The secret agent’s handbook of language challenges
The handbook, developed for the European Day of Languages, offers a wide range of challenges to keep language learners motivated – in particular during a prolonged period away from the ‘physical’ language classroom. The handbook can easily be used by parents, teachers and/or students/children directly.
Taking on the role of a ‘secret agent’, the learner has a mission to complete which involves successfully carrying out as many of the 50 challenges as possible. The challenges focus on different basic skills and are set at different levels of difficulty.
They are flexible and adaptable to different ages, contexts, languages and levels of language proficiency. Some are relatively easy, such as…
And others, aren’t necessarily so easy…
Budding agents can decide how they select their challenges: by picking ones which reflect their interests/the skills they wish to develop or simply by letting fate intervene through ‘the wheel of fortune’.
Whether they decide to do one a day/week or 10 in one go, they will find challenges which are fun and yet can take them a little outside their comfort zone.
The final challenge within the handbook gives free reign to an agent’s creativity:
Some possible ideas for this challenge which are particularly relevant in the current context, are:
- “Send virtual hugs / encouraging greetings to the world (in a foreign language you are learning)"
- “Show how you are cooking your favourite national recipe”
- “Recommend a movie from your country in a foreign language”
- “Recreate a country you would to visit after the crisis is over in your home”
- “Record and explain your favourite current activity at home in a foreign language”
- “We can make it together! ” / “We are strong together!” – film a supportive message in a foreign language
- “Film a one minute workout in your native language”
Upon completion of at least 10 challenges the agent can reward themselves with a certificate – which will not self-destruct…
There should be something for everyone – so why not give it a try?