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Text Bingo

Description of activity

How to improve listening skills


1: Before the lesson, prepare several different texts. There must be enough for one different text per student. In this case we will use the daily horoscope from the newspaper.

2: Go through the texts and find 5 collocations or lexical chunks in each text. For the example in the picture we could choose:

  • a really good idea
  • keep it to yourself
  • for the time being
  • steal your idea
  • don’t let that happen

3: Hand out the texts to students. Explain the rules. You will call out a phrase. They should check their text. If they find it, they must highlight or underline it. When they have heard 5 phrases from their text, they should put their hand up and say “Bingo”.

4: Call out phrases, making sure to do several phrases from each text before letting a student win. You should aim to deliver the phrases naturally – using connected speech – although the speed may still be slower than normal for lower levels. Keep a list of the phrases you will call and tick off the ones you have called.

5: When one student wins, invite that student to call out the remaining collocations.


Instead of horoscopes you can use any text where you can give each student a different version. You could take one paragraph from a story and subtly change details, use a number of short text adverts, or use short dialogues. It is best to keep the texts short however.

Follow on:

This activity is really aimed at helping students to better recognise lexical chunks when they hear them. It would therefore be advisable to follow on from this with an opportunity to produce this vocabulary. This could be a simple controlled practice requiring students to ask and answer questions, or a more imaginative freer practice activity.

Example Questions (or language):

  • Horoscopes
  • Job postings
  • House/flats for sale/rent
  • Short stories e.g. 50 word stories
  • Poems
  • Dialogues from the course book

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photo credit: Flash of Perception* Gemini (me) horoscope via photopin (license)

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