a page from Extra Easy PuzzlesAt last, Extra Easy Puzzles is ready, and coming to a language bookshop near you. It’s at Beginner C level – aimed at learners in a beginner class, who are doing really well, or reaching the end of their beginner status. The sample pages are here on the website.

If you want to read about why I wrote this book, I blogged about this back in July; it’s been an ongoing obsession of mine…

Using the puzzles

The book has crosswords, wordfinds, downwords, and the other kinds of puzzles you’ll find in mainstream magazines and puzzle books. They’re all suited to individual work, except for two sets of pair work puzzles (where learners have to come up with the clues) and a board game.

However, you could make any of the puzzles into a group activity by projecting them onto a whiteboard, and asking learners to come up and fill in the answers. You can do this because the CD in the back of the book isn’t audio – it’s a pdf of the puzzles, allowing you to project OR to print directly from the CD (less time at the photocopier).

I’ve suggested in the teacher notes that you bring in some mainstream puzzles to show learners who haven’t encountered them before. It’s also helpful to do some ‘think aloud’ as you work through an Extra Easy puzzle yourself, so learners can see the process of eliminating words, crossing out the words they’ve used, finding the extra word, or simply working out the across and down system.

What’s next?

I have a beginner and post-beginner word search resource out, and I’m working on more puzzles for prelim learners. Once those are done, I’ll be going back to Hope Street – what DOES happen ‘next year’…?