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Miming games in MFL

Children enjoy playing games which use mime and good learning can result from them. Children who are a bit shy in the MFL classroom may also be more confident when miming.

With my Year 7 near beginners today we practised regular -er verbs in French by a simple miming activity where partner A mimed a simple activity from a list of verbs on the board which partner B had to respond to using the tu form of the verb. Verbs included chanter, dessiner, regarder, aimer, adorer, détester, entrer, sauter, travailler, voyager and manger. Then I mimed selected verbs and the students had to respond using the vous form of the verb. This was useful since studenst rarely get to practise the 2nd person plural.

The same principle applies to sports vocabulary. In this case, having taught sports via flashcard or powerpoint, you can get a student up to mime sports which the rest of the class have to identify. There are two advantages to getting a student to come to the front: firstly it can be funny, secondly students get to practise the 3rd person singular. If you get two students up, you can then create the opportunity to practise the nous and ils forms of the verb. This is textbook question-answer, oral approach technique.

Another pair work miming game I have used several times is "dumb customer". In this game partner A, who cannot speak, has a list of items (e.g.a wedding list) which he has to get across to the salesperson (partner B). This works well with household items. Again, the teacher can give examples to get the ball rolling or as a plenary.

Jobs and household chores are other vocabulary areas which lend themselves to pair work miming. These have worked well for my classes.

Not quite miming maybe, but pairs can draw letters, pictures or clock times on the back of their partner. Fun for beginners, or even older learners.

How about this one - I haven't tried it, but it could work well. Give students a list of adverbs:

doucement, calmement, violemment, lentement, rapidement/vite, mal, bruyamment

Then ask a student to come to the front and give them a task to mime with an adverb. The rest of the class has to say or write down the activity and the adverb. Tasks to mime could include: joue au tennis de table, dessine un chat, bois une tasse de café, prends une douche, brosse-toi les dents, lave une voiture, mange un gâteau, joue à la console, conduit une voiture etc etc.

If you like mime, try this:


  1. Thank you for those ideas! I like the last one with adverbs. This way students can say more complicated sentences.


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