I use clozes often – both with English Language Learners and with proficient English speakers. They’re excellent formative assessments of vocabulary comprehension and can promote metacognition if combined, as I always do, with pushing students to identify the “clue words” they use to fill-in the blanks.
Clozes can come in many forms, including like the one in the photo at the top of this post. It’s also an option to put a “word bank” of answers at the top or bottom of the cloze, along with putting the first letters of each answer at the beginning of each blank, putting a blank for each letter as another form of clue, and the list of possibilities goes on-and-on.
In my opinion, the absolute best use of clozes is having students create their own after they develop enough experience completing teacher-provided ones. They then teach the clozes to their classmates, including first reading it aloud to them.
Here are the instructions I have written for my students to use (you can download it as a student hand-out here) – first we go to the computer lab to have students copy and paste a text, then they create the cloze and, finally, they teach it. The entire process usually takes two periods:
• Pick a passage related to one of the chapters we have studied in this unit and seems interesting. It should have more than one paragraph, but not be longer than one page.
• Copy and paste the original passage onto a Word document and cite the author. This will be your answer key.
• Copy and paste it again on another Word document. You will make this copy into a cloze.
• Read the passage carefully and select ten words that you will replace with blanks. Be sure that there are clue words for each blank. Circle the clue words on your answer sheet.
• Do not have a blank in the first or last sentence of the passage and do not have more than one blank in the same sentence.
• Place the answer words on the bottom of the page. Be sure that they are not in the correct order.
• Print one copy of your answer sheet and four copies of your cloze.
I’m adding this post to The Best Tools For Creating Clozes (Gap-Fills), which I’ve also revised and updated.