5 minutes a day

The Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages recommends that children receive an hour of language teaching each week.  This hour does not have to be in one block.  It is much easier for teachers to fit in a 30-40 minute lesson each week, and then make up the time to about an hour with 5 minute activities on the other days.

Here are my ideas for 5 minute activities, which I will add to as I devise more.

Writing systems

1.  Practise copying accurately words in the target language, particularly words with accents and apostrophes, plus unfamiliar punctuation such as the Spanish upside-down question mark.

Knowledge about Language

1.  Look at a list of cognates in the target language and work out what they are in English.  Example here.

2.  For French, look at some words with circumflexes on and work out what they are in English.  Example here.

Dictionary work

1.  Put into alphabetical order a short list of words in the target language.

Practising vocabulary and structures

1.  The children play together an online game such as these ones for French, or these for Spanish.

2.  Children complete a short wordsearch to practise the vocabulary.

3.  Children complete a short crossword to practise the vocabulary.

4.  Play "I went shopping and I bought" to practise the vocabulary and enhance memory skills.  Game 17 here.

5.  Play Round the World.  Game 16 here.

6.  Children use your flashcards to test each other.

7.  Children say one of the new words or phrases instead of "Yes Miss" when they answer the register.  Challenge them to say something that the people before them haven't said.

8.  Do a short reading comprehension.  Example here.

9.  Use Quizlet to practise vocabulary either online or via the Quizlet app.

10.  Use StudyStack to practise vocabulary using its online flashcards and games.

11.  Use Zondle to create embeddable games, like these ones.

12.  Use ProProfs to create embeddable puzzles and games, like this one.

13.  Use JigsawPlanet to create an embeddable jigsaw of the vocabulary or text, like this one.

14.  Complete a Google Survey, like this one, to test knowledge.


1.  Look at a list of words an circle the ones that contain a certain phoneme.  Example here.

2.  Count the incidences of a certain phoneme in a short text.  Example here


1.  Look at a list of nouns and work out which are masculine and which are feminine.  Example here.

Intercultural understanding

1.  Watch a short video clip, from BBC Virtually There or BBC Being French perhaps.


1.  Sing a song in the language.

2.  Read together a poem or a short story in the language being studied.

3.  Teach the children a clapping rhyme or playground game that they can then practise at breaktime.


  1. What can we do to expand our language teaching in UK schools? Why do you think Mandarin is not taught and Spanish and French are the norm?

  2. Would anyone have a Baseline Assesment for year 3, 4, 5 & 6?