26 SEPTEMBER 2019
5 activities for learning a language outside of the classroom
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 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.
Víctor González is co-author of Cambridge IGCSE™ Spanish as a Foreign Language and Panorama hispanohablante 2nd edition. Victor has been teaching modern languages and IT for over 20 years, conducting workshops and seminars for teachers. His interests are in language curriculum and materials design through innovative digital tools. He is an International Baccalaureate® examiner and subject leader in IT Competencies in Translation, Interpretation & Applied Languages at the Open University of Catalonia.
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