Virtual Grammar Lab: Study English Grammar Online

Activity Types Used in the VGL


The following activity types are used to categorize the English grammar activities in the Virtual Grammar Lab database. You can use these to limit either a basic or advanced search to find only the particular type of activity that you're interested in.

Activity Type: Cloze

  • Student reads a text and types missing words into blanks. There may or may not be clues as to what the missing words are, and there may or may not be accompanying audio. This activity differs from "fill in the blank" in that a cloze has a coherent text structure: it is a paragraph or short reading on a particular topic.
  • Example: http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/pronouns/little-red-riding-hood
  • 81 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Correct or Incorrect

Activity Type: Crossword puzzle

Activity Type: Dictation

  • Student listens to an audio file and types exactly what she heard. If a paragraph of text with blanks is given on the screen and audio is added as support, activity should be called "cloze" rather than "dictation."
  • Example: http://www.learnenglish.de/Dictation/verbsdictation.htm
  • 1 activity of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Drag and drop

  • Student moves words/phrases/pictures around the screen with the mouse and has to drop them in the correct location. If the activity has students putting words in the correct order to make a complete sentence, it should be called "scrambled sentences" rather than drag and drop.
  • Example: http://www.spunkyenglish.com/Grammar/Adverbs/adv_beg_identify.html
  • 70 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Fill in the blank

  • Student reads sentences and types the correct form of a word in a blank. Often there is some sort of clue as to what word to use (e.g., student is given the simple form of a verb and has to conjugate it correctly). This activity differs from the "cloze" in that fill-in-the-blanks are individual sentences without any overarching story.
  • Example: http://baladre.info/english/sedaviwebfront/relative1.htm
  • 588 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Find and correct error

Activity Type: Flashcard

  • This type of activity acts like a digital flashcard: students see one item on the screen and have to think of the correct response (the meaning, what tense it is, etc.). The student can click a button to "flip" the card and see the answer. Flashcard activities often let students keep track of which they've gotten right and review the ones they've gotten wrong.
  • Example: http://www.quia.com/jfc/67715.html
  • 1 activity of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Game show

  • This could be any type of game show/quiz show format, e.g., "Jeopardy" or "Who wants to be a millionaire?".
  • Example: http://www.quia.com/cb/29077.html
  • 3 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Hangman

  • This is a word game in which the student is told the number of letters in a word/sentence, and then guesses 1 letter at a time to fill in the blanks. For incorrect guesses, a figure on a gallows is drawn. Student tries to complete the word/sentence correctly before the entire gallows figure is complete.
  • Example: http://www.manythings.org/hmf/hm-verb2.html
  • 2 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Identify grammar

  • In this activity, students are asked find and/or identify examples of a particular grammatical structure. For example, students might read a sentence and indicate what tense the verb is in. Or, students might read a paragraph and identify all coordinating conjunctions.
  • Example: http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/grammar/passive/3.xml
  • 65 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Matching

  • Student has to match pairs of items correctly. The pairs could be questions/answers, start/finish of sentences, terms/definitions, etc. Matching exercises are often set up in columns, where the student matches an item from the first column with the correct item in the second column.
  • Example: http://www.englishgrammarsecrets.com/couldhave/exercise5.swf
  • 182 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Miscellaneous games

Activity Type: Mixed

Activity Type: Multiple choice

  • Student chooses the correct answer from a set list of possible responses. Sometimes the options are listed on the screen with buttons next to them, sometimes options are in a drop-down list, sometimes students type in the answer.
  • Example: http://www.e-grammar.org/present-simple-continuous/test1-exercise1/
  • 694 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Ordering

  • Student sequences statements/words/phrases into the correct order. The order might be based on the logical meaning of the items, or it might be in response to a text or audio segment. The sequencing might be done by typing a number next to each item to indicate the order or by dragging the items into order.
  • Example: http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/CET/flashactivities/frequency_adverbs_game01.html
  • 4 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Printable worksheet

  • Any type of activity where an activity really needs to be printed to be used (i.e., there is no way to type responses on page). Printable worksheets may or may not give the correct/suggested answers (as opposed to the "Think and Check" activity, which always provides answers).
  • Example: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/5/13/34
  • 94 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Scrambled words or sentences

  • Items are listed in a random order and student has to put them back into the correct order, usually to form a word or sentence. Sometimes they're "drag-and-drop," where the items are dragged into order with the mouse, or student may push buttons or type numbers to indicate the correct order.
  • Example: http://www.spunkyenglish.com/Grammar/Adverbs/adv_beg_scramsentence.html
  • 62 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Short Answer

  • Students give a short (one or a few words) answer to a question about grammar or content information. This is different from "fill in the blank" in that here students are responding to questions, whereas in fill in the blank, students type a word missing from a sentence.
  • Example: http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises/questions/short_answers_be2.htm
  • 3 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Submit answers to instructor

  • This activity could be any kind of exercise where the student does not get computerized feedback and is not provided the correct answers. Instead, the student has the opportunity to email his answers to his instructor (by typing in an email address) for feedback. Exercises that provide an email function in addition to another type of activity should categorized under the other activity type, with the "can send email" flag selected.
  • Example: http://netgrammar.altec.org/Units/Unit_15/a101c15_501000.html
  • 1 activity of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Think and check

  • Student reads the item on the screen and has to think of the correct answer. There is no place on the screen to type the answer. Instead, student must mentally compare her response to the correct answer. There is usually a button or link to click to show the correct answers.
  • Example: http://a4esl.org/q/h/9801/cg-shortans.html
  • 191 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: True or false

  • Student chooses correct answer from two possibilities, which might be yes/no, right/wrong, true/false, etc. The student may answer by clicking a button, choosing from a drop-down list, or typing the response.
  • Example: http://hpbyrd.com/aegweb/exercises/x9/x9-A/x9-1.htm
  • 6 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Type sentence

  • Student reads a question or a prompt and types a complete sentence to answer it. This might include sentence transformation activities (e.g., change a positive sentence to a negative one). This activity is different from "fill in the blank" in that here the student types a complete sentence, rather than just 1 or a few words.
  • Example: http://www.englishclassroom.be/G_tense_PrPerfect2.htm
  • 184 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: View animation

Activity Type: View information

  • Student reads text/charts/figures on a page in order to learn some information. Basically, this is a page that gives only grammar explanation (without an interactive practice activity).
  • Example: http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verbs-subjunctive.htm
  • 392 activities of this type in the VGL

Activity Type: Word search

  • In a word search, there is a grid filled with letters. The student has to search among the letters to find target words. Letters forming a word appear in a straight line in the grid, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally and either forwards or backwards.
  • Example: http://www.quia.com/ws/327536.html
  • 2 activities of this type in the VGL