Thursday, April 26, 2007

ESL Cloze Exercises

“What is a cloze exercise?” A cloze exercise is basically a fill-in-the blanks exercise. It can be used for ESL exercises or as an ESL quiz or test.

ESL cloze exercises can be used to help reinforce (and test) student’s learning of verbs, articles, prepositions, pronouns, etc. Basically, cloze exercises can be used for all grammar lessons, teaching any part of speech, or for vocabulary reinforcement.

ESL cloze exercises can be used with single sentences or with whole paragraphs or larger passages of writing. The instructions usually say something like, “Fill in the blanks with the correct words.” Or if you are specifically testing a particular part of speech, the directions might say something like, “Fill in the blanks with the correct prepositions.”

Here are a few examples of cloze sentences for the Present Perfect tense:

1. She __________ never __________ to Germany.
2. They __________ always __________ each other.
3. I __________ __________ to Mexico many times.
4. __________ you ever __________ squid?
5. __________ she __________ the movie yet?

You can see from these sample ESL cloze sentences that the student has more than one choice for the main verb. He or she just has to make sure that the correct form of the verb (the past participle) is used. The “helping” verb can only be “has” or “have.” It depends on the subject.

In short, there can be some flexibility in the answers of a cloze exercise, especially for advanced ESL students. I would limit the possible answers of ESL cloze exercises for beginning students. You can do this by providing a list of the possible answers and instruct the student that each answer can only be used once.

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