End-of-term 1: review lessons

by Zhenya

It is the end of month and many schools in the part of the world I am from are having their end-of-year (or end-of-term) exams, tests, etc. This often means that teachers are planning a so-called ‘review’* lesson before the test day, and then a lesson on ‘remedy’ and feedback on the test done after the test. In this post I would like to share a couple of ideas we use during a ‘review’ lesson. This list below is the result of experimenting and reflecting, and is based on the context of an EFL classes in a private language school for adults and young learners. I am aware that your context might be very different, and therefore not all the ideas might work. Well, let’s look at them critically and adapt and improve!

  • looking back at the unit from a coursebook and ‘testing’ each other on vocabulary/collocations (for example, looking through the reading text or listening script and writing out 3-5 word combinations) This can be done as group work in a larger class, where groups are in charge of one chapter of a course book.

  • ‘testing’ each other using a vocabulary list at the end of the course book (can be done as pair work activity, or a group competition)

  • repeating the same communicative (fluency) tasks from the previous topics in order to gain more speaking confidence and review the vocabulary items or grammatical structures from that module

  • brainstorming topics recently discussed in class, and then making lists of words/collocations/ grammatical structures that can be used when talking about those topics; working in trios (ABC), where students A and B are discussing the topics and student C is listening and crossing out the ‘target language’ points used

  • Top ‘Ten’ (the number can be different” seven? five?, etc.) – the Grammar topics are ranked in the order of difficulty from the hardest at the top to the lowest at the bottom of the list; the next part of the lesson is built in accordance with the suggested order of review tasks (starting with ‘harder’ topics’ and clarifying what is hard, doing practice tasks on them, etc.)

  • doing the same listening from the previous chapters of the book again with a new comprehension task.

  • organizing an awareness-raising discussion in pairs or groups on ’Ten reasons why tests are useful’ or ‘It is more important to take a test than to pass it’, etc.

  • completing an Entry Test from the next level (such tests can often be found in test booklets for course books, or… by the students themselves?)

*a language note of an EFL learner (more a reminder to myself actually): ‘review’ lessons in American English and ‘revision’ lessons or activities in British English describe the same idea. Interesting that Google shows a lot of links either way! Apologies for stating the obvious.

What else can be done to help students before an exam? What other tasks do you typically do with your students?