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Games and Activities for Primary Foreign Languages

Games and Activities for Primary Foreign Languages

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Published by Ljiljana Toskic

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Published by: Ljiljana Toskic on Jul 26, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Learning objectives

O3.2, O3.3, O3.4, L3.1, L3.2, L3.3

O4.2, O4.3, L4.3, L4.4


To practise speaking and understanding words.



A well-known game which can be surprisingly versatile.

What to do

•Children sit in a circle.
•Explain that they will be whispering a word to each other and must
make sure they cannot be heard by anyone else, i.e. they should
hide their mouth with their hand and whisper very quietly directly
into the other child’s ear.
•Child 1 whispers a TL word of their choice from a particular
vocabulary area (e.g. the name of a food, animal, part of the body
…) to child 2 sitting on their left.
•Child 2 then passes it on to their left etc. until the message has
gone all the way round the circle and reaches the child sitting on
child 1’s right.
•This last child says out loud what they have heard – compare this
with the original TL word whispered by child 1.


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•Sometimes children like to deliberately change the TL word as it is passed
around to get bigger laughs at the end – you can make it worth their while to

listen and repeat the word more carefully by offering a sticker/housepoint etc. for

each child at the end if, say, five words get passed round successfully.
•You can make the activity more challenging for older children by writing a list
of TL words/phrases on the board for them to choose from, which all sound
very similar – the children then have to be careful to pronounce each word
very clearly.
•An even harder version of this game is ‘Spelling Chinese whispers’:
–Sitting in a circle, child 1 whispers a TL word to child 2 who must write
down what they hear on a piece of paper, which is then passed to child

–Child 3 whispers what is written on the paper to child 4, who again must
write it down and pass it to child 5 … and so on, the children alternating
between whispering and writing down what they hear/read.
–The last child must say out loud what they have heard/read.


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