Published 7th February 2019
Revision is an essential component of the language learning classroom. We recommend incorporating some form of revision activity into every lesson. It can be five minutes or half an hour but revision needs to be done regularly. How you do that revision is totally up to you, but it’s nice for your students if you utilise a different revision activity every day. Here are a few ideas for revision activities you can use to make sure your students are getting enough revision in their lessons. They are quick and easy and flexible, so you don’t need to do any prep, they can be used for however long you need and they can be used for whichever language point you choose. Win win win!
Ideas for revision activities
- Write a few discussion questions on the board containing the target language. Students discuss the questions in pairs.
- The students sit facing each other. Give them a task to complete together related to the topic or language point – for example, think of three body idioms, or give an example of the present perfect, or what is the capital city of New Zealand? They are given a short amount of time for this. Once they have completed the task, one person in the pair moves to another person and the teacher gives them another task.
- Ask the learners to brainstorm the target vocabulary in pairs. They must try to come up with the most words in 1 minute.
- Nominate a topic or a discussion point and one student must speak about it non-stop for 30 seconds. The other partner must then also speak for 30 seconds but on a different topic.
- Get the students to write a question related to a language point – for example, Have you ever been to Paris? to revise the present perfect. They must mingle and ask each other their questions, trying to ask as many students as possible in a certain time limit.
- Divide the class in half. Arrange the students so that two students have their backs to the board. Write a word you want to review on the board. Each team must describe the word to their team member without using the word. This can be continued with as many words or phrases as you please.
- To add a level of difficulty to the above activity, also write on the board three words the students cannot use when explaining the target word. For example, if the word is fast food, they cannot say healthy, fat or take away.
- Write the target vocabulary on pieces of paper. Pick one and call out its synonym, definition, antonym – anything you want. The first student to call out the correct word wins the piece of paper. The winner at the end of the game is the student who has the most pieces of paper.
- These same pieces of paper can be used in this activity. Give each student a piece of paper. They must mingle and explain the word on their paper to a student. When the students have correctly guessed each other’s words they must swap papers and move on to another student.
Revision is so important but it doesn’t need to take a lot of time or preparation. Quick and easy revision games are the best way to ensure your students are getting enough revision while keeping the lesson fun.