Tom's Teaching Tips - Make Gap Fills Fun

Make Gap Fills Fun [Teaching Tip]

There seem to be an awful lot of gap-fill exercises in course books these days, and they can be pretty dull for student and teacher alike. Here are a couple of ideas for avoiding the “Do-exercise-2-then-check answers” technique…

Gap Fill Sprint

100-metre Sprint

Ask your students to keep their books closed, tell them they have exactly one minute to do the whole task, and say Go! When you say stop, ask them to close their books. Elicit advantages to doing it quickly, then ask them to check their work, without a time limit, and tell them to change any of their answers. After that, whole class check answers together.

Partial Answers

Partial Answers

When checking students gap-fills answers; that is, the ones that require students to choose between a number of possible answers. Start off by only giving out partial answers. For example, tell them only how many of each choice there is (e.g. – There are 3 answers with “-ing”). This will encourage your students to double check their answers to see if theirs fit, and so you are prompting them to re-check their work.

Why not try this out in your classroom this week?

You can find more tips like this in the Tom’s Teaching Tips section of your online course.

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2 thoughts on “Make Gap Fills Fun [Teaching Tip]

  1. “tell them how many of each choice there IS”? Surely you meant “tell them how many of each choice there ARE”.

    1. Hi there, The focus is on “each choice” (one choice), and so that’s why we use “is” here and not “are”. Though you are right in that it could be “are” too: it says “many” and the question isn’t stating there is only one of each. The implication is it could be more than one. So in fact it can be both. That’s English for you!

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