Using picture tasks to develop spontaneous talk – A low effort / high impact teaching sequence

Gweithgaredd llafar digymell.

The Language Gym


Please note: This post was written in collaboration with Steve Smith of with whom I am co-authoring the ‘MFL teacher’s toolkit’ (to be published in the new year).

  1. Introduction

One of the approaches I undertake in order to promote L2 oral fluency and spontaneity involves the use of picture tasks. This post lays out a low-effort/high-impact teaching sequence based on the following pillars of my instructional approach:

  • Prep students before you start the teaching sequence through as much (flipped?) vocabulary building as possible.
  • Allow for lots of recycling of the target material throughout the sequence.
  • Provide lots of comprehensible written and aural input tbefore involving the students in written or oral production.
  • Start production with highly structured activities which become increasingly less structured. Withdraw support at the end of the sequence.
  • Aim at automatization of speech production as the end-goal (e.g. fast retrieval from long term memory). Prioritize fluency…

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