The TEFL Centre Malaga. TEFL course classroom tips. Drilling 6: Substitution drilling.

Once a TEFL teacher has their students pronouncing the target language as modelled in a drilling exercise (see articles 22-26), it is time to start to provide the student with practise at adapting to the pronunciation requirements that different content within the target language generates. This can be done with substitution drilling. This consists of the teacher giving an utterance and then repeating the same utterance, but incorporated into the target language. The following is an example:

Teacher: ‘work’…. ‘I’m going to work’

‘play’…. ‘I’m going to play’

The teacher then points to a student and says the first word ‘work’ and gesticulates for the student to repeat, but with the full sentence ‘I’m going to work’, thus practising the ‘I’m going to’ structure. Once the principle has been established, the teacher offers new words for the student to include in the full utterance.

Variations that we at The TEFL Centre teach our trainees include cuing the element to be substituted from the whiteboard e.g. getting the students to substitute in the pronoun (useful for 3rd person singular conjugation in present simple) or flash cards.


Posted on June 12th, 2017


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