How To Teach A Foreign Language: 3 Creative Ways
When trying to teach foreign languages, it is important to keep students interested and engaged. Finding creative ways to teach will help students to learn by capturing their attention and have them connect with what they are learning in ways that typical classroom lessons can not. This article will help you find the tools to bring this creative edge to your lessons.
How To Make Language Learning Fun For Students
Teaching a foreign language can be as hard as learning one. As a teacher, you have to be clued in to how to teach a language in a way that works best for your students, try to keep them engaged with the material, and keep track of their progress all at the same time. Students can get bored easily; causing them to tune out of their lessons, stop attending classes, or just not perform as well as they could. By using creative methods of foreign language teaching, teachers can ensure that students are constantly feeling challenged and are finding a deeper connection with the material they are learning.
We are going to show you a few fun ways to learn languages that you can use either for teaching languages, or learning on your own.
1. Teach Foreign Languages With Entertainment
Immersion is important to teaching a foreign language. But, why should immersion end with the teaching in the classroom? Entertainment has always been one of the most useful tools for teaching foreign languages. Here are a few examples of how to teach someone a language by bringing entertainment into your educational plan and immersing students while using material that they will find fun and engaging.
- Movies and TV – Film and television have long been used by immigrants and language learners of all types as a way to immerse themselves in a language and culture. In our modern world, thanks to a myriad of streaming services, this has become even easier. Learning languages with Netflix, Hulu, or any one of the other options has been made simpler due to the services having many built in options for both spoken language and subtitles. A teacher can assign students to watch a familiar movie in a foreign language, and use the subtitles along with their previous knowledge of the movie. Or, they could have students watch a film from another country in its native tongue and try to understand as much as they can from the lessons they have learned.
- Music – Music has such an important connection with culture, and it also serves as one of the most fun tools for teaching foreign languages. Using music in the language the students are learning, and having them learn the lyrics and their translations can be great for increasing a student’s vocabulary. Music also often uses more complex styles of language such as metaphor, which can help the students engage better with those concepts.
- Podcasts – One of the newest forms of entertainment for teaching languages is podcasts. Learning languages with podcasts mixes entertainment with education, and is a great way to experience immersive content on the go. Podcasts for learning languages are geared towards students and usually involve lessons as well as conversations. These podcasts can be great for learning the conversational aspects, including helping them learn to make polite requests in a language.
2. Use Games To Make Language Learning Fun
Using games to teach foreign languages can get students engaged in the learning process by getting them using problem solving skills and encouraging healthy competition. The best part of using games in your teaching is that as a teacher you are only limited by your imagination. Games can come in a variety of styles, and you can even use less traditional games that are not typically used for education.
- Language Games – Both online and off, there are a variety of language games to choose from or even create. From flashcard games, fill in the blank style games, or creative modifications of games like pictionary and scrabble. Whatever game you can find that will get the students thinking of how and where to use their new vocabulary. There are many websites for learning new languages that have some great examples of games to get you started.
- Non-Language Games – Just because a game is not a language game, does not mean it cannot be used to teach a language. Team based games are excellent for this. Make rules where students can only communicate in the language they are learning. This can be a board game, a physical problem solving activity, or even a video game that uses communication for teamwork.
3. How To Teach Language With Performance
While it could go along with entertainment, using performance for teaching languages stands on its own as a method for how to teach a foreign language due to its interactive nature. Using plays, segments from films, or even debate can get students focused on proper pronunciation and comfortable using their new vocabulary in front of others.
- Act Out A Scene – English teachers and those teaching English as a second language have known the value of using performance to teach languages for a long time. Having students stand in front of the class to perform segments from Shakespeare or other playwrights is a standard part of the school experience. Doing this while teaching a foreign language has the same powerful effect. Acting out scenes from plays or films will help students perfect their pronunciation, vocabulary, and comfort speaking in front of others.
- Debate – Another step up from acting out a scripted scene is to give students a topic to debate in their target language. By having them engage in debate you are encouraging them to think and form concepts in their new tongue, as well as an ability to understand and respond on the fly.
Encore!!! Enhances Educational Creativity
Encore!!! is one of the most versatile resources for language teaching available to teachers. This app features tools that you can use in conjunction with any of the above creative teaching methods we have discussed above. The My Entries feature of the Encore!!! app specifically allows you to create and record your own lessons. The My Entries feature also lets you record dialogue for study, lets you create word game vocabulary lists, song lyrics, and more.
Encore!!! also acts as a testing tool for language teachers, letting them develop quizzes and tests that students can take right from the app. Encore!!! helps to make learning new languages fun and enhances every other creative learning method teachers might try with their students.
The question of how to teach a foreign language in a creative and fun way is one with many answers, and we hope this article gave you a few of them to consider. The most important lesson is that these creative learning methods are great for keeping your students engaged and interested, and help them to learn new concepts. These creative methods also help to solve the problem of how to teach languages online, by helping teachers use existing tools such as streaming services along with apps such as Encore!!!
Encore!!! lets teachers control their lessons by giving them a set of tools, such as the My Entries feature, that let them integrate a variety of educational methods under one app. Combining the Encore!!! app with any of our above methods of creative teaching techniques will be a winning combination for both teachers and their students.
Frequently Asked Questions About Creative Foreign Language Teaching
Which method is best for teaching foreign language?
The best method for teaching foreign languages varies from student to student. A method that a student will stick with, and keep engaged with is the best one for that student.
What are the main principles of foreign language teaching?
Principles of foreign language teaching include making sure your students have reasonable expectations, creating a positive and productive environment for learning, and achieving a balance in your lessons. What this all breaks down to is keeping students engaged and learning, and making sure that your educational efforts fit the needs of the classroom.
How do you teach an adult a foreign language?
Teaching an adult a foreign language is best done in ways that respects their time and keeps them motivated. Setting up tasks, making learning a habit, and keeping track of progress helps adults to stick to a language learning course.
Which foreign language is in demand for teachers?
One of the most in demand languages for teachers is Mandarin Chinese. Due to the growth of China as a business power, Mandarin is a language that people engaged in international business are seeking to learn.
How do you teach a language for beginners?
The best way to teach a language to beginners is to start off keeping things simple. Make sure the lessons are easy to digest at first, and keep them using what they learned with quizzes and projects. The other key is to keep the classes fun and interesting so that the student stays involved with the course.
How can I make my language teaching interesting?
Keep your language teaching interesting by using varied resources in and out of the classroom. Find learning opportunities in entertainment, games, and interactive activities that go beyond just textbook style classwork.