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"What if..." - Filling gaps/revealing answers to practise if-clauses type 3

Uploaded by Sanderin van Hazebrouck, Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg (Germany)


These intermediate learners of English were introduced to the if-clause type 3 and are now practising this grammatical feature by filling in gaps on the IWB. Instead of using the pen tool, the teacher has prepared the answers and hid the answers behind a white layer of ink. The learners can then use the eraser tool to reveal the answers in the gaps. 

Previously, the learners have listened to a song which contained the grammatical concept of the if-clause type 3, and have been introduced to the structure.


Target language: English

Resource language: German

Native language of learners: German

Age range: 1+

Language level: B1 - Intermediate

Educational context: Secondary Education

IWB Features: Hide & Reveal

Teaching methods: Individual activity at IWB

Language area: Grammar

IWB board used: Promethean

Teacher comment

On the next flipchart, we did an exercise, we found out that they could use the rule. They could repeat the rule. I think there were no real difficulties in doing the exercises. This was really amazing. Anyway, for me, it was amazing. They didn't do any mistakes. Only one or so. I didn't expect that. It was so clearly structured. We did this example together in class with the rule on top. So that they see the link between the rule and the example. And there were no questions. It was so clear for them. Maybe they were impressed with the filming, but I think they are used to the filming. And now we have the whitening-effect with the rule on top. They could come to the board and make a suggestion what is to bring in and what is the meaning of the gap, what do they have to fill in. Then, they could check it by using the rubber to find the solution. 

Interviewer: How exactly did the whiteboard here help the learners to learn?

Teacher: I think they could check on their own. Not the teacher is telling them the answer. So they could come up front. It is motivating to come up front and show what I know. Then, it's not the teacher who corrects them. You could say it is learner-centered because it's not the teacher who is in the middle of the scenery.

Interviewer: The feedback comes from the whiteboard...

Teacher: Thank you. That is what I meant. And when there was a problem for them, I could come and remind "Look at the rule. What was it?" And after that, it was no problem. And so it worked. I think it is motivating for them to see "Oh, I can do it."

Interviewer: Also, I think because it's not a writing assignment. You do not have to force your learners all the time to write something on the board. It's speeding up if they just have to wipe out the white ink and then they have the solution.

Teacher: And the board always helped them focus. I don't know why but it's the thing that makes them stay focused, always focused.

Learner comments

Also ich finde es besser so, weil ich kann es mir nicht so gut merken, wenn ich es gesagt bekomme, aber ich vergesse es schneller. Ich muss mir die Regeln aufschreiben. Dadurch, dass es am Whiteboard steht  und es ganz genau erklärt ist, kann man es besser verstehen und auffassen. 

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iTILT is a European project on Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching which focuses on the use of interactive whiteboards in the communicative language classroom. If you have comments or questions about this project please contact us.