Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vocabulary Review Quizzes with Crosswords

I've long been a fan of games for reinforcing vocabulary because competition gets students trying to actively use or recall vocabulary, and even the shy want to participate. The game of 'Hot Seat' is one that many ESL teachers use as a warm-up or a cool-down activity. In addition, my Cambridge students like playing 'Taboo' with game cards that they've created themselves. Believe me! Student-made taboo cards are much more difficult than the manufacturer's version. Always have a stack of index cards cut in half for students to make up new cards. I've done this activity with several levels from Low Intermediate through Advanced.

Since last year, I've been using the online crossword puzzlemaker called 'Just Crosswords' This site allows students to create their own crosswords but requires them to be creative in writing definitions. There is a 25-letter limit (including spaces) for both the target word or expression and its definition. Here are some links to examples of crosswords put together by iBT (TOEFL) and Advanced- and Proficiency-level Cambridge students. Some of the iBT crosswords are based on vocabulary taken from a textbook that is commonly used in teaching the iBT, i.e., the 2nd Edition of 'The Next Generation iBT TOEFL' by Pearson Education, Inc.