Tips for World Languages Teachers!

Find the best tips on how to use Formative to teach World Languages!

Rebecca Worden avatar
Written by Rebecca Worden
Updated over a week ago

Read on to find out more about how to use different question types for World Languages, examples of educator-approved sites you can embed into your formatives, and inspiring examples of formatives you can clone!

Use Different Question Types

Here are some of our favorite question types to use in World Languages classes!


Students can type, underline, circle, and even upload images in a Drawing question. Teachers can likewise draw, type, and upload images to the background! Here are some of our favorite uses for teaching languages:

  1. Upload a diagram or flowchart for students to complete.

2. Give your students a description/instructions and have them draw it.

🌟Enhance a PDF/Doc/Image/GoogleDoc

With Enhance a PDF/Doc/Image/GoogleDoc you can upload any document you already have (worksheets, quizzes, images, etc.) and add questions on top. 

  1. Have them practice listening skills by uploading a video of a song and a document with blanks for them to complete.

2. Test your students' vocabulary by uploading an image and having them label it.

Tip: both "Drawing" and "Enhance a PDF/Doc/Image/GoogleDoc" are great question types for having students label images or complete diagrams. The main difference is that "Enhance a PDF/Doc/Image/GoogleDoc" allows you to set an answer key for easy-breezy grading! 


With our Audio feature, you can create your own material for listening activities. Record yourself narrating a story and have your students listen for comprehension.

📌How to Add Special Characters/Accents 

Even if your physical keyboard does not support characters with accents or other special characters, you can usually access the characters using an on-screen touch keyboard:


On Chromebooks you can access special characters by changing to a language-specific keyboard or the international keyboard and using the on-screen keyboard:

Refer to the documentation to learn how to turn on the on-screen keyboard and enter accented and other special characters:

If your students are able to install Chrome extensions, they may find it easier to use one to input special characters. See below for a recommendation for a Chrome extension.

Windows 10

Select the Touch keyboard icon on the taskbar.

When you’re using a tablet, or PC in tablet mode, the touch keyboard will automatically open when you tap where you’d like to enter text. If the keyboard doesn’t open automatically, you may need to update your drivers.

If you're not seeing the touch keyboard button, right-click or tap and hold the taskbar and select Show touch keyboard button.

Once the keyboard is on-screen, you can press and hold on a character to show available accented / alternative versions of it:

Press the variation to enter that character.

If your students are able to install Chrome extensions, they may find it easier to use one to input special characters. See below for a recommendation for a Chrome extension.


On macOS you can press and hold a key on your keyboard to show alternative versions of that character on the screen. For example if you press and hold the A key you can get a menu like this:

The accent menu for the letter a, showing eight variations of the letter.

iOS (iPhone & iPad)

On iPhone and iPad you can press and hold a character to get a menu of accented versions of that character.

Chrome Extension for Chromebooks & Windows 10

If students on Windows 10 or Chromebooks are allowed to install Chrome extensions, then using a Chrome browser extension may be easier then using an on-screen touch keyboard. For example, the extension "Accents: Spanish, Portuguese, French, German" provides a very similar experience to the macOS "press and hold" system. Click here to add it to your browser! 😀

How to use the extension:
1. Hold down a key when typing and wait for the pop-up to appear. Try it with uppercase letters, punctuation marks, and other symbols too.
2. To select the character you desire, you can either press the number or click on the button itself.
3. There is also a shortcut you can use: while holding the key, press the number of the button before the popup appears.

💡 Any device - copy/paste workaround

The options above might be difficult to set up and use sometimes. A solution that works on any device or browser without installing any software or changing system settings is to include the special characters in your question for your students to copy & paste.

📌Useful World Languages sites that you can embed into your Formatives

You can embed websites anywhere in a formative, either as a content item, or within a question (*Premium only). Check out our Embed article for instructions.

🌟Spanish Playground- Spanish Playground has practical advice and useful material for teaching Spanish. What sets this site apart is its section about utilizing humor to lighten the difficulty of learning a new language. 

🌟Quizlet- Quizlet has millions of study sets in various languages to choose from. It also lets you can create your own. 

🌟Parlons français- This free website offers numerous great resources primarily for beginner and intermediate students. Developed by European broadcast network TV5Monde, it includes 80 activities to learn French that are all ranked by level.

Silver/Gold users get even more features

🌟Audio Response

Audio Response is a great way to have your students practice their speaking skills, especially pronunciation. There is no pressure since students can re-record as many times as they want!


With our Video feature, you can add video as a stand-alone content item and attach questions. Silver/Gold users can attach questions at particular timestamps in the video, or add a video directly into any question!

🌟Video Response

Video Response is another great way to have your students practice their speaking skills in a more creative way. There is no pressure since students can re-record as many times as they want!


Use the Categorize question type to have students match properties with figures or vocabulary terms with their equivalent in English!

🌟Hot Text

Use the Hot Text question to have students demonstrate understanding by citing evidence within a text.

🌟In Line Choice

Use the In Line Choice Question to create cloze tasks for your students.

You can also use the Fill In The Blank or Drag and Drop question types to create similar types of cloze tasks

📌Great examples of World Languages Formatives

🌟Spanish Parts of Speech / Partes de la Oración  (Grades 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th) 

🌟On a joué au basket! (Grades 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th)- Sports vocabulary applied to basketball in the past tense with short videos.

🌟Deutsche Essgewohnheiten ( Grades 7th+) - Formative on Traditional German Food. 

Check out our Public Library for more World Languages formatives!

Additional Resources

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