An ELT Glossary : Substitution Drills

  • Definition : A practice activity where the teacher starts by getting the learners to repeat a basic sentence, and then cues them to adapt it by using different expressions. 

  • Example :
        T : Listen and repeat - I had fish for dinner
        Ss : I had fish for lunch.
        T : Marco, pasta.
        M : I had pasta for lunch 
        T : Paola, dinner
        P : I had pasta for dinner.

  • Substitution drills were one of a number of types of drill used in the audiolingual method. They reflect the method's view of learning as a matter of habit formation, where habits are acquired by repetition and positive reinforcement of correct responses. See here for other types.