Close Control task types 2. Information gap. Malaga TEFL Teacher Training Centre.

Close Control task types 2. Information gap. Malaga TEFL Teacher Training Centre.

The information gap simply refers to students who have to ask other students for information in order to achieve the task by filling the gap in their information. Common examples of these include handing 2 identical texts to 2 different students but different information has been omitted in the texts. E.g.

Text 1: President ___________ was born on the 29th of ________ in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Text 2: President Kennedy was born on the ____ of May in Brookline, ____________.

The student with text 1 has to ask: ‘Which President was born in Brookline?’ and ‘Which month was he born in?’ The student with text 2 has to ask ‘On which day of May was Kennedy born?’ and ‘Which state was he born in?’. The task is to complete the biographical details of a famous person. It is easy to give a close control structural bias to the questions needed to be asked, especially using a text with a structural presentation in mind.
TEFL training note: care has to be taken in the order that students ask questions so as to avoid an answer being given because of using it in the question!
Another information gap would be 2 students separated by a barrier (we use upright folders at the TEFL academy) sitting at the same table. Both students have a grid with, say, 20 squares and 20 everyday activity verb picture cards. In each square there are times of the day, starting at 07.30 am and ending at 11.45 pm. Student one places all the everyday activity verb picture cards on the grid, indicating what time of day each activity takes place for a hypothetical person (e.g. John).
Student 2 then asks student one ‘What does John do at 07.30 am?’
Student one looks at his grid and tells student 2, e.g. ‘John wakes up at 07.30.’
Student two then takes the corresponding everyday activity verb picture card and places it the 07.30 square and so on.
The objective is for student two to reproduce John’s daily activities according to student one. When they have finished, they lower their barriers to compare grids and see if they have succeeded.
TEFL training note: this activity can lead to quite a lot of humour, such as John having a shower before getting up out of bed, or driving to work after he has already arrived at the office! It could be called the John’s Typical Quantum Theory Day.


Posted on July 31st, 2017


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