I regularly “mine” TV shows for language-learning game ideas – you can read about them at The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom.

This summer, a new version of an old TV game show called Match Game has been revived with Alec Baldwin as its host, and I think I might modify its premise and try using it in the classroom.

In the game, contestants are given a sentence with a blank in it (also known as a gap-fill or cloze). They choose a word to fill the blank and they have to see if it matches up with a word chosen by “celebrity” contestants on the other side of the room.

I was going to share video clips from this new version, but the only short ones I could find contained sexual innuendos. You can view longer versions at the ABC site or on it’s YouTube Channel.

The original version is also available, but its YouTube channel only has entire shows — not clips.

Though the game has potential for classroom use, I think it would need to be used with care. When it comes to clozes, I always emphasize that what’s important is if the word makes sense, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the one word I’m looking for…

I’m thinking that I could divide the class into groups, and each group has a mini-whiteboard. I could give them a sentence like “The door is ________________” or “Mr. Ferlazzo is a __________________________.” We could play the game without a matching component and students could get a point if they just put any word that would work. Or, students could get an extra point if they chose a word that one of the other groups chose. I’m having a hard time figuring out advantages to incorporating the matching element, though – I wonder if that would just motivate students to spend time trying to overhear other groups – more than they would anyway 🙂

I’m all ears if you have other suggestions for how to adapt the game to the language-learning classroom!