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Foreign Language Learning Games: Resource for Substitute Teachers

As a substitute teacher teaching a foreign language, it is often your responsibility to create an effective and engaging class from a quickly patched together (or even nonexistent) lesson plan. One of the best ways to fill time and create an enjoyable learning experience for students is to play language games. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and each can all be tailored to the lesson at hand. These games can even fill an entire class period if need be! The list below is only the tip of the iceberg and can be used as a starting point to create your own games.

  • Two Truths and a Lie: Students are divided into pairs or small groups and take turns making three statements in the target language, only two of which are true, as the others guess which one is false.
  • Charades: Alternating between two teams, one student must act out a vocabulary word without speaking as the others try to guess what it is.
  • Hello My Name Is…: Students have sixty seconds to introduce themselves and speak on a number of provided subjects (anything from their favorite color to their political views) before switching to the next conversation partner.
  • Around the World: Two students race to be the first to correctly translate a word or conjugate a verb. The winner faces the next challenger in line until he or she is defeated.
  • Flyswatter: Give one student from each team a fly swatter and write a list of vocabulary words in one language on the board. When students are ready, the translation of one of the words is read and the students attempt to be the first to identify and swat it.
  • Create a Story: Students work together to tell a story in the target language. Each is allowed to speak for thirty seconds before the story is continued by the next student in line.

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