I was presented with a gift before leaving school today. Well, actually its not a personal gift! I was given a class set of ActivExpressions handsets to start using in the classroom. I was trained on how to use them yesterday, and I am very intrigued by the technology, although I can honestly say, thatfor the first time in my MFL/ICT relationship I am not convinced that this particular tool will be a worthy addition to the classroom.

Has anyone used these things before? For those of you that haven’t, they are a handheld unit, as small as a mobile phone, with a keypad like one, in order to input answers. Answers to questions can be given as true/talse , multiple choice or ordering, or pupils can input a number or text. The unit is able to do accents (so worth using for vocabulary in MFL), and it is relatively easy to create a FlipChart with preprepared questions, or just to pull up a poll without having pre-prepared anything.

I guess I need to really have a think about what type of activities would be suited to this device and as a school and a department we need to consider the classroom management side of things (when in the lesson do we use them – beginning or end?, counting them in/out etc) and create some sort of ‘good practice’ guide. So far the ideas I have for using the handsets are as follows:

1. Spelling test at the beginning of the lesson

2. Going through the answers to a listening or reading paper after having completed it (it is the exam season after all)

3. As part of a Who Wants to be a Millionaire style game (although will need to convert my nice PowerPoints intoFlipCharts for this to work properly)

4. …

And now I am out of ideas. I will think on this further and come back with some more ideas soon. Anyone else think of any?



  1. I have come up with one of two more ideas this evening. I just couldn’t rest without at least 5 ideas!


    4. Ordering sentences or paragraphs for comprehension (then input the order on the handset)

    5. Ordering words to create sentences that make sense (would only involve pupils typing in letters though, rather than writing the language down….)

    Will continue to think about this one!

  2. Pingback: 23 Ways to use Wordle in the MFL Classroom « The LanguagesResources Blog

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