In this post we’re going to look at 30 listening activities you can use with your Spanish students. I’m also going to share a resource to help you keep all of them organized that you can just use at a glance while you’re lesson planning. Here we go!
It’s important to note that most of these are not my activities. They are things that I have encountered in various places and I will make sure to list the person that they came from in the spreadsheet of activities below. Some of them have been around for so long that I’m not really sure who came up with them first so if you know, please feel free to comment so I can update that with the appropriate information!
Watch the Video
Sources for Listening Activities for Spanish Class
First, I want to talk to you about the source of that listening – there’s a few different options, and I don’t think any of them are good or bad, per say, but I do think it’s really important to include a mix of the options we have access to for our students.
Option One – US! The teacher is a great source of audio input for the students. If you focus on spending 90% of your class time in the target language, your students are getting a good amount of listening practice just by being present in your classroom. If you want to learn more about 90% Time in the Target Language, check out my blog post here on how I talk to students and their guardians about it, and grab my free handout for back to school night or conferences!
Option Two – other teachers! I think this is a great option because teachers know how to talk to novices. There’s a lot to be said for a listening activity that isn’t so fast the students just..panic. But, it’s also nice to have them hear other voices. If you have colleagues or teacher friends, offer to swap recordings for them every now and then so your students both get to hear someone else. I also highly recommend the novice listening library Laura Sexton started on Flipgrid. It’s a great source of this kind of recording!
Option Three – each other! Listening to each other (talking or just listening) counts, in my opinion. I know it’s not perfect, especially if your students are lower level and haven’t quite developed in their pronunciation just yet, but I’ve also found that talking and listening to each other helps my students correct their pronunciation as they work with their classmates. Sometimes it’s easier and lower stress for them to hear a “hey, this word is actually THIS” from a peer, because I really very rarely make that kind of correction -for a whole bunch of reasons.
Option Four – videos and recordings from the internet, whether of native speakers or other learners. Thank goodness in this social media era there are OODLES of options out there for us. My personal faves are YouTube, Instagram, and Tiktok. Youtube is nice, because you can affect the speed of the video playback, which is sometimes helpful. IG & TT are helpful because they are SHORT. If you’ve done a movie talk, or seen my video on it, you know it doesn’t take much to pull a :60 second video and use it for multiple class periods.
Pssst – if your school doesn’t allow access to Instagram or TikTok on your school’s network, you can always save the video to use in your classes. I have a tutorial on it here!
In this category I would also include music! Music is a great resource for our students to hear the language. If you’ve seen my daily routines post, you know I love including Música Miércoles weekly, but there’s lots of other ways to include music too. I’m getting ahead of myself. Activities are coming!
Listening Activities for Spanish Class
let’s talk about the activities you can DO with a listening selection. There are tons, so I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet and if you have more questions about any of them, drop me a comment and I’ll explain further!
- 4 Corners (Mis Clases Locas) – you read a question that has multiple choices. Students move to the corner that represents their answer
- Ball Toss – students ask a question, toss the ball, answer the question, repeat
- Card Talk – Students illustrate (prompt), then discuss what they drew on their cards
- Choral Translation – Teacher reads, class translates
- Chunky Monkey (Señor Wooly) order lyric chunks chronologically while listening to song
- Details, Details (Señora Chase) rotated timed writing, with points earned for the most details
- Dictation – teacher reads sentences out loud, students try to write them accurately
- Edpuzzle – watch videos and answer questions as added by the teacher
- Interpretive quick quizzes (Señora Chase) – students listen to the media and then respond as much as they are able
- Fortune Teller (La Secundaria) students ask and answer questions using the fortune tellers or cootie catchers
- Human Bingo students walk around and ask/answer questions to complete a bingo sheet
- In the Cards (Señor Wooly) choose card that matches description read by teacher
- Is THIS the video? (Spanish Plans) listen to a song. Afterwards, teacher (silently) plays clips from several different videos. Students watch the clips and decide which they feel is the actual music video.
- Letra Equivocada (Spanish Plans) give students lyrics, but some of them are wrong – they listen and mark when they hear something that doesn’t match
- Marker Partner (Cynthia Hitz) team version of the “agárralo/marker” game
- Matamoscas in groups of 3, (2 players, 1 judge) students race to touch the image the teacher describes
- Movie Talk narrate scenes in comprehensible language
- Musical Bingo (Kara Jacobs) watch a music video and play bingo with things they see in it
- Off-Side (Señor Wooly) students show agreement to 1 of 2 statements by moving to corresponding side of the room
- Pareja Mentirosa in pairs, students take turns to read out loud. When they make a mistake the other partner calls out “Mentirosa”
- Picture Talk talk about an image in comprehensible language for your students
- Pop Up (Señora Chase) listen to a sentence, pop up when called to translate it first
- Quite the character (Señor Wooly) match character photo with description
- Running Dictation (Comprehensible Classroom) – students take turns running, memorizing a sentence, then dictating it to their partner
- Reverse Running Dictation (La Maestra Loca) One student reads a sentence, other student runs and finds matching image, then reports
- Sound Effect Reading (Julie Ogden Thompson) students make sound effects as you read
- Speed Date Translate like volleyball reading, but with a timed, rotating element
- Strip Bingo (Comprehensible Classroom) students listen and tear off pieces from a strip of paper
- TeachVid video tool that pulls out the language for students to interact with over and over again
- Viva la Música (Señor Wooly) students listen to song and highlight known phrases
All of the Activities and More!
Each of the activities I described in this video are linked in this spreadsheet, plus about 70 more. I think you’re going to love it – make sure you bookmark the page to easily return to for whenever you need inspiration!
If if there is anything that I missed in the spreadsheet, please comment below and let me know! What is one of your favorite activities to do with your classes?
If you like these activities and you want to hear more ideas for your classes, check out the playlist that I have here for you! This is my playlist on reading activities so if you liked this, that’s a playlist full of activities kind of like these but more in depth so it’s not like this whirlwind sprint each one has an explanation. I hope it’s helpful for you!