Fill in Drill
Here is a speaking drill game for beginners to intermediate levels. This is excellent for drilling grammar and coaxing shy students into speaking in a reassuring context. When I used this in Nepal the students were so happy they gave me a round of applause after the game!
Category: Step 2 Speaking Drill
Group size: Any
Level: Beginner to Intermediate and possibly Advanced
Preparation: Choose a written passage or dialogue from your textbook or write one.
Prepare a letter, short story or dialogue using grammar and vocabulary you have been teaching recently or would like to review. Let the class read it out and check everyone understands it by asking a couple of questions about the text.
Next tell the class to read the first sentence carefully. Now rub out one word from that sentence and have a class member read it out again and fill in the blank with the missing word you just removed from memory. Now remove a second word from the sentence and ask another student to read it out again. This should be very easy and serves for a clear demonstration.
Now you can divide the class into pairs and have them take it in turns to read out the sentences on the board. As time goes on you gradually rub out more and more words.
As an alternative to pair work you can play this game with the whole class reading out the letter and filling in the blanks together in unison.
Here is an example of text using conditionals: "What would you do if you won the lottery? I would first donate ten percent to charity and then I would give some to my family. I expect my brother would buy a new car right away. He'd get a Ferrari knowing him. Of course that would depend on how much money I gave him, which would depend on how much I had won in the first place!"
Start by deleting words such as "would" "won" rather than "lottery". Delete verbs and little words rather than nouns first. Start slowly and listen in to see how students are doing. Delete more words when you see that they are coping.
Too little words deleted will be too easy and too many will be too hard so err on the side of caution. Too easy is better than too hard because at least the students are practising accurate English. To help you can delete part of a word and leave the first letter as a clue: "_____ _______ you __ if you ____ the l_______?"
Shelley Ann Vernon
Teaching English Games