I often face the challenge of students implementing new words into conversation or extending their answers. Here are some ways that I use games to help students practice new words in context.
1. Categories: I give students a category and we compete to say as many words as possible without repeating.
2. Guess what I have: I give students a topic and tell them I have four words in a box related to to the topic. They have ten tries to guess my words.
3. Hearts and Bombs: I draw a grid (2x5). I make a copy for me and place hearts and bombs randomly in the squares. I also prepare conversation questions/grammar practice for each square. The student chooses a square and answers the question. If correct, you reveal if you get a heart (a point) or a bomb (lose a point). If they are incorrect, they do not see what's in the square.
1. Guess the word in the deleted dialogue: I prepare a short conversation and delete key words. Students must fill in the gap during the dialogue.
2. Word challenge: Students have a list of words/expressions related to a prepared topic. Together, we have two minutes to discuss the topic and use as many words/expressions as possible in our conversation.
3. What's the question? Both teacher and student receive answers to questions that the other person has. The first person to guess all the questions to their answers wins.
1. Create a situation where you and the student need to find a solution together. For example, for house vocabulary, I may give the prompt to my student that an apocalypse is happening and we need to make necessary modifications to our house. We then discuss what modifications are essential and how they will help us survive.
2. Half-completed crosswords taboo: I make two crossword puzzles using words from the topic, but only completing part of each puzzle. Students must ask for a specific word (2 down, please) and I describe it. Then, I ask the student for a word to describe.
3. How it works: To practice more challenging vocabulary, students and I are given different common processes (printing, drying your hair, making an omelette) and dictate the stages of the process. If you guess what they are doing correctly, you receive a point.
What do you do with your students to practice new words?