Modern languages - Speaking in tongues
What the lesson is about
It is widely accepted that speaking is the most under-developed skill in modern language learners, but also the one that can motivate them most. This collection brings together strategies and resources for French, German and Spanish work on prepared and spontaneous talk.
Pyramid sentence-building adds a bit extra onto the sentence each time. For example, "je", "je deteste", "je deteste faire", "je deteste faire de la danse", "je deteste faire de la danse au college" and finally "je deteste faire de la danse au college parce que c'est moche!". Pupils are then challenged to write as long a sentence as they can, by linking pyramid sentences with an "et" or "mais" to extend the interest. "Spot the Difference" uses pictures as a stimulus for S1 speaking. Pairs of pictures range from a country scene of boy and girl with goat, cow and squirrel, to a bird house being watched by an evil-looking cat. Pupils have to describe the differences in the pairs.
Taking it further
Rhawkes has produced some helpful PowerPoint slides on transport and reasons for speaking activities at the throw of a dice. There is a series of questions at the top of the slide, and a sentence "Je vais a New York en avion parce que c'est rapide", then there are four rows below: dice faces with different numbers; places; modes of transport; and adverbial phrases. Click on the question mark and a number appears on the die, requiring students to adapt the model phrase given to respond with the appropriate phrase.
Where to find it