Target Transfer

Popcorn Words

Students are given popcorn images with sight words in them. The teachers calls out several (but not all) of the popcorn words and the students “butter” the popcorn using yellow markers or highlighters.

Sample Activity

Look and Listen

Graphic organizers help novice-level students understand listening and scaffold their response to it using images with words. This technique allows students to focus more on listening and less on quickly writing on a graphic organizer however, it can later be used to scaffold writing or discussion.

Sample Activity

Follow a Floor Plan

Using the floor plan of a culturally authentic home have students invent a mystery on the order of Clue where several events happen in several rooms. Students write their stories, embellishing as appropriate with lexical items relating to furnishings, practicing the past tenses when explaining the events, etc. Then they read their stories to a partner who follows the events on the floor plan, tracing the sequence of events and sketching symbols representing what happened. As a comprehension check the drawer can repeat back to the mystery writer what transpired.

Variation: Ask students to imagine they are living with a host family in that home. They describe their daily routine, moving from room to room. In French this enables practice of reflexive verbs and related lexical items as well as home interiors.

Sample Activity

Power of Pictures

In small groups, student A receives a complicated picture or a painting from the target culture. Student A describes the painting with as much detail as possible for two minutes while the other group members draw. On the other side of the picture (hidden to student A) is a list of requirements. Requirements are each worth one point. If the other group members met the requirement (e.g. the man is facing left or only one eye is showing in the picture) they receive one point. After revealing the true picture, the best listener will receive the most points. These pictures could be geared toward chapter vocabulary (e.g. body parts, clothes).

Variation 1: Prepare a story that includes the location of numerous items. Have students take out a sheet of paper and a pencil, close his/her eyes, and draw what you say. Example: “Draw a table in the center of the paper. Now draw a cat on top of the table and a dog under the table. Draw a chair to the left of the table and a plant to the right of the table…” The more nonsensical, the better. When students open their eyes, re-read the story so they can update their images and then share them with a partner or the class if you have a document camera.

Variation 2: In pairs students draw something their partner describes. It can be linked to many different contexts including homes (culturally authentic interiors and exteriors), cities, and body parts (monsters are a fun variation). Give everyone time to draw their subjects then arrange them in pairs with their backs to each other. One student describes while the other draws for 3 minutes. Then they change roles. At the end their compare the original drawings with the new ones created based on the descriptions.

Sample Activity

Artist Sketch

Using pre-created podcasts such as from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, students listen to a sketch of a bank robber and draw their own image. This podcast site includes an entire category called "Listen and Draw". There are multiple podcasts sites available in various languages. For example:


Notes in Spanish []

Audiria []


Coffee Break French []

Learning with French []

France 24 Podcasts [


UW-Madison []

Deutsche Welle-beginning to intermediate []

Deutsche Welle-slowly spoken news reports []

Deutsche Welle-All podcasts listed []

Sample Activity

Next Section: Encourage Authentic Listening