circumlocution, advanced oral communication, Spanish, activities, talking in Spanish, listening in Spanish
Las fichas is a fantastic upper-level oral communication activity that takes very little preparation. I have carefully chosen words that can be readily circumlocuted by typical Spanish 3 or Spanish 4 students.
1. Make enough copies for the class. Each sheet would be one session of Las Fichas. If you have 24 students you only need to make 3 copies of each page. Copying all words would be four separate sessions of Las Fichas.
2. Cut out each card. Pile them into colors, red or blue.
3. Partner up students, with one being red and the other blue. Have them grab a ficha with their color.
4. Then have them sit with their partner (who should have the other color). They need to describe the word using only Spanish. Their partner needs to guess the word in English.
5. Switch roles, now the person describing the word is guessing their partner’s words.
1. When I first did this activity, I made the mistake of not modeling the proper way to circumlocute. Make sure you show students how to do it. Even write it out on the board. After a session or two, students will have little problem with this activity.
2. Some students will be very good and finish this activity quickly. Others will take time. Have something for them to work on when they are done.
3. I typically do not allow proper nouns or hand motions. For example, if the word is McDonald’s, they shouldn’t say “la casa del Big Mac”.
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