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 lunch
        Ss :  I had fish for lunch.
        T :   Marco, pasta.
        M :  I had pasta for lunch 
        T :   Paola, dinner
        P :   I had pasta for dinner.
        T :   Lina, an omelette
        L :   I had an omelette 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.