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Strip bingo

If you know this language game already, look away now... unless you you want to see the little twist that makes it even better.

To play strip bingo well, you have to make sure you introduce it by name to the class. Interest will be immediately aroused.

You then hand out a long strip of paper (A4 cut into three long strips is fine) and tell your students to write down, say, 12 words relating to a vocabulary theme you have been working on. Make sure you tell them to spread out the words and use the whole space! Then give them the instructions (I would do this in English to save time and confusion.) You then say out loud words on this theme and if a student has the word at either end of their strip of paper, they may tear it off. Remember that you will have to repeat the same words over and over. To make the game last you can avoid saying an obvious word which most students would have on their list. The process continues until one student has no words left.

The game goes quite quickly, but it is easy to adapt it to your time slot by changing the number of words they write down.

Now, here's a little improvement which achieves the same outcome for vocab consolidation, but which adds a greater level of listening input. All you need to do is, instead of just reading a single word, you make up on the spot a sentence or very short paragraph into which you insert a word from the topic area. So, let's say you are working on clothes, you might say:

Je vais en ville souvent avec mes parents. Le weekend dernier je suis allé à mon magasin favori où j'ai acheté un nouveau jean noir. Il est très beau et pas très cher.

You could even throw in more than one word for variation, as long as you tell the class you might do this.

To me this seems like a better use of the strip bingo concept. It is harder, puts vocab in context and builds up listening skill. I think your students would listen very hard during this game, don't you?

An alternative variation would be to get students to write a quantity next to their vocab items. They can only remove a strip if the quantity is right.

Strip bingo works well with near beginners up to intermediate level, although with this twist you could even just about make it work at advanced level. Hardly any preparation needed and it can be used as a starter, filler or "plenary". Make sure you have a bin and that they don't cheat!


  1. Great twist, kicking myself that I hadn't thought of it!

    1. Great idea, Steve. Thanks.
      I've started to play strip bingo a lot with my lower ability students. Although, because they are very excitable and I'm such a coward, I've renamed it "rip bingo".

    2. Thanks for the comments.

      Yes, it does get them excited, Dom. Rip Bingo LOL (not the DC one).


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