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Drilling Exercises in an ESL Classroom – English Language Teaching

//Drilling Exercises in an ESL Classroom – English Language Teaching

Whenever new vocabulary words, grammar points or sentence structures are introduced in the class, we as teachers have to drill them.

The three drilling exercises are:

1) Choral Repetition: Choral Repetition is when the teacher or a learner models the language pronunciation, and the group of learners repeats it together.

E.g. when the class is practicing how to pronounce ‘ough’ sound, the teacher models words from a list and learners repeat them together.

In the classroom, Choral Repetition is not a very common choice of activity but it can contribute well to learning some aspects of language especially pronunciation of connected speech and formulaic language such as Classroom language. Many learners enjoy the choral repetition activities.

Besides, choral repetition let us make our mistakes in groups where no one will hear it. So, there is no room for embarrassment while practicing oral drills.

Nevertheless, during drilling exercises, you need to call on students individually to check individual pronunciation and comprehension separately.

Integrating these checks into your drill activities will keep students alert because they will never know when you may call on them.

2) Drilling with Flashcards: Using flash cards show students both the image and word sides of each flash card. When we start drilling words for the first time, show them the word side of the flash card so they can practice reading and pronounce it. Later, show them the word you want to pronounce and show them the image. This will help check their comprehension of the material. With flashcards, we can also challenge our students when they become more familiar with certain vocabulary by flipping through the cards at a faster rate.

3) Games: Breaking your classroom up into sections where each section says one portion of a new structure is another way of drilling material. Games can also be conducted as pair work too. For e.g. Memory Games can be played in groups – where 10-12 flash cards are put on the table and each group member says out loud the words looking at those images.

Also while teaching grammar topic like Adverbs, the students can be put into four groups and asked to come up with sentences depicting each kind of Adverbs such as Adverbs of Manner, Adverbs of Place, Adverbs of Time and Adverbs of Frequency. This kind of drilling using game makes it more enjoyable and encourages students to participate fully.

The author Yasmin M Elias is a full-time English Teacher at an International School in Mangalore, India. She’s married to Naveed Ansari and blessed with 3 sons Ebraheem Fahmy, Falah and Fouad. She is an ardent reader, life long learner and equally loves gardening and cooking. She’s a part time writer who’s very passionate about writing stories, articles and soon dreams of penning a best seller.