I am near the end of my trimester and trying to review some of what we have learned to prepare students for their upcoming final assessments. Valentine’s Day is fun, but I don’t want to miss a day of language learning just for fun. Speed-dating is great for getting students to use the language in short conversations. They get a ton of practice and feel more comfortable in pairs than speaking in front of big groups. I set my room up in a big circle with desks facing each other like this…
Then I will give them a list of questions for each student to answer on their own. These questions will include what we have learned this year in level 1 like the following: What’s your name? Where are you from? How old are you? What do you like to do? Plus other fun questions like these: Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Are you romantic? What’s your number? Do you like to dance? What is your favorite restaurant?
I let them know they will be “speed dating” and they need to find out important info about this new person. Don’t leave without finding out their name (and number if interested!). Find out how old they are too… You won’t want to date them if they are 10 years old. I encourage them to pretend they are someone else if they want to. This gets them thinking about how to answer questions according to their character and pushes them to learn new words.
I have used a bell or percussion instrument to signal for them to move, but this year I’m looking for a smooching sound app to spice things up! I will give them 15 seconds one time, 30 the next, and sometimes 1 minute (which gets uncomfortable, but it great to get them asking their OWN questions.) At the end, I have them pick the most interesting date they had and have they write down what they learned about that person (in the language) and the guy and girl with the most votes will win a cupcake/candy from me!
Celebrate AND stretch their skills! Valentine’s Day is a great time to try SPEED DATING!
* They may not speak in the target language 100% of the time, but 5-6 minutes of actually speaking the language is a lot more than 10 seconds if we were asking the questions!!