Not so stupid

11th April 2008 at 01:00
Estupido. This is a game that requires a sense of humour on your part and a sensible class that won't get carried away with the opportunity to insult you and question your intelligence. Estupido is, of course, Spanish for stupid.


Ages 11 to 14

Small groups or a divided classroom listen attentively to you speaking in the target language - heads down, eyes closed, eyes open - you decide.

Adapt the rules to suit the learning point, but essentially, you are asking the pupils to recognise certain triggers, at which point they will call out "estupido".

Leave deliberate gaps or mistakes in your sentences for pupils to pick up on. Have the language written out because doing this from memory can cause scoring dilemmas.

Have a log of all missing verbs, unconjugated verbs, missing adjectival agreements, wrong genders etc, so when each team calls out "estupido" you can award them a point, or take one away if they are mistaken or cannot tell you why something was wrong.

At the end of the game, the scores from all of the teams should add up to the number of mistakes you had planned in your speech. If there are discrepancies, you can give a transcript to the teams so that they can sort out the remaining errors in return for bonus points.

Tailoring this activity renders it more useful and directs learning on specific issues. Pupils often start to see what is right and wrong and make connections from previous games or examples.

Andrew Bruton is a cover teacher in Herefordshire.

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