Beginning in Key Stage 3, Secondary students study World Languages as part of the standard curriculum. Year 8 students are taking German as a second World Languages option, through which they are encouraged to try a range of new things, designed to enhance their overall self-confidence. The enthusiastic group of students are currently focusing on the topic of clothing and are practicing no less than two tenses in quick succession. Additionally, Year 13 students are preparing for their imminent IB Language exams, the first of which will be their Speaking Test. Lessons are tailored around the specific skillsets that need to be practiced at that time. This week’s speaking lesson was designed to enhance speaking confidence and speed, whilst simultaneously addressing other language skills as well.
German teacher, Bryson Wood, engages students in a series of games and activities specifically tailored to enhance the overall spontaneity of their language use.
Some such activities, as pictured below, include:
- Warm up practices, including singing translated songs and a trivia quiz.
- Hot potato, or in this case “hot ball”, which requires answering the question as quickly as possible before throwing the ball back to the teacher.
- Talking Dice, which uses topic-base dice that the students roll and then race to say the correct German words in the chosen tense. This game is loud and quick, but highly focussed!
- Running Dictation, in which a runner checks the sentence from the page located at the opposite end of the corridor, then runs back to their teammate who is the writer. The writer then records the sentence as told by the runner. This exercises all four language skills (the runner focuses on reading and speaking; the writer focuses on listening and writing). After completing a number of sentences, the students switch roles.
- Quiz-Quiz-Trade, essentially a question and answer game, where students ask each other the question on their card and help each other to correct their answers.
Maintaining engagement in a World Language class can prove to be challenging when students feel nervous about speaking or answering incorrectly. Activities like these, however, help to remove those concerns and allow students to feel more comfortable practising the language. Year 8 and Year 13 students remain actively engaged in class participation, and if you walk by the classroom, you may just hear the German version of Mamma Mia echoing through the halls!