Speaking Activities Using Pictures

camera-clip-art-4A quick and easy way to get students speaking is to have them describe a picture or photo, but this can a get a little old after a few times.  There are many paired and group activities that students can do with an image beyond a simple description.  Two great ideas are:

–One student orally describes a picture to a second student who then draws a copy of it.

–One student orally describes a picture to another student who then is given a choice of pictures and must choose the one described.

You will need to find pictures (easily done on the Internet) that represent the vocabulary that your students know.  A lack of vocabulary is a common reason for breakdown with these activities.  I suggest reviewing language “chunks” that will be necessary for communication before students begin; i.e. “there is/are”, prepositions, colors, etc.

Here is a great document with 50 ideas for using an image to get students speaking in the target language:

Using Visual Material in the Foreign Language Classroom

(Compiled from the work of Harry Grover Tuttle)

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