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Anti-Word Association‏‎

Random words.Anti-Word Association is an ESL activity based on Word Association‏‎ but taking the opposite approach and rewarding non sequiturs‏‎.

In Word Association the idea is to have the students give words which are somehow related to the previous word. In this – much harder – version of the activity the idea is to give out words which have NO association with the previous word.

When it is turned into a game other students can challenge that there is an association and gain points for a good link.

Example Game

A game might start like this with each student taking a turn.

S1: banana
S2: street
S3: fellowship
S4: sausage
S5: car
S6: radio

At which point a student will challenge, explaining that cars have radios and so there is a good association between these words.

As you can see, this is much harder than normal word association and it helps to write the words on the board for consideration. During the game you can encourage your students to come up with inventive associations. For example a student might challenge the list saying that street and fellowship are associated since relationships are developed amongst neighbors and this could constitute a fellowship.

Whether this is a valid challenge will depend upon you as adjudicator. One idea here is to play this as a team game and award points for challenges which are inventive and/or valid and/or well explained.

Image © Chris Halderman

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