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Running Word Order

This is a fun and active EFL activity

Time: 10-15 minutes

Materials needed: target vocabulary should be typed up onto paper and cut up into strips with one word appearing on each strip.

Instructions: This game can be used as a listening exercise as well as as a reading and speaking exercise.

Separate the class into teams of three or four students and line the students up at one end of the classroom. At the other end of the classroom lay the strips on a table or desk so that all of the target vocabulary words are laying face down and so that each team has enough of each word to complete a correct structure or sentence.

The teacher must then read out a sentence and the students must take it in turns to run to the end of the classroom, pick up the correct word and take it back to their teams. When all of the necessary words have been retrieved the students must then put the correct words in correct order and then the students should read the sentence to the teacher. This must be done with correct pronunciation and without too much hesitation.

If the student has produced the wrong sentence or structure they must then go back to the pile of strips until he or she is able to produce the correct sentence or structure. If the student uses incorrect pronunciation then they must try again until they are correct (the teacher should guide the students with this). If the students have used the wrong words in the sentence they must then go back to their team and discuss the correct words and then rebuild their sentence/structure. The first team to build the correct sentence/structure is awarded five points. The second team is awarded 3 points for their team and the third team is awarded 1 point. The process is then repeated until all of the required sentences have been built.

The total teams points are added up and then individual points are awarded depending on the amount of points received as a team (see “The points system explained”)

Variation: See “Running Strips” and “running strips with gaps”.

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