I believe that homework is crucial for successful delivery of languages curriculum and should be treated as such. It is not an optional but an imperative extra to successful language acquisition. If it is used effectively it can support and aid learning of a new language, develop students' language skills and cultural awareness.
With subject such as foreign language which on average is timetabled maybe for two lessons a week at KS3 and 5 lessons per fortnight at KS4 in most of the U.K. comprehensive schools, it is also essential that students regularly re-visit new language and structures again at home as this will reinforce their knowledge.
Because the research on homework is rather mixed, we should think carefully about the types of tasks that we assign and what is their purpose and whether they have a positive impact on students' learning and progress.
Homework supporting language skills
- TeachVid - supports listening and reading (writing) skills. The resource below I made myself, but there are many ready made videos in different languages which can be used. You and your students will need to open a free account to access the activities. You can give students a link for the specific task you want them to complete i.e gap fill, break the flow etc. Once the task has been completed students will be given a score, so no marking for the teacher. I do not set a % benchmark for these tasks - this is more about exposing students to different resources and also to the cultural capital. They might find some of the tasks challenging, but what I tell my students is - the more they practise the more words/structures they will encode and it will get easier. The key here is exposure to as much language as possible in variety of contexts.
- LearningApps - you will need to open an account and can create your own activities or there are ready made activities that have been shared by other teachers and which you can use. Result is generated upon completion of the task. Teacher marking not required.
- Wordwall - you will need to create an account. Free account will allow you to create 5 resources, for more you will have to subscribe, but again there are many resources ready made and freely shared by other teachers. Many resources for German have been shared by Abi Bryan. Result is generated upon completion of the task. Teacher marking not required.
- learngerman.dw.com - supports listening and reading skills as after watching the short video there are comprehension questions to answer. Levels from A1 to C1 covered with various topics to choose from. Result is generated after completing the comprehension task. Teacher marking not required.
- languagesonline.org.uk - good for Grammar testing, but specific for Logo, so you will have to choose activities carefully. Result is generated upon completion of the task. Teacher marking not required.
- Flipgrid / TEAMS or QWIQR - great to support speaking practice, especially now during 'Covid times'. Teacher feedback can be recorded as well.
- easygerman on YouTube