Book Reviews

from Hands on English
2000, Volume 10, Number 4
Reviewed by: Anna Silliman, Editor

Match It!
by Sharon Elwell & Raymond C. Clark
© 2000 Pro Lingua Associates
ISBN: 0-86647-132-4

As we can tell you just by looking at the mail we get here at Hands-on English, adult ESL instructors are always looking for ready-to-use materials to supplement their lessons. And from our own teaching experience we remember that finding material that is flexibe, re-useable, suitatable for adults and muliti-level classes AND is not too expensive is like striking gold. This book is one of those nuggets.

Match It! is a collection of over 80 ready-to-use matching games on topics perfect for ESL students. The basic game is very simple--it is played like "Concentration" where students turn over the cards and try to find matching pairs. For example, in the Holidays game, Labor Day matches September. in the Numbers game five matches 5. In the homonyms game wide matches narrow. In the Driving game buckle matches the seat belt. And in the Family game on page 26 (a perfect supplement to activities in this issue of HOE! )students match uncle's wife with aunt, etc.

Some of the advanced games, for example on idioms, may not be useful for beginning students, but most of the book is suitable for beginning and intermediate students, or for mixed levels. Brief, clear instructions show you how to prepare the game and play, and several variations are provided in case you want to try something different. Best of all, every single game has some brief notes with tips or suggestions for playing, and ideas for expanding that topic further if you wish.

In general, this is an activity for pairs or small groups, so if you are tutoring one student you'll find this material very useful as well. The benefit of this kind of card game is that it provides concentrated, low-key vocabulary practice and an opportunity for conversation. It's a fun, student-centered way to review important vocabulary and therefore is a useful tool in your repertoire of teaching techniques.

--Anna Silliman, Editor
Hands-on English

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