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Speaking Skills in Language Lessons

May 8, 2024
This is School

What's language learning without a bit of chatter? Heidi Trude shares her tips for successful semi-spontaneous speaking activites for the language classroom.

"ACTFL states that we should be using 90% target language in our classroom."

As French teacher Heidi Trude goes onto explain, that doesn't mean your students are speaking 90% of the time in their target language, but rather you should be aiming for 90% of your classroom instruction to be delivered in it.

If that feels like an ambitious goal or you're simply not sure how to reach that level, then sit back and hit 'play' on the video above as Heidi guides you through some of her tips and tricks - all used in her own classroom - on how to encourage semi-spontaneous speaking in your language lessons through a combination of activities and delivery, including:

💬 Chat Mats on topics such as daily routines, emotions and future plans to support students in extending their conversations and using language more actively

🔠 Word Walls of frequently used words, including verbs, conjunctions, adjectives, and prepositions, which can be displayed in the classroom as posters or in binders

🎤 This is School's speaking assignment feature, where you can choose from a selection of question prompts (or set your own) and have students record their response in-platform for speaking practice

🎵 Looking for inspiration in unusual places, including music, to encourage students to talk about songs from their target language

🎱 Games such as Chat Bingo or This or That, encouraging students to ask you questions and build rapport in new classes.

Heidi also discussed the importance of student buy in when it comes to language learning and how sharing your own language journey, whether you're a native speaker or have learnt the language through your own education, can have a significant impact on student interest in the subject.

"Buy-in is crucial for students to start talking, and understanding the why and how of language learning helps them be more willing to take risks."

Thanks to Heidi for this fantastic webinar! Follow her on Instagram here.

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