The last week of May, that can only mean one thing, end of year tests and the World Cup are just around the corner…
Here are two penalty shootout activities to encourage team revision/correction and get into the World Cup spirit at the same time 😉
Activity 1: Team revision
- Students get a set time to revise target language in class or they revise at home in preparation for class
- Students are organised into pairs or small groups. Each pair/group receives a set of penalty shootout cards (you don’t need to use the cards, students can simply mark their goals and misses in their notebooks)
- Students test each other on the target language (I have a set of example questions to help students formulate questions)
- If they are correct they score a goal if not they miss the penalty.
Putting students into pairs/teams encourages negotiation skills, collaboration and communication. Weaker students also get support from peers. Students can change pairs/groups or opponents for a new penalty shootout depending on class dynamics/time. After several penalty shootouts, students may feel confident enough to go it alone.
This activity provides plenty of opportunities for revisiting and recycling language.
To really get into the World Cup spirit students can choose a country out of the hat; the country that they will “play for” in the penalty shoot out.
I also use this activity after a vocabulary or grammar test.
Activity 2: Team correction
- First students look at the answers they have incorrect and do their corrections in teams while I monitor, guide and check. (To avoid students simply copying each other’s correct answers, they are not allowed to exchange tests and they must follow the protocol DDD (discuss, decide, do) for every question. In this way nobody can race ahead and students are either teaching or learning the correct forms.
- Then the team divides into two smaller teams or pairs and exchange tests.
- Looking at the other team’s tests and using the example questions, they focus on the vocabulary/grammar structures the other team didn’t get right and have just corrected.
- If they remember the correction they score a goal, if not they miss the penalty.
I encourage students to provide explanations and repeat missed questions to encourage mastery. This activity gets students to really focus on their corrections and not only their mark.
Revising/correcting in teams has lots of benefits for students and teachers. It provides ample opportunities for peer teaching and learning and especially in larger classes allows the teacher to check that all students understand the target language as they are free to walk around class and monitor students. It promotes teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, communication, negotiation, problem solving skills…
An important consideration when doing an activity like this, however, is student grouping. Is it better that students are grouped homogeneously or heterogeneously for an activity like this? Quite often this will depend on group dynamics. It is important that students feel comfortable with their teammates as they will be sharing their tests with each other in order to correct and “test.” My students usually do these activities in the cooperative learning groups that we establish each term, as, by the middle of term groups have usually established a good working rapport (but not always!)
For many, the summer holidays will soon be upon us and revision, tests and correcting will be but a distant memory (for a while anyway…) However, until then, give your students all the opportunities they need to revise, revisit and recycle language until it truly becomes theirs.
And, if you’re a footy fan, enjoy the World Cup 😉