As foreign language teachers, one of our goals is to ensure that our students feel comfortable communicating in another language. What better way to give them the speaking practice they need than with a fun game?!
¡Jalapeño! is a great activity that gives your students the opportunity to:
· Speak in the target language
· Practice asking and answering questions
· Develop their vocabulary and practice pronunciation
· Use body movement and get up out of their chairs!
· Build confidence in their foreign language abilities
· Have fun!
1. Students stand in a circle. One student stands in the middle of the circle.
2. All students close their eyes. The teacher will pick one person to be “it” for the game (the teacher can tap a student on the shoulder), who is then known as “el jalapeño.”
3. All students open their eyes and the game begins!
4. The student in the middle of the circle will ask a question (En español, por supuesto. The teacher can model the question or give the student in the middle the exact question to ask.). The student will ask one person at a time the question.
5. All students except “el jalapeño” will answer using a complete sentence.
6. When the student in the middle asks “el jalapeño” the question, “el jalapeño” must answer the question by shouting out ““¡Jalapeño!”
7. This is the signal that ALL students MUST move to stand in a different place in the circle! Students are not allowed to move to the space next to them; they must move at least 2 spaces away!
8. The person who doesn’t find a place to stand in the circle is the new person to stand in the middle who will ask the next question!
Tips & Hints!
1. Students need to know where the allowed spaces are to stand. Or sit. If you have chairs available in your class, you can set up chairs in a circle. In my class the chairs are attached to the desks, so we can’t use those. We put down some washi tape / masking tape and leave it on the floor so students know exactly where the circle is and where the spaces are for the game.
2. The game is meant to help students feel more comfortable speaking in the target language. Modeling the question for the person in the middle takes away the fear of having to come up with the question on their own. This is especially important for students new to the target language. Students in upper levels might be perfectly confident and comfortable coming up with the questions on their own. Modeling the answer is also important. Before each round, model the question then model the answer and give the students standing around the circle time to formulate their answer in their heads before the game begins.
This game can be used for just about ANY unit in the foreign language classroom! Questions can be as simple as “¿Cómo te llamas?,” an intermediate “¿Qué hiciste el fin de semana pasado?” or a more advanced “¿Quién se lo dio?”
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me! I would love to hear how you use this game with your classes! Please leave a comment below!
~La Profesora Frida
The beautiful graphics in this packet were used with permission from:
©Mrs. D’s Firsties and ©HahahaArt.