This is one of the most common task formats in second language teaching. The activity we are proposing in this post is aiming to build students’ language awareness as an essential competence needed when faced with multiple-choice lexical clozes. The material is based on a C1 Advanced task from the Reading paper (part 1). From a short text there are eight words that have been removed, and for each gap there is a set of four choices that candidates must select the word that is missing in the text.
The activity in this post is providing a “shortcut” to the final cloze format, as students will be given the text and a box containing all the correct words. The students’ task will be to match each word in the box to one gap, paying attention to the context surrounding each gap. In the final step, they will have to match each word to a set of three other similar words (which will be the “distractors”), based on their grammatical category, i.e. nouns, verbs etc.
Our activity is prompting students to do two main things:
- understand the gist of the text before attempting the task; proper understanding of meaning at text and sentence level will help students identify the missing puzzle pieces. For this purpose students start by predicting the information in the text from its title, and go on by briefly discussing the ideas in the text.
- assess the language material and make conscious choices from the pool of words given; awareness of language is developed by systematically justifying the choices with evidence from the text. For this same purpose, students need to recognize grammatical category and be able to put words sharing this category together in a set.
You can download this activity here:
We hope you and your students enjoy this activity!
You can find more activities at https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/resources-for-teachers/