Modern Foreign Languages

5 activities for learning a language outside of the classroom

Víctor González

We all know that out-of-class learning is key when learning a new language, but it can be hard to get students to practice language in their own time. Víctor González, co-author of Panorama hispanohablante 2nd Edition, shares his top five activities to encourage students to continue their language learning outside of the classroom.

Communicate in the target language

Conversation, conversation and conversation. Ask students to find a partner to practise their language skills and talk about anything they like. As students practise conversations, they repeat the new language structures in their head.

Know your digital tools

Online dictionaries, language apps and vocabulary games are a great tool to keep sentence structures on track. Asking students to play a language game as homework is an engaging way to practise language outside of the classroom.

Keep a journal

Ask students to keep a language journal. What have they done well today? What areas can they improve on? Is there key vocabulary they need to practise? By keeping a learning diary students will be able to improve their language skills and see the progress they are making.

Watch and listen

Encourage students to watch their favourite TV show with subtitles for the target language. Students will always be happy to watch their favourite TV show and this helps to bring the target language into their everyday life. Students could also try listening to podcasts in the target language on their way to school.

Learn daily

Learn daily and in chunks. Whether it is new expressions or full sentences, revising and repeating new language structures every day helps students to build confidence. A little bit goes a long way!

If you enjoyed this, you may enjoy Mike Gould’s recent article in which he shares five language exercises to develop active learners.

Jasmine Short
Modern Foreign Languages
Is learning French useful?
Jasmine Short
Modern Foreign Languages
Bienvenue en classe
Jasmine Short
Modern Foreign Languages
Five interesting ways of learning a language