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Getting them to speak Spanish

I teach Spanish as a second language because it is my first language and because I think that it is an important skill. I would like my students to try and speak it in and outside of the classroom so they can improve but I am not sure how to motivate them nor how to get them to do so. Please help!

June 6, 2018



Maybe they could get Spanish pen pals?! I had a French pen pal with whom I typed in French and she would type in English so that we both benefitted - and the same with a Spanish pen pal when I was 13 years old.

Alternatively, my French teacher says she used to have a group chat with her and all of her friends in it, and at a certain time a couple of times a week it would be "English Hour" and they would have to spend an hour sending messages to one another in English only.

So many students these days are messaging one another online all the time anyway so these might be fun, convenient ways for them to practise.


My high school Spanish teacher would encourage us to read poetry in the language during our free time. He also suggested that we record ourselves speaking.


hey now that idea of recording yourself - that could be turned into a competition.
I like that idea :)


Depending on how much money the school has, a school trip to Spain/Mexico could be done. Where I work we take our year 8’s and 10’s to Germany, and year 9’s and 10’s to France.


Set assignments. Create competitions. Introduce playing games using your target language, and encourages them to practice and extend their vocabulary between themselves. Organize excursions to where this language may be spoken. Sometimes it could be a school set up for students who speak the target language. Or it could be a market area, where there are a lot of native speakers. And of course for those that live near boarders of countries where a different language is spoken, to organize an excursion to the foreign country.

Put on a "carnival/festival" that highlights the culture and community of the target language, from food to games. Consider setting this on a culturally celebrated day for that target language.

Encourage the community to host foreign students and tertiary teaching students to be hosted by a family in your school. Often tertiary teaching students are required to volunteer as teachers/teacher supports, which opens the opportunity for serving as a teacher in another country. ( I have hosted several student teachers over time )

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