TEFL Skills: reading 8. Tasks for reading activities matching sentences to notices

Skills: reading 8. Tasks for reading activities: matching sentences to notices

In this article we will take a look at ways of engaging ways of presenting the exam skill of matching sentences to notices.

The TEFL Centre in Málaga trains its teacher trainees to always think about how to manipulate materials to achieve the aim of creating excitement and a challenging task which requires the students to test other skills than just language production.

This exam task is mildly entertaining in its pure form (read some sentences and decide which is the only one which has the same meaning as the notice next to them) but can be made much more fun by applying the flash card technique in its purest form.

As the name implies, if you flash a card which has an image or written information on it at a student, that is to say quickly show the card then remove it from view, you are now in a position to test the students on how much information they have retained from such a short exposure. In teams, this becomes great fun.

So, in the case of the notices that come up in an exam context, you could try the following:
  1. Look at the notice and summarise the situation in 3 or 4 words. For example, imagine a notice that says ‘Parking in this space for doctor on duty only’, then summarised it could be ‘doctor’s parking only’.
  2. This is then put as a search item in google images and an image is chosen which has a reasonable amount of information in it and more or less manages to reflect the original notice in context and meaning e.g.
  1. Save it to desktop, or print it out. This is now your first flashcard. These days a flash card can simply be e series of saved images in a folder on a computer and shown fleetingly to the on looking class in just the same way as a physical flash card.
  2. This is done for the rest of the notices (5 in total in the case of the Cambridge Preliminary exam).
  3. Now the teacher puts the students into teams and flashes the images, The task can then be any of the following:
  • Students list as many nouns that they can that they have seen in the picture.
  • Students write true/false sentences to be read out to other students.
  • Students answer questions thrown out by the teacher e.g. What colour shoes is the man on the right wearing?
  • The teacher plays a stacking game, where student 1 says a sentence about the picture, which is repeated by student 2 and who also adds another sentence and so on.
  • Students can try to write their own sentences as to what the sign means.
In this way we can expand on the original material so that there is much more being done, mobilising other skills, and engaging the students. They will then be much more receptive when the exam task itself is done.

TEFL classroom notes: the trainee TEFL teacher should always be aware of how long the activities they mean to use should last. The above ideas should have a warmer-like duration (5 to 10 minutes) to keep them in proportion with the duration of the exam task.


Tags: tefl courses, malaga, tefl training, reading skills, matching sentences to notices
Posted on October 9th, 2017


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