Fun and Effective Language Learning Activities
It’s been approximately six years since I made the definitive decision to become a language teacher.During those six years I have often either been enrolled in language classes, or have been teachinglanguage classes, or both. Nevertheless, what you see here is a product of much more than languageinstruction. Since deciding to teach language, all of my teachers, notwithstanding their fields of specialization, have taken on a dual role in my education. As a student, not only did I strive to learn thematerial being presented, but I made a personal commitment to assimilate into my own teaching practicesthe effective
that the material was presented. If a teacher utilized an activity that I liked, or apresentation that was effective, I stole it. This packet is partially a bi-product of over half a decade of highway robbery. The activities and games that you’ll find in this packet have been pick-pocketed fromsociology, science, English, and even Shakespeare professors. But teachers aren’t the only source of inspiration for a pedagogical thief. This packet also contains games and activities adapted from cerealboxes, neighborhood parties, church outings, summer camps, board games, and family reunions. Onoccasion I do give credit to game creators, some of which are even myself, but for the most part I’veconsidered everything you see here as “free-ware,” and I encourage all of you to look the other way anddo the same.
This packet contains 30 fun and effective language learning games that have been tried and provensuccessful in my own Spanish language classroom. These activities have been categorized into thefollowing themes, listed in chronological order:
1 General Review Games:
These games often utilize a format that is consonant with the employment of vocabulary, grammar, morphology, syntax, communicative language use and cultural learning objectives.Many of these games have been adapted to be “low affective filter” games that allow under confidentstudents to participate and feel validated without interference from highly competitive students.
2 Communicative Language Use Games:
Although many of the games in the packet employ thiselement, these games specifically center on meaningful communicative interactions amongst students, andthe use of target language structures.
3 Vocabulary Games:
The activities in this category are quick and exciting games that teach studentsvocabulary and circumlocution skills. These activities are often communicative.
4 Grammar Games:
Grammatical concepts and structures are specifically focused on here, although theytoo have been treated in many of the other activities. Different modalities of communication that employspecific forms are stressed in this section’s games, and the widely untouched topic of syntax is evenincluded here.
Appendix: Here you will find some of the materials that you will need to begin immediatelyutilizing these activities in your own classroom.