Happy families is a group speaking game, which allows students to practise some core vocabulary whilst forming questions and statements.
There are four cards in a set (or family) and students need to collect all four of the same card, to win one point. All cards are dealt out as equally as possible and player one asks for a card matching one they are already holding. The player must already hold one of that family. Obviously this would be in the TL of the classroom, but an example below.
Player one "John, I need Boris the baker. Do you have Boris the baker?"
If John has any of those cards he must hand them over to player one. Player one then gets to ask someone else the same question. If the next person asked again has a card, they hand it over. If they do not, then it is their turn to ask someone of their choice about something they need.
As players form sets of 4 they place them face down on the table and the winner is the player with the most sets.
You can download the ones I have already made below.
Variation - Go Fish
This is very similar, but players only start with 5 cards and the spare cards are placed in the centre. If the person asked does not hold any of the cards in question, then they tell the other to "Go fish" and the player must pick up a card. If the player happens to draw a card of the type asked for, they must show it to the other players and then have another turn. However, if the card is different then it becomes the next player's turn. It is the player who said "Go fish" who goes next.
In order to encourage my year 12 German students to talk in longer sentences, I have designed an AS version of gem hunt (see here for the original gem hunt game template)
Students choose a number and use the prompts to help them answer the question. They are awarded the number of gems shown if they answer successfully. Once they get the hang of the game, I plan to award bonus points linked to how successfully they meet the exam criteria.
Although the game is in German, you could alter the template to different languages.
Students can use www.animoto.com to create impressive videos to showcase their language skills. Instead of traditional ice breakers, why not ask groups to work together to create a film introducing themselves in target language?
www.voki.com is a good alternative for the camera shy as they can select an avatar to present their recordings.
Voxopop allows you to create talk groups to help students develop their speaking skills. I haven't tried it yet but it looks an excellent way to engage students with group talk and talk groups can be private or restricted.
This is a support mat to assist students in talking freely and expressing their opinion in Spanish. One version can be folded to stand on the table to encourage group discussion whilst the other could be displayed or put in exercise books. DOWNLOAD
Question of the day
A good starter to get students talking straight away is to give the class a question to discuss, ensuring students are expressing and justifying their opinions.
DOWNLOAD German opinions support sheet and questions of the day
DOWNLOAD Spanish example questions of the day
30 second speeches
Students are encouraged to speak for 30 seconds on a given topic. Students could participate in a 'reading images' task (inspired by the wonderful work by Rachel Hawkes - if you haven't already, I strongly recommend you view her resources TES for more ideas and info) or be given random key words they have to include. Obviously you can vary the amount of support offered, depending on the group.
DOWNLOAD example Spanish 30 second speeches.
The grids offer a variety of questions to get student talking to one another.
DOWNLOAD Grid 1
DOWNLOAD Grid 2
A simple power point to stimulate discussion as to what items students would place in room 101 and why. Many thanks to Jen Sutton (MFLresources forum) for the Spanish support pages. DOWNLOAD
With a diamond nine activity, students have to rank the items in order of most important/relevant to them from top to bottom. This task encourages discussion as students can then justify their choices.
DOWNLOAD Spanish friendship diamond nine
DOWNLOAD German friendship diamond nine
If you are looking to implement more spontaneous talk into your
MFL classroom, then there are lots of inspiring resources on TES.
Greg Horton and his colleagues at the Wildern School demonstrated successful ways to get students participating in group talk. Google will bring up a wealth of resources on this topic, but there are some sample resources here.
Fortune tellers are an easy way to get students talking to one another. Here is a blank template along with a Spanish and German example. DOWNLOAD
Great for speaking practice of physical descriptions. Students work in pairs and take it in turns to ask questions. Works best if students have a mat each and use counters to cover up their false guesses. DOWNLOAD
I was trying to think of a way to get students to focus on spelling whilst they revise basic vocabulary and so here is word race. A board game for 2-4 players designed to get students speaking and practising pronunciation but also thinking about spelling. Each group will need:
* a game board
* one die
* something to write on - scrap paper or mini whiteboard
Each number rolled is linked to a category such as numbers or
colours. Whichever number a player rolls, they must produce a TL word linked to that category. For example, they may roll colours and choose azul (blue). The player gets to move the same number of squares as the length of their chosen word. The longer the word, the further they go. If the player lands on one of the spots telling them to have another go, then they must repeat the process but this does mean a new roll and thinking of a new word! All words should be noted down during the game so the other players can check spelling and see that the number of moves is correct. The record is also important as repetition of words is not allowed. I have made a board for Spanish and German.
DOWNLOAD SPANISH BOARD
DOWNLOAD GERMAN BOARD basics
DOWNLOAD GERMAN BOARD Holidays
and thanks to Isabelle Rodriguez (@crepeaunutella) for translating FRENCH BOARD DOWNLOAD
I have been teaching languages for 13 years. I enjoy finding and developing new ways to engage students with their learning. This page is designed for sharing anything and everything that may be of use to others. Enjoy!