Tried and tested (and approved!) games and activities to help English learning.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Spelling Bound

Level: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced.

Skills: writing.

Topic: spelling.

Materials: none.

Time: 10 to 20 minutes.

Spelling games are always useful, no matter what level the students are. In this game, students work in pairs to spell words on the board as fast as they can in competition with other pairs of students. Both students in each pair need a whiteboard marker. The two students link left arms (so one student will be facing the whiteboard and one student will be facing the class). 

Call out a word to be spelled and the student facing the board writes the first letter of the word on the board. Subsequently, the pair must spin so that the second student can write. Each student can only write one letter, and just one letter. If students wish to correct the letter that their partner has written, they can erase it and replace it, but then must spin. So, they take turns writing a letter then spinning so that the other student can write. Students cannot talk to each other or tell their partner what to write. 

It's best if you match up left-handed students with left-handed students and right-handed students with right-handed students as much as possible.

You can make it harder by saying that if a mistake is made and recognised the student who recognises the error can erase the incorrect letter, but cannot add another letter, and by saying that both students must take their turn to write. If you have a large whiteboard, you can have 3 or 4 pairs of students at the board at once (I have tried it once, and although a bit messy, it worked pretty well). With a tiny whiteboard, one pair at a time, but time how long it takes  possibly by having the rest of the class counting out loud in English! And, it must be legible  feel free to be mean if letters are not clear!

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