Hola, Profes Locos.

I just filmed an activity that many of us have been doing for years! I like to call Taboorades. It’s kinda like Taboo… and it’s kinda like… Charades…

We play this fun language game to help increase target language use in class, to increase vocabulary repetitions, and to help foster language creativity via circumlocution.

It’s not the most amazing game in the world because kids are getting a lot of low quality input and the language is out of context, but are there any perfect activities? #Rhetorical

Creates the playing cards based on high frequency vocabulary, phrases learned during class stories, their curriculum lists, a bunch of complicated ideas that are difficult to explain, or chunks related to your current theme.

4-8 players sit in a circle and are divided up into two teams. Order the members in a group so that students are seated between opposing team members who will monitor that the card holder doesn’t say the words on the card.

Set a stopwatch to beep at 2-minute intervals, or simply ring a bell whenever the heck you feel like it.

Start the timer, or just say, “Go.”

Clue-givers start acting to get their team to say the word on the card without using English to win 1 point. If a student speaks English and someone notices, they must pull a new card and start over. To receive 2 points, they must use the target language.

As soon as their team guesses the word they pass the cup of words. The cup continues to be passed with each guessed card until the bell rings. The person with the cup when the bell rings loses a turn and it’s passed to the next student.

Students who successfully clue a card keep the card, and these represent 1 point for the team. If they use the target language they fold it in half to represent 2 points.
At the end of the game team member points are tallied, and the winning team is declared by the team with the most points.

I think it’s super important that you explicitly relate this activity to language learning in order to remind students of its benefits in future classes.

Gracias por visitar.
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  • Hello! I have been watching a ton of your videos! This year has been so nuts with the pandemic and hybrid teaching, that I feel like my students aren’t here yet. What are some activities I could have my French 2s and 1s do next year to get them to this level? How can I get them to be this chatty!

    • Hola!
      I think that the best quick advice I can give is to keep all language in stories and real conversations while focusing on the high frequency verbs and words: short and easy stories, cultural event stories, current event stories, the most important parts of songs, etc.
      The chat level is mostly dependent on them being comfortable with each other and with you. Build relationships and it will come… or not sometimes, LOL.

  • Hola!

    I love your vlog and find it so inspiring! Can you give some examples of ‘complicated ideas’ that you use? Gracias!

    • Hola, Friend! Thanks for connecting!
      Perhaps some complicated ideas could be some of the AP themes, or other big ideas like, culture, the environment, learning a second language, being a grownup, using technology, war, and religious freedom.

  • Love this! Can’t wait to try this with my kids next week. This is probably a silly question, but are the words on the cards in English or the Target Language? If so, are they words they are already familiar with in the target language or new ones they haven’t learned yet?

    I’m just thinking how this might also be a really great way for them to realize that they already use circumlocution in their L1 when they forget how to say something or don’t know what something is called and how that process is how people unlock new vocabulary when interacting in the TL and you run across the need for a word you don’t already know. “Necesito una cosa para el inodoro. El inodoro no funciona. Mucha agua.” that kind of thing to get to “plunger.”

    • Hey!
      If you really expect the kids to know the words you are playing with, just have Spanish on the cards. I, however, write the Spanish and the English translation; the game is already hard enough, and I want to be able to focus on sending the message. It’s more realistic to have an idea of what you want to say than to have to want to say something without even knowing what it is, LOL.
      Great reflection re. the L1. We circumlocute every day, and we need practice on all fronts!
      Happy collaborating!

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