Skills: reading 6. Tasks for reading activities matching words to definitions

Skills: reading 6. Tasks for reading activities: matching words to definitions

The Malaga TEFL course aims to help trainee teachers with effective ways to prepare students for the exam tasks they will meet, particularly those used by Cambridge Assessment English.

The syllabus includes ways for dealing with matching words to definitions, which appears in the lower level tests. Here are a few classroom activities that we recommend:

Run, touch and repeat the definition.

  1. Dictate the definitions to the students and choose the best written ones (fewest mistakes, best hand writing etc.), Correct them if necessary. Between 10 to 20 should be enough depending on the age and level.
  2. Put them up around the classroom with blutac or selotape.
  3. The teacher then reads out a word.
  4. The students have to run to the correct definition, touch it and repeat it. The first to do so correctly wins a point and is also the one to read out the next word, and so on.
  5. The teacher can also add words that don’t correspond to any definitions, and only the students that refrain from touching any of the definitions get a point. If this is done, it would be good to have the correct definition available to show the students.
Memory game
  1. The teacher shows the students a set or words and their corresponding definitions on cards.
  2. These are read out by the teacher to model the pronunciation and repeated by the students.
  3. The ‘word’ cards are then turned face-down in one area and the definitions turned face-down in another area.
  4. The teacher can put the class into teams if they wish, or individuals take it in turn to turn over a ‘word’ card and ask ‘What’s the definition?’.
  5. Students then try to define the word (as per the example before starting the game) and also identify the correct corresponding face-down ‘definition’ card.
  6. All the students who get it right are congratulated, and the procedure is repeated with a different student taking a ‘word’ card.
The defining race
  1. Here the teacher puts students into small groups.
  2. Each student is given a number (1, 2, 3 etc.)
  3. The teacher then asks student number one from each group to join the teacher outside the classroom.
  4. Outside the classroom, the teacher tells the students a word that they will need to define to their group, but they cannot mention the word or any variations of it (from the word family).
  5. Students then rejoin their groups in the class and only start to define their word when the teacher says ‘Go!’
  6. The first team to get the word wins. Then the procedure is repeated with student 2 from each group.
TEFL classroom note: This last activity is a great warmer too and can be adapted to any lexical set, structure or function.


Tags: Skills, reading Tasks matching words definitions
Posted on September 27th, 2017


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