If you are teaching students online this year, you may find these Spanish listening activities fun and easy to use. They are low-prep and keep students engaged. They provide that essential Spanish listening practice all language learners need.
Each Spanish listening activity is one I have used with my class this year and that my students have enjoyed. My group is small, so some of these activities may need to be modified for a larger group.
Read a Spanish Story and Ask Questions
This year I am using the Spanish for You! Mi vida school-year themed package to teach my class. I created a short story of 10 sentences using content in the units we had already covered. I made the story short so that students could remember enough about it to answer questions. As I read the story, I used gestures to keep their attention and solidify comprehension.
After reading the story, I asked 5 questions in Spanish. They had to raise hands to answer aloud. If I had a larger group, I might have all students write the answers as I ask them. Then, I’d have students raise hands to answer while everyone else checked to see how they did.
The way to make this “fun”, is to present the activity something like this: “Ok, now I am going to read you a short story and then ask some questions. Let’s see if you can answer them. So, escucha bien!” Then, before asking the questions, I would say, “Ok, now let’s see how you do answering the questions! Let’s see if you can get them!” By presenting it like a “brain teaser” or game, it shifts how they perceive the activity, and they become more enthusiastic.
Read a Spanish Story and Fill in the Blanks
Like the previous activity, write a short Spanish story using content the students have learned. This story can be a little longer, maybe up to 12 sentences. You don’t want to make it too long or the students will lose interest.
In each sentence, leave blanks for the verbs. As you read the story, say “blank” where the verb goes. After each sentence, the students raise their hands to fill in the blank with a verb properly conjugated to fit the context. If you have a large group, modify this activity like I suggested for the previous story activity. Also, be sure to present the activity as a “game-like” challenge to add that fun element.
Sí/No Spanish Sentences
Write several sentences using content the students know. Make some of the sentences silly. Then read them aloud and students have to say “sí” if each would be true or “no” if not. If you have a large group, have each student write “sí” on an index card and “no” on another. They can hold each card up in response instead of saying the words. Then be sure to go over what each sentence means. You can provide the meaning or have students raise their hands to say the meanings.
Spanish Verb Conjugation Listening
With Spanish for You! students make verb flashcards on index cards. So, what I do is have them lay their flashcards out from a particular unit in front of them. I say a subject and infinitive verb, like “yo/barrer” or “we/abrir”. They hold up the card that shows the conjugated form for the subject/verb combination. Then, I say the answer so they can check.
Sometimes I do this in batches where I say and write the subject/verb combinations on the board and number them. Students then pull the card for each and set them aside in the order I’ve presented them. Once I’ve done about 5, we check them.
Dictate a group of vocabulary words, verbs, numbers, or Alphabet letters. Make it “game-like”. Read more about how to do that here. To get double out of your efforts, have students write the dictation items into squares on a blank Bingo sheet. Finish up by playing Bingo!
Silly Run-On Sentence
Begin a Spanish sentence and have students repeat. Then, say the sentence again and add on to it. The students repeat. Continue to do this so that you have a silly run-on sentence and see how long students can remember and repeat correctly. See the example below:
- María barre.
- María barre el suelo.
- María barrel el suelo en el garaje.
- María barre el suelo en el garaje y lava el carro.
- María barre el suelo en el garaje y lava el carro y limpia la casa.
- And so on.
Fill in the Sequence
Say something that is in sequence aloud, such as the alphabet, numbers 1-20, days of the week, or months of the year. As you say the sequence, stop at a certain point and point to the students. In response they should say what comes next. Continue with the sequence, stopping for them to fill in at various points.
Example: Begin saying the Spanish alphabet aloud: a, b, stop and they say “c”, d, e, f, stop and they say “g”, and so on.
Create some tongue twisters using content your students know. In order to easily create a tongue twister, decide on a letter whose pronunciation you’d like to practice. For example, I wrote this one to practice the letter “j”: Javier y José juegan juegos con los juguetes en el garaje. After you create your tongue twister, follow these steps:
- Begin by writing the tongue twister on your whiteboard and have the students write it too.
- Next read the tongue twister aloud while students listen.
- Then, say the tongue twister in parts having the students repeat each part after you.
- After that, read the whole tongue twister and have students repeat it.
- Continue with saying the tongue twister aloud and them repeating going faster and faster each tine.
- Last, see if they can say it fast themselves. Even challenge them to say it from memory. Even ask if volunteers want to try to say it aloud solo!
- To end the activity, see if they can tell you what the tongue twister means in English.
Other Spanish Listening Activities
Some additional activities that require little explanation are:
- Say a one-word hint and students say the Spanish vocabulary word that goes with it. You can also have them hold up a flashcard picture of the word.
- Say a Spanish number, and students hold up that number of fingers or write the number.
- Say a sentence, and students draw a quick picture to show it.
- Simón Dice/Simon Says
- Survey the class on what they like. Say things in Spanish, and they raise hands as you keep tally.
I hope you have found this list of Spanish listening activities helpful and that it has given you ideas for other activities. Teaching online can be challenging, but with some creativity and ingenuity, many things can still be done successfully. The key to making Spanish listening activities effective in an online class is to keep them fun, simple, and short.
By the way, if you’re looking for a Spanish curriculum to teach your classes, check out Spanish for You! for Schools or Homeschool Co-ops/Private Classes. It is a simple, effective, and affordable way to teach and learn Spanish! And it transitions for teaching online easily.