Inside: Spanish interpersonal speaking activities to practice Spanish conversation. Differentiated Spanish interpersonal speaking practice. Engageing speaking activities for Spanish class.
For Spanish teachers, coming up with engaging speaking activities in Spanish class can be a challenge. Now that it is Spring, I know you are looking for ways to mix up interpersonal speaking activities and assessments in your World Language classes. You want to create engaging activities that will help your students practice their Spanish and build confidence in the language. You also might need extra practice for a Seal of Biliteracy assessment like the AAPPL test. Here are interpersonal speaking activities that can help you get your students to speak Spanish in the classroom.
Speaking Activities for Novice Spanish on up
First, weekend chat is one of my go-to activities to get students to speak in Spanish class. There are SO many ways to differentiate and support all students as early as Spanish 1. In the most basic form, it is any activity where you chat about either your previous weekend in the past tense or your upcoming weekend in the future tense. I know that it can get quite stale, so I have MANY resources to mix up weekend chat. See the below resources to learn more
- NEW Weekend Chat Youtube Video
- Weekend Chat Blog post – 10 Ways to Mix it Up
- Weekend Chat 2023 – ready to go slides
- Weekend Chat Bundle
- BONUS – You can now sign up for A FREE Weekend Chat masterclass with me as a part of the Practice & Comprehensible Conference April 20-23, 2023. Grab your Free Ticket!*
Next, due to the timing of this post, I wanted to highlight the special version of Weekend Chat, which I like to call break chat. Before or after any school break all students want to do it talk about the break, so why not use that fuel and provide opportunities to chat in the target language about the break?
Depending on your situation, I have two go-to activities before or after the break, digital slides with reading, speaking & writing &/or Find Someone Who. You can actually use a combination of these two to meet all students.
Use the Find Someone Who – PRE spring break (future), Find Someone Who – post spring break (past) for students in person in the classes. Then use the digital resources POST Spring break discussion Slides, FUTURE Spring Break Discussion Slides for either extension or as an alternative for those who are not able to be there in person & are already on break. Get all of the resources I mentioned and more details in the Spring Break Chat in Spanish Class post. (Or get the Spring Bundle)
Also, since I just mentioned Find Someone Who above, I guess I should elaborate on the activity. It comes from my time with Camp Adventure, where each of our group interview days started with a get to know you, break the ice, seek & sign. I now feel I have perfected the 16 question Find Someone Who grid. There are always options for differentiation of the sentence starter response, as well as different levels of support for the post-writing extension. The Find Someone Who blog post has tons of ways to mix up this speaking activity. Plus there are ready-made versions for any tense or specific holiday you can think of. Get every Find Someone Who activity in the Find Someone Who Bundle.
Additionally, question cards have been a game changer for Spanish conversation practice for novices. Small conversation cards have questions in Spanish. Each set of questions can be asked and answered by small groups or partners. I always include the differentiated options including the yo form prompt for more support. Plus card without the I form, for those who are ready for a challenge. I like to laminate these to use over and over. I have used them both for speaking practice, as well as support during speaking assessments.
A twist on question cards is to print large cards to post around the room. Students can walk and talk with a partner around the class, school, or even outside as it gets nice out. See the Question Card Post for tons more ideas or to get all of them I have, get the Question Card Bundle. *I also include specific examples of these cards in my Practice & Comprehensible Conference presentation as well.
Telephone Game in Spanish class
A classic game from my camp counselor days is “telephone”. It works well if you have a bit of extra time at the end of a class. While not fully interpersonal, it helps to demonstrate how important interpersonal listening accuracy is. Many people focus on the talking part, forgetting that listening is an essential interpersonal skill.
Have students sit in a circle and whisper something in the ear of their neighbor. Depending on the level it could be anything from a simple phrase to an entire sentence. The person they whispered it to will then whisper what they heard into their neighbor’s ear. This will continue until everyone has heard what was whispered at the beginning of the game. In the end, have everyone say out loud what they heard so you can compare it with what was originally said at the start of this game.
This is not a specific activity, but I know a lot of people are currently doing mania musical – March Music Madness brackets. Talk About Music in Spanish Class gives you many specific ways to support conversations about music.
Intermediate Spanish Speaking Activities
First, for more advanced speaking are fishbowls (no not THAT kind;). Fishbowl speaking could be a speaking practice or a way to administer an assessment. The simple explanation of Fishbowl Interpersonal Activity is 1/3 of the class is in the center in “the fishbowl” where they speak. The other 2/3rds are on the outside where they listen. Those on the outside must trade to tag into the conversation. It works great with a controversial topic as a way to organize the conversation. Read Fishbowl Speaking in Spanish class for a much more detailed explanation.
Debates – Upper-Level Spanish Interpersonal Activity
For debates, create teams of three or four people each. Have them debate any topic related to the Spanish language or culture. As an example in a class of 24 students, you could have three topics, with four people on each side, debating their point of view. For debates, it is best to pick topics that have clearly different viewpoints. Ideas include cultural appropriation of 5 de mayo, immigration policies, or cultural Día de Muertos vs. Halloween. This activity not only helps improve speaking skills but also encourages critical thinking about language topics from different points of view.
Next, my friend Jen Ries did a guest post about her original ideas for a specific chatting day, complete with hot drinks. I found this activity to be super helpful when my Spanish 3 & 4 were preparing to take the AAPPL test in the Spring. Each Thursday students came prepared for a certain topic to chat about. Students were so proud of how long they could actually chat.
Finally, the two blog posts above give more information about two more techniques for interpersonal chatting, specifically regarding chatting about novels. They are both low-prep ways to mix up speaking in small groups or pairs about a book students are reading. Also, see Literature Circles in Spanish Class for a full unit. It does a great job supporting interpersonal communication in upper-level Spanish classes.
As a bonus, read the above post for my ideas on how to assess seeking in Spanish class. Plus, this blog post has a lot of specific ideas to support and extend interpersonal speaking Diferentiation in Spanish Class.
Learn more about Weekend Chat in Spanish class
Learn more about how to play this interpersonal speaking game in this blog post & grab the freebie below.
There is a surprise sale on TPT March 28-29. Use the code FORYOU23 at checkout. Also, you can use the same code for a sale in the Mis Clases Locas website store. What would I suggest getting for the best deal? I have listed them below, including many speaking activities from above.
- *NEW! Para Empezar 2023 – a year of bell ringers bundle – my #1 suggestion!
- Speaking Activities Mega Bundle
- Essential Spanish 1 Mega Bundle – present
- Essential Spanish 2/3 Mega Bundle – preterite/imperfect
- Weekend Chat Bundle
- Question Card Bundle
- Spring Bundle
*The conference is Free to sign up for. If you choose to upgrade, I will make a commission. I appreciate your support of Mis Clases Locas! – affiliate disclaimer