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.
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!