Energising the gapfill 2

Published on 5th August, 2010 in Teaching Tips by Frances Watkins

Last week’s tip looked at a fun way to inject new life into a gapfill exercise, making it hopefully more memorable for students. Here are one or two variations.

1  With a monolingual class, get students to do the same activity but this time, instead of ‘beeping’ or ‘banana-ing’, get them to translate the missing word(s) for their partners.

2  With a stronger, higher level class, get them to choose 60% of the sentences in the exercise, but to amend them so that some are incorrect. For example, in a task focusing on verb patterns:

The old woman threatened hitting me with his umbrella. (This should read: the old woman threatened to hit me …)

Students read out their complete examples to their partner, who should have their book closed. The partner decides if it is correct or not. If it is incorrect, they should correct it.

3  This is actually more of an extension than a variation and works with lexis exercises, not tenses. It’s essentially a memory test. Students complete the exercise. Then students choose 2 of the lexical items that they think they will find hard to remember. Give them two minutes to try and memorise their two sentences. Put them in groups of three to compare and test each others’ memories!