TPR duels

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TPR duels practise the skill of listening for specific information in a competitive game format. It is a useful activity for reviewing vocabulary or minimal pairs and is best suited to younger age groups.


  • Students will need a pen(cil) and paper to keep score.
  • The teacher will need a vocabulary list.


  • Pairs of students are formed who sit opposite each other with their hands behind their heads and an object, such as a board marker, placed between them as in the following figure:


  • The teacher then announces a target word, for example "ship".
  • The game begins with the teacher reading out a list of words in which the target word is deftly hidden, for example "shoe, shine, sheet, sheep, sit, ship".
  • On hearing the target word, the students race to grab the object in front of them, and the one to succeed in doing so wins a point.


Students can also place their middle finger in the palm of their partner`s outsretched hand as in the figure below. On hearing the keyword, each player tries to grab their opponent´s middle finger while simultaneously avoiding having theirs caught. Expect plenty of draws and the occasional dislocated knuckle with this version...


See also[edit]