Wednesday, February 03, 2010

9 Ways to Use Recipes for Foreign Language Learning

Ways to Use Recipes for Foreign Language Learning

“What to do?” “What to do?”

English as a foreign language and foreign language teachers are often in a quandary for simple but effective class room activities. You and your foreign language learners have to eat don’t you? Well, to help get you started, briefly here are some useful ways to use recipes for foreign language learning you might want to consider and a brief look at each:

Making a recipe preparation video

If there was ever a great way to incorporate multiple intelligences and application of multi-media into foreign language learning, then this is it. You guide your foreign language learners in preparing a short step-by-step video of preparing a simple recipe.

Creating a recipe poster with images

For a much more low-tech approach, why not consider having your foreign language learners make a poster showing how a simple recipe is prepared. They can include pictures of the preparation process and the finished recipe too.

Narrating a recipe preparation

This is yet another particularly simple-to-apply method for using recipes for foreign language learning. Foreign language learners just narrate the process into a microphone, recording the recipe preparation process as a sound file into a cassette recorder, PC or laptop computer.

Writing out a new recipe in different ways

The foreign language teacher can dictate a simple recipe for the foreign language learners to write down. The finished, corrected version can then be posted in the class room or online. Dictation addresses the foreign language learners’ writing ability as well as their listening comprehension skills.

Shooting digital images of a recipe in preparation

To get a good series of images for preparing a recipe, foreign language learners absolutely must understand the preparation steps and how ingredients are combined. Photographing the recipe preparation process will help organize the steps and process in their minds as well as provide them with picture image “manipulatives” or realia they can physically handle or manipulate during the organization process.

Focusing on the use of a particular ingredient in the preparation of different recipes

Take a commonly used ingredient like onions or tomatoes and ask your foreign language learners about other recipes which use that particular ingredient. Can you make juice, pastries or desserts with it? How about soup or salad?

Preparation of simple, basic recipes in class

Foreign language learners just love this one. You have them select and prepare a very simple, basic recipe in class while explaining the process aloud. The recipe need not be anything fancy or special – just edible.

Having English language learners bring prepared dishes to class and explain their ingredients and preparation

This is yet another variation on simple recipe preparation. Foreign language learners being basic ingredients to class, then prepare their offering for all to sample. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, hot dogs or a cookie sandwich hors d’oeuvres will do the trick nicely.

Posting videos, narrations and written recipes online

Another concept which might be considered or included is to post the foreign language learners’ recipes online. It could be on the school blog, in the school newspaper or as an article posting online at any of the hundreds of free article banks online. You choose, but choose wisely, grasshopper.

Ways to Use Recipes for Foreign Language Learning

So there you have it, nine ways to use recipes and their ingredients for English as a foreign language or other foreign language learning. Why not choose one or two and put them to the best use in your foreign language learning class room soon?

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


Dave said...


These are some cool ideas. I really like the one about making a video. Perhaps watching some Food Network would give the students the idea of how to make a cooking video.

When you talk about shooting photos, is this normally a homework assignment? That seems like a good one. It would be cool to see all the different photos.

Thanks for the ideas, I will use them in the future.

Adam said...

Great ideas, Larry. Anything that increases the chance of me being able to eat in class must be a good thing.

Neil Barker said...

This is a great idea. I've used this recipe method to teach English as well as study Korean and Japanese.