Discussion Words – with Bingo


1 set of word cards per small group; 1 set of bingo statements (p.115); bingo card(s) (p.116) for
each SS.


T prepares the target vocabulary words – one set for each small group. Each word should be on an individual small piece of card or paper. The vocabulary could be:

  • words suggested by SS – as in Mode 1
  • keywords from a text – as in Mode 2
  • words from a particular vocabulary set – as in Mode 3


1. T gives out a set of cards to each group and asks them to put all the cards out on the table so that everybody can see them all. Then SS put them into two groups – words they know and words they do not know.

2. T asks SS to shout out words they do not know. Other SS in other groups help by giving definitions or translations. T reminds SS to use dictionaries and write down the new words.

3. T asks SS to put the words into alphabetical order. This helps them to remember words they have just learned, because they are focusing on them again. T asks SS from different groups to read out part of their list. T writes incorrectly pronounced words on the board and draws SS’s attention to them. T drills the words with the SS from A-Z. T says each word once, then the whole group repeats it. The following activities are based around the bingo statements on p.115:

Set Up:

This fun bingo-style game is best played by a group of SS, with T, or one of the SS, reading out the questions. Each SS has their own bingo card, on which they have to write 12 words from any vocabulary set, for example 12 words or phrases from a group of 40 discussion words (from a given topic). Each SS should write their 12 words in private, so that none of them have the same 12 words on their cards.


T or a SS reads out each statement – either in order or randomly – and SS have to look at the words on their card and cross out each one that the statement applies to. For example, if the statement was, “This word begins with a vowel sound”, SS would cross out all of the words on their cards that began with a vowel sound. If the statement was, “This word is an abstract noun”, SS would cross out all of the words on their cards that were not abstract nouns – and so on. Note: it may be necessary to give SS a bit of time in between reading the statements, so that they can check all of the remaining words on their cards.

Variation: to make a longer game you could increase the number of words, and to make a shorter game you could reduce the number of words.


The first SS to cross out all of the words on their card is the winner. The winning card could be checked by T to ensure that everything is above board! If desired, T could keep note of which statements they used in each round, so that they could spend time discussing the language points raised by the vocabulary words on the winning card with the whole group afterwards, and perhaps do some board work.


  • This game is a great warmer or wind-down activity for the whole class to join in with, generating plenty of practice that is worthwhile in terms of improving spoken English. In addition, the competitive edge makes it fun – something that SS really enjoy doing.
  • T may need to pre-teach some of the language concepts in the list of statements before running this activity, for example, consonant clusters, schwa sounds, silent letters, and so on.
  • Variation: Quick Bingo – each SS writes down 12 words or phrases from the set of target vocabulary words; T or a SS reads out words and phrases from the whole set. SS mark off words as they hear them, then shout “Bingo!” when they have marked all the words in one row, then “Full house!” when they have marked all the words on their card. T checks and SS could repeat the activity, writing different words on a new bingo card.