5 Interactive World Language Activities for Remote and Socially-Distanced Classrooms

Make language learning fun—even from afar.

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Map with children holding up speech bubbles that say hello in different languages.

Whether you teach Spanish, French, Italian, or any other world language, you probably rely on interactive world language activities, including games, songs, and manipulatives to keep your students engaged. This year, however, remote instruction and required in-class social distancing have us rethinking our tried-and-true activities. Thankfully, there are still plenty of ways to get your students excited about language learning.

Here are 5 interactive world language activities to keep your language students engaged during remote learning or in a physically distanced classroom.

1. Show and tell.

Many students love to talk about themselves and their stories. Not only is show and tell a great way to practice your language speaking skills, it’s also a way to help students connect with each other from a distance. Whether you’re teaching from home or at school, ask students to select an item to present to the class. Depending on your students’ age and skill level, you could set a theme, like items that have to do with their heritage, culture, or hobby. Then, encourage participation by having classmates ask questions, so that everyone can practice their conversation skills.

spanish, french, german and blank world language labels on a desk

2. Label household objects.

Encourage your students to use these free, printable world language labels in your classroom or at home to encourage an immersive learning experience. Labels are available for the most common classroom and home objects in Spanish, French, German, or fill-in-the-blank with any other language. You can also assign students to complete the fill-in-the-blank labels on their own as a fun learning activity.

3. Try classic games.

Just because everyone needs to stay six feet apart doesn’t mean you need to give up on playing games. Plenty of classic games, like Uno, Go-Fish, Bingo, or Simon Says, can be adapted to your language. Try playing with multiple decks or add space between students. For remote learning try My Free Bingo Cards, which creates virtual bingo cards that can be played on-screen or printed. You can even use words instead of numbers and choose different card designs.

4. Play Pop-Up.

Another popular game that works well for remote or socially-distanced learning is Pop Up, created by AnneMarie Chase, who teaches Spanish. First, divide students into teams. Then choose a student from each team to face off and translate a short phrase or word. The team with the student who correctly translates faster wins. This can easily be played in a remote classroom on Zoom or in-person without having students move from their assigned seats.

Sample Flippity Activities

5. Use Flippity.

This year we’ll all be using more technology in the classroom. Flippity allows you to convert the lessons you already have in Google spreadsheets into activities. For example, you can easily turn your vocabulary list into a crossword puzzle, turn a Google spreadsheet into a quiz show, or create digital flashcards. Flippity’s interactive technology and vast library of activity options will help to keep students focused and having fun.

Want more ideas to engage your language students this year?

Connect with other language educators at ACTFL 2020 Virtual to learn more ways to engage your students in remote and socially-distanced classrooms. The convention runs from Thursday, November 19 – Sunday, November 22. It includes online sessions and keynote speeches, along with a virtual expo, online networking opportunities, and more. Plus, all content will be available to attendees through December 31, 2020.

Click the orange button below to learn more and register.

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5 Interactive World Language Activities for Remote and Socially-Distanced Classrooms