups or partners and use the cards to guide conversations. You can create the cards for your students, have them write their own, or purchase a set. The great thing about conversation cards is you can generate specific questions that will guide students to practice a particular grammar tense (future, past, present, hypothetical scenarios etc.) or use specific vocabulary.
Click to access my set of 52 conversation cards that will guide your students to practice the future tense!
Click to access my set of 100 present tense conversation cards that will guide your students to practice speaking in the present tense!
Interpreting Song Lyrics
Everyone loves music! So what better way to practice a new language than to learn a song in a new language. Song lyrics are full of specific phrases from a particular language or culture and use figurate language which makes it a great exercise for students learning a new language. Your student must not only understand the literal words being said but also determine the meaning of the song as a whole. You can do this as a listening exercise or a reading exercise by printing out the lyrics. Either way, it is a fun way to practice language skills and learn more about a culture's music!
I can speak from my experience as both an English teacher and a student of the Spanish language that these games are fun, engaging and will get your students speaking and thinking in the target language! Happy teaching :)