Preposition Information Gap Activities for ESL Students

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Many ESL (English as a Second Language) learners struggle with the correct use of English prepositions. This lesson is designed to reduce that struggle by providing teachers with preposition information gap activities for classroom use.

Preposition Preview

The first step to teaching your learners how to use prepositions accurately is to figure out what they already know. Perhaps the best way to accomplish this is to simply ask. Begin by writing the following question on the blackboard:

''What are prepositions?''

Write down student answers under the question. Once the class has given a few answers, take a look at what's been written and then write this definition on the board:

''Prepositions are words that usually come before a noun or pronoun. Prepositions help to show the relationships between words in a sentence. Prepositions are often used to show location or position.''

Then write a sample sentence:

''Under the desk next to the window there is a large backpack.''

Tell the class that the sample sentence contains two prepositions, then ask which two words are prepositions. If the students answer under and next, you're off to a great start. At this point, it can be helpful to ask students for other prepositions they know and to write them on the blackboard next to the preposition definition. You can use the list below to get things started.

Common Prepositions

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