Section 3: Creating opportunities for communication

Key Focus Question: How can you create activities to promote communication in the additional language?

Keywords: information gap; interaction; meaningful; creating activities; groups

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • created activities for real communication in your additional language class;
  • developed a ‘library’ of resources to stimulate natural communication;
  • used group and pair work to develop interaction in the additional language.


As a teacher, you need to make use of research findings related to what you are doing. Recent research indicates that people acquire language through participating in meaningful interaction in the language, in natural contexts. What does this mean?

  • ‘Participating’: Each pupil should participate – or be actively involved.
  • ‘Meaningful’: The activity should be relevant and have meaning for pupils.
  • ‘Interaction’: Communication should be two-way (or three- or four-way).
  • ‘Natural contexts’: The language used should be everyday language.

In this section, we look at how to stimulate this kind of interaction in your classroom, largely through the use of pictures. We suggest that you develop a selection of resources.

Interactive classroom work usually takes place in small groups. It will be helpful to read Key Resource: Using group work in your classroom [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

1. Creating opportunities for ‘real’ communication