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    • #8875



      Choose one of the techniques in Activity 7. If you need to, watch the three lessons again.

      1. Think of one other language area that you could test using this technique.

      2. Think of an example you would use or a sentence you would write on the board.

      Post your ideas in a reply below and comment on other teachers’ ideas.


    • #8950

      Barbara Bujtás

      I would use the gap-fill technique to test have/has got with a lower primary learner. (It reminds me of the substitution drills of the audiolingual method.)

      First, I’d aks my student to draw three people, Bernie, Cory, and Lena. (Drawing dictation)
      Barnie is a tall boy. He’s got short hair. He’s got twin sisters, Cory and Lena. They are short and they’ve got long, red hair.

      Then I’d write this sentence on the board:

      In his room, Barnie has got a big bed.

      Next, I’d erase ‘a big bed’:

      In his room, Barnie has got ________.

      I’d elicit things that Barnie might have in his room.

      Then, I’d change the sentence:

      In his room, Barnie has got a big bed. –>In his room, Barnie has got a big bed.–>In his room, Cory and Lena has got a big bed., eliciting ‘their’ and ‘have’.
      Then I’d erase the object that they have in their room.

      Finally, we could play ‘Who has got …?’ to remember what the kids have got.

      However, it doesn’t feel like testing, it’s prectice… Hmmm…

    • #8951

      Rhett Burton

      Extract 2: Situation and question

      Excuse me. I can’t find my brother. What could you ask?
      This is how I could use it in my context.
      Situation: Hannah can’t find her brother.

      Where is my brother?
      Do you know where Neven is?
      Have you seen My brother Neven?

      Providing a situation and a question is a wonderful example of how the power of presenting, practicing, and producing language (PPP) for a series of courses could sequence to each other. Level 1 can be simplified to, “Where is my brother?”. Level 2 can add additional language,” Do you know where my brother is?”. Level 3 presents new verb tenses, “Have you seen Neven? I can’t find him!” One situation can be graded and repeated by using different language structures.

      I would present these patterns to stay within the students’ abilities. With a level 1 student, I would work with the first pattern, “Where is Neven?” With a level 3 student, I would build up from level 1 to level 3 in a matter of minutes because it would be review for them.

      I did this by revisiting my level 1 materials through a level 3 lens, which I illustrated in my TDV 11 video.

    • #8957

      As an alternative approach, it’s common to ‘test-teach-test’.

      Extract 3 presents a situation or conversation starter. The teacher then asks students to think of 3 questions starting with when, why, and what. This activity can be used to ‘test’ students ability to ask WH questions using simple past.

      Quite often I might set up a meaning-focused task or role-play to test what students know already and find what they need work on.

      Here’s an example of some lesson stages I might use for talking about the past (as in the lesson above) or something else, e.g. holiday plans (illustrated below).

      1. Brainstorm WH Qs
        With a class like the one above, I would first give them 1-minute to individually brainstorm WH question words (e.g. what, when, where, why, who, when). Then I would ask them to write one each on the board. We’d quickly review and add any more.
      2. Talking about holiday plans
        a) In an envelop I prepare 8-10 postcards from around the world. Students each take one from the envelope, then imagine this is where they are going on their next holiday OR they can choose anywhere themselves.

        b) Next, they have 3 minutes to write down at least 3 WH questions to ask their classmates about their holiday plans. (I anticipate students using ‘will’ or ‘going to’ or present continuous/progressive, e.g Where are you going to go? Who are you going with? What will do there?)

        c) With beginning EFL students, I often give them a few minutes to write answers for their own questions, too.

        d) Finally, students have 3 minutes to ask each other about their holiday plans. Then they change partners and repeat the activity in 2 and 1/2 minutes with another partner. Then change partners again and talk for 2 minutes. (This is a modified 4-3-2 fluency-building activity)

        e) Afterwards, I can give feedback on what the students did well and what we will work on in today’s lesson.

    • #11660

      Masatoshi Shoji

      Choose one of the techniques in Activity 7. If you need to, watch the three lessons again.

      1. Think of one other language area that you could test using this technique.

      2. Think of an example you would use or a sentence you would write on the board.

      Post your ideas in a reply below and comment on other teachers’ ideas.

      I would use No.2, gap-fill.
      I used to play soccer.
      I used to _______ ________.

      Then, I would ask the students to write the sentence about what they continue to do.
      I have been playing ______.
      I have been ______ _______.

