Looing for some fresh ideas to get your students speaking together in Spanish class? Here are 6 different speaking activities to get students working together to improve their ability to speak and understand each other!
TWO LINES PARTNER SPEAKING ACTIVITIES
Pick a theme. It could be related to vocabulary, question words, a verb tense… whatever you’re working on. Write a question or a sentence on an index card (1 card for each student). Write the correct answer on the card as well.
Line students up in 2 lines, facing each other. Decide which line is line A and which is Line B. Line A reads the question. Their partner answers, and then Persona A lets them know if they were right or wrong. Repeat with Person B reading their card. Turn the line. Someone from line A steps across into line B. Everyone moves down. This way, students get a new partner each time!
Novice Example: Yo/hablar (Hablo)
Intermediate Example: Preterite or Imperfect? Yo me sentía muy nerviosa antes del examen. (Imperfect: Feelings/Emotions)
Advanced Example: Explica por qué un jóven querría quedarse en un hostal. (cuesta menos dinero, conoces a personas de muchas partes del mundo, tienen medidas de seguridad)
*Pandemic work-around: If it’s not safe to have students up and facing each other, let them remain in their seats. Create a pattern for passing the cards so that each time, everyone has a new card to read to their partner!
PARTNER SPEAKING ACTIVITIES WITH PICTURES
Partner work with pictures: Have students move their desks closer to one another so they can hear better. Pass out papers (or assign them digitally) so that one partner is Person A and the other is Person B.
Person A’s paper has the questions for Person B at the top. On the bottom, there are pictures he/she/they will need to answer the questions that Person B will ask.
Person A asks question 1 to person B. Person B looks at the photos on their paper. He/She/They use the indicated picture to give the right answer. For example: If the question is: A qué hora te despiertas normalmente? And the picture is a clock that says 6:00 am, Person B would answer: Me despierto a las seis de la mañana normalmente.
PARTNER SPEAKING WITH QUESTIONS OR SENTENCES
Choose an area that your students need practice with. I usually use this kind of activity at the beginning of a unit when the vocab and/or grammar is still new.
Create questions for students to answer or sentences for students to translate. Person A reads the question or sentence. Person B answers or translates. (Person A has the correct answer so he/she/they can guide their partner and give feedback!
Though this activity is low in student creativity with language, it’s great for being able to make sure each student has feedback about if they were right or wrong with their answers! It’s perfect when students are still learning new words or constructions.
I will often combine both Spanish and English sentences when students will simply translate. I write 3 sentences in Spanish for them to translate to English. This gives both Person A and B comprehensible, correct, input about how a sentence is formed, how grammar is used, etc. But then I will include 3 sentences that the student must translate to Spanish! Since their partner has the right answer, they get important feedback about what was correct or incorrect!
There are many ways to create a guided conversation! Conversations are best used when students are comfortable with the vocabulary and grammar of your unit’s theme. They encourage real communication skills and lots of creativity with their language!
Option A: VERY guided: choose a theme that your students are familiar with (or the theme of your current unit). Create a doc that contains a table. The table should have alternating boxes that tell each student a general idea of what they should talk about. Take a look at the example below as a way to get started.
Option B: Give students a scenario in which each has a role. For example: If you’re working on a travel unit, both students could be passengers waiting for a flight in the airport. On each student’s paper, you could give them some specifics about what their “story” is. Person A is going to Argentina to visit her grandmother. Her flight is delayed, etc. Person B is going to Spain for study abroad. She’s never flown before and is nervous… etc. You can give them a list of topics to cover. How much they paid for their plane tickets. How long their flight will be. What they plan to do/see in their country of destination.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I love task cards!! I create a set for each unit that I teach, and each set has 20 different (yet related) situations that students can talk or write about! They are so versatile and can be used so many times within the unit!! Be sure to check out my post about Task Cards for more ideas!
Let’s take a look at a task card for a future situation:
Student A could be the interviewer and ask questions to get Student B to talk about their future plans. You can make this more interesting and challenging in many ways! For example, you can set a timer. Challenge students to keep talking for at least X amount of time! Or, challenge them to ask/answer at least 5 questions.
Next, students can switch roles. Beginning students may use the exact same situation card! See how they can ask/answer questions a little differently when the roles are switched! Or you can change the scenario entirely. These task cards come in digital and printable format, and you can assign them on Google Classroom if you want to! Check them out here!