Monday, 31 March 2014

Chatty Mats

OFSTED are keen to see our pupils conversing with each other in the Target Language during their normal everyday tasks and not just speaking activities. So how do you ensure that your pupils try their hardest to use Target Language as much as possible?

As part of a project for a PGCE placement, a fellow NQT in our department created the 'Chatty Mat' in order to encourage pupil to experiment with the Target Language more by acting as a one stop shop for useful phrases. Split into various categories, the pupils can use the 'Chatty Mat' to supplement their language by adding opinions, debate phrases and words to show hesitation allowing them to gain time in their spoken work. On the reverse of the mat, pupils have common teacher talk phrases and ways in which they can respond effectively as well as key phrases like 'Can I open the window?', 'I don't have a pen' and 'I wasn't here last lesson.'

While these work best if implemented from day 1 in year 7, increased use of Target Language has been seen across all Key Stage 3 classes with some gains made with Key Stage 4. I've seen my current Year 11 having fun with the language, especially during debates where calls of people being mad are quite commonplace! Competitions have been run between classes, and even year groups, in order to promote the use of Target Language with points being awarded for use of the mats.

Examples of the French 'Chatty Mats' are attached below.




  1. This is a great idea. I've started doing something similar, but its laid out in grids. The advantage is that pupils can change the vocab to say what they want, but the structure is there. They are loving them so far and they have gained lots of rewards for speaking German. Anything to encourage communication!

  2. Awesome idea. Just discovered this on pinterest and repinned. Love the idea of giving the students the language they need and having it accessible to them!

  3. We have these exact ones at school, they are really helpful! :)