      • #11679

        I can see clearly what the students should do to fill in the blanks. However, what is it that you wish to test with these 2 gap-fills?

        In order to complete the test, what do students need to know (e.g. vocabulary/grammar (a) form, (b) meaning, and/or (c) use?

    • #11701

      Masatoshi Shoji

      I would like to see if the students can distinguish between the two forms, “used to verb” and “have been verb+ing” in form and meaning.
      Thus, I will test this. Some pictures are helpful to understand continuation of the second example and the past habit of the first example.

      • #11702

        Thank you for clarifying. Currently, the gap-fill just focuses on part of the form or each structure.

        Yes, well-chosen pictures should help. To test if students can distinguish between the two forms, you’ll need to (1) think more about how to check the meaning, for example, by revisiting what you’ve learned about concept check questions and teaching grammar, and (2) add context to illustrate use.

    • #13836

      Jessica Sohn

      I’d like to use the gap-fill technique to test the use of many with my lower level students.
      First I’d ask them to find one singular count noun / plural count nouns in their house.(Supposing we are online)
      -to check their understanding of singular/plural count nouns.

      I’d draw an example on the whiteboard/screen and have them finish the sentence.
      There ____ _______ ____________.

      There are many books.
      There are many pens.
      There are many markers.

      Extra exercise: I’ll have them go find things in their room and say the sentence too.

      • #13843

        It’s good to look critically at what exactly is being tested and think back to Module 1 and 2 when we looked at teaching vocabulary and grammar. Typically, we need to think about formmeaning, and use.

        Secondly, in the example above, is the students’ knowledge and understanding of singular/plural countable nouns being tested or are they mostly just practicing the form (e.g. spelling and sentence structure) There are many ______ with plural s?

        What changes could help to check meaning and use?

      • #13853

        scott gray

        Sounds nice but think it might be better if you were more specific to limit their search time and help them out. Start with There are many _____s on my shelf\on my table\in the corner\behind me\…. Giving a finite place till they can do a few well, might make it easier for them to expand on that sentence. Just a thought but sounds really good.


      • #13858

        Nice suggestion to include location. This also starts to focus on use. Quite often, textbooks/exercises have sentences that we (almost) never actually use OR use in a completely different context to the one presented, if any context is given at all. This doesn’t necessarily make a textbook/excercise focusing only on form useless, but we do need to think about giving students a real/meaningful situation to use language.

    • #13852

      scott gray

      Gap-fill with the form A doesn’t want B to do X.  Go over a sample checking they understand the meaning.

      The teacher wants all the students to graduate in March.

      A wants B to (do X).

      I had them write 3 sentences after writing down a series of words that they would put in a substitution table that I would draw on the board. They could use the words for lower-level students and for higher-level students they would have to add their own vocabulary.


      • #13859

        Good use of a substitution table to scaffold/lead into the sentence writing task with options to cater for different abilities.

        Just to clarify a little but does this intend check both A want B to (do X) and/or A doesn’t want B to (do X) with the situation given to them? Can you add a couple of examples to help illustrate what students produce?

    • #13867

      Rhett Burton

      I idea that students can only use what they know to solve problems has guided me to create a test for my level 1 students that focuses on what they practiced more than transferred skills. So, in my gap fills for my level 1 tests, I have missing words and letters. Students must fill it out from their memory of the phrase. I am ___ school. (a, at, an). Students must decode what it is and reference what they learned ‘at’ not ‘a’ or ‘an.”

    • #13868

      Good to match the test to the students’ levels and the skills required. It’s good to provide the context, too, if you haven’t already done so. For example:

      [Picture: Kim’s mum and Kim on the phone or a text chat screenshot]
      Kim’s mum: Where are you, Kim?
      Kim: I’m ___ school.
      Kim’s mum: OK. See you soon!

      OR For a simpler alternative, you might have a series of pictures of Kim in different places with one question for all of them, e.g. Where Kim?

      The ability to ‘fill it out from memory’ is also a good point of discussion. For example, weekly review (text message/on the phone) and mini-tests can also play an important role to help students develop routines that facilitate long-term learning.

      Getting someone else to look at our tests, as well as the instructions and examples can be invaluable during the development stages. However, it’s not always feasible so accepting alternative answers (e.g. I am in school) and awarding bonuses to students is good, too.

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