This vocabulary revision activity requires minimal or no preparation on the part of the teacher. I’ve been using it with classes that found “Don’t make me say it!” too difficult or time consuming. It’s certainly easier for lower levels!
The minimal preparation version is where you choose the words before the class. The no preparation version is where they choose the words themselves. This latter option is not without pitfalls as the students may choose words they don’t know the meaning of, but in this activity all that really does is make it a lot easier for their partner to win the game!
So, assuming you have chosen your twelve words, divide them up into a set of six for student A and another set of six for student B. Give each student their words written down on a table like this one:
– where the left column has the target words and the right column is blank.
Elicit some conversational topics to the board.
The students now have to try and use their words in conversation – but without being noticed! As the conversation progresses they also try to write down any words their partner uses which they think is on their partner’s list.
Set five minute time limit for the conversation.
At the end of the time, students get one point for each of their words they said unnoticed and one point for each of their partner’s words they correctly identified. The person with the most points is the winner!
Acknowledgement – again, I have a vague memory of seeing something like this in an input session at IH Katowice – I think this was either Richard Venner or James Lambie – or possibly someone else completely (in which case apologies!)