Fun fun fun! Games in the MFL classroom. 

What could we do to consolidate vocabulary, tenses and to practise speaking in a different way? We play games!!! Lots of different games have been played in my classrooms, some more than others, some require more preparation than others and have been played for a long time, some we’ve only started playing recently. I have to thank lots of colleagues who have shared their ideas, all I did was to incorporate those into my teaching.

This post wants to be just a collection (and it’s not even an exhaustive one), a way of organising myself, having all the games in one place.

1. One of my favourites: BATTLESHIP

We play battleship on a variety of topics (opinions, weather, personality, chores, leisure activities, time) and everytime we cover a new tense. Whenever, we cover the structure of a new tense, we use BATTLESHIP to consolidate what we have learnt and by using the infinitive, students have still some working out to do!

2. Snakes and ladders

I have an empty template of snakes&ladders which has been laminated and it’s ready to be used. Questions/verbs to conjugate/words and sentences to translate go in little cards that students have to use before rolling the dice. Great speaking activity!
3. Running dictation/ translation

I use different versions of this game. In one, I split the class in small groups; only one person from each group is the runner. They come to the front and have 1 minute to memorise as much text as they can. After, the minute they go back to their group and report as much as they can remember! At the end of the timed session, I give the whole class questions to answer about the passage. They answer as group. Ideal for large groups.

Another version of this game includes translation. So, I split the class in small groups and give each group one sentence. The group translates the sentence, brings it to me (or one of my assistants) and once I give my ok, they are given another sentence to translate. It gets very competitive and enhances accuracy in translation. I prefer this one with smaller groups.

4. Noughts and crosses

Great way to start/finish a lesson. It can be played with single words/phrases/verbs to conjugate. I usually pick two captains, who give their first answer, then the captains choose people in the room to give answers for their team.

5. One die one pen

This one is a very recent craze from twitter. I have used it with Y11 and they loved it!!! All you need is a set of sentences to translate. I prefer the students to work in pairs, rather than groups. Each student has the sentences and each pair has one pen and one die. One students starts writing while the other student throws the die, only when the student has a & can get the pen off the other student and star working on his/her sentences. Roles swap continually until one of the students finishes the sentences. So much fun!!!

6. Trapdoor

This is just great to get students speaking and practise pronunciation. All students love it! It is a passage where some sentences could start/end in different ways (but always make sense). Students pick randomly from one word from where there is a choice and the other student has to guess which word they have chosen. If they get it wrong, they’ll have to start again. I usually model it at the beginning and students have to guess what I have chosen.

7. Balloon challenge

This one was last year craze on Secondary MFL matters and again it was great! It made such a fun and relaxed last session with Y11 before their exam. It’s a way of dishing out all they know and share it with their group. It’s a confidence booster as it is based on what they know! Students are split into groups and are given balloons. Only 15 words are allowed on each balloon, the taller the balloon tower is, the more vocab is recalled!

8. Splat

This one is a favourite of my KS3 classes and boys seem to like it more than girls, it’s rather competitive. It can be played with pictured or words. Two students are facing the board, I shout out a word/phrase and they have to splat the correct picture/words. I usually do 5 rounds, the winner stays and chooses who to challenge next.

9. Tiles

This is not really a game but my students love to re-arrange their tiles (with words in). Usually I call out some sentences in the opposite language and they have to pick the correct tiles to make the sentence – I use it mainly when doing adjectives and comparatives; it helps reinforcing the structure in TL.

10. Destiny dice

Great game to get KS4 students to practise spontaneous speech as well as training them to spice up those simple sentences. All you need is a set of sentences, a die and the board game. Students have to add the detail selected by the die.

Read your starter sentence

Roll the dice

Add or change the language feature

DICE OF DESTINY

1 Sophisticated language connective comparative Simple

opinion

Past tense Reason
2 connective comparative Simple

opinion

Past tense Reason Future

tense

3 comparative Simple

opinion

Past tense Reason Future tense Simple

opinion

4 Simple

opinion

Past tense Reason Future tense Simple

opinion

Intensifier/

adverb

5 Past tense Reason Future tense Simple

opinion

Intensifier/

adverb

connective
6 Reason Future tense Simple

opinion

Intensifier/

adverb

connective Sophisticated language
1 2 3 4 5 6

11. Tarsia/domino

http://download.cnet.com/Formulator-Tarsia/3000-2051_4-10584458.html

I’ve dowloaded a tarsia and domino generator. All I need to do is to insert the words. easy peasy! All the students need to do is to get their brain working. I use it both in class or to set homework so that students can revisit key vocabulary covered in class.

12. Emoji random generator

http://byrdseed.com/emoji/ – I’ve only recently started using this to start off my lessons with KS4 students. It’s great to get some spontaneous talk from them. Some students use single words, other say full sentences and add extra details.

13. Wheel of fortune

I use this to practise describing a photo. Students are provided with a photo, strips of paper containing words/structures, that you want the students to practise, and a pen/pencil. Students place the strips as to make a wheel and then spin the pen/pencil. Whatever the pencil/pen lands on is the structure that they need to use to describe that photo.

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