Cloze activities are a great way to practice sentence structure, grammar, and subject specific vocabulary. In large classrooms of more than 25 learners it could be done as a competition between table groups for who can remember the best. For smaller groups it is possible to do this activity with the whole class and individual students.
How to do a Vanishing Cloze:
- Construct a text (3-4 sentences should be the maximum), based upon what you are currently studying, on the board. The text must be grammatically correct, and use known vocabulary correctly.
- Students read the whole text aloud from the board and then you rub out a word/s.
- The students read again and say the missing words.
- Rub out some more words and have the students read and supply the missing words.
- Continue in this way until the whole text has been rubbed out and the students can recite it or until they are unable to supply any more words.
I have used this strategy to great affect with New to English students with them doing a vanishing cloze for 1 sentence only. They really enjoyed it because it was done in a non threatening way in that learners pair up with each other to recite the vanishing cloze before reciting it in front of the whole class.
In the past, I have also used it as a competition with teams playing off against each other. It can also be done as a kind of knock out competition.
I have used it to remember a wide range of things such as:
- Key concepts related to what they have been learning
- Short paragraphs such as analysing a character or writing a response to an exam style question