Tag: snowball method

Irregular verbs – past simple tense
Irregular verbs – past simple tense

Irregular verbs are probably the most important verbs in English. There are quite a lot of them and they are very common. However, for many ESL and EFL students they are very difficult to learn.

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I have already prepared many activities to teach the irregular verbs to my students. There are irregular verbs from the rap song by Fluency MC, there are several stories to learn the verbs in context and there are many infographics to make the learning a bit easier.
[showmyads] Having tried all of these, I have to say that the most effective way of teaching irregular verbs in English is the SNOWBALL method. This method does not promise to teach you 100 verbs in 10 minutes. You have to study the verbs for 10 days in a row to learn these, but then I can guarantee that you will remember more than 90% of these verbs. So why donĀ“t you try it for yourself?

Snowball method – How does it work?

The Snowball method is quite simple. You have to work for 10 days in a row. On the first day, the computer teaches you 12 verbs. On the second day, the computer gives you the 12 verbs from the previous day and it adds 12 new verbs. It goes on like this till the day six. Each day there are 12 new verbs and all the verbs from the previous days are repeated. On day 7, no new verbs are added and the 12 verbs from day 1 vanish. In this way, on days 7 to 10, no new verbs are added, and the oldest verbs are deleted. Thus, each verb is repeated at least 6 times.

Moreover, if you make a mistake, the verb is repeated again until you get it right or until you make 3 mistakes.

Irregular verbs – infographics

In the following Snowballs, these verbs are taught:
Irregular verbs infographic part 1 web

Irregular verbs 2 infographic web

irregular verbs 3 web

Irregular verbs – Snowballs

Once you have gone through the verbs, do the Snowball 1. Your task is to write the infinitive and the past tense of the verb in the picture. Please, use a comma and a space after the infinitive (e.g. draw, drew).
Do Snowball 2 the next day. Then do Snowballs 3-10 one each day.

Snowball 1 – full screen
Snowball 2 – full screen
Snowball 3 – full screen
Snowball 4 – full screen
Snowball 5 – full screen ADVERT:
Snowball 6 – full screen
Snowball 7 – full screen
Snowball 8 – full screen
Snowball 9 – full screen
Snowball 10 – full screen
Irregular verbs – snowball method
Irregular verbs – snowball method

After teaching for fifteen years, it seems that it does not matter how much and well the teacher teaches, it is the student who must learn. I have already published many methods of teaching irregular verbs. There are posts on teaching irregular verbs with a rap song, there are posts with many games and stories where the irregular verbs are used in context. And the result? My students do not know the irregular verbs! If the students do not learn the verbs, they do not know them.
[showmyads] This of course does not mean that we should stop making our lessons as interesting as possible. No! It means that we should give students a chance to learn the verbs in an effective way themselves. That was why I started to learn another foreign language. And I found out that the best method to learn new vocabulary was the one which I call SNOWBALL.

Snowball method

Snowball is a simple piece of software which asks me to translate a word. If I get the word right, it disappears, if not, it gets repeated once or twice after a while. The following day, the programme asks me to translate the words from the previous day and adds 20 more words to learn. It goes on like this till day 5 when I have to translate 100 words. On day 6, the software offers the same 100 words again. But on day 7, I have to translate just 80 words as the oldest 20 disappear. In this way, the words disappear and on the tenth day I translate just 20 words.

This means that each word gets repeated at least six times and if the student does not know it, it gets repeated more frequently.

And I used this method to teach the irregular verbs. There are 100 most frequent irregular verbs in English and if you do one snowball every day, each irregular verb will get repeated at least 6 times.

As the answers are evaluated by a computer, DO NOT USE CAPITAL letters and divide the words with a comma (no pause after the comma).

Snowball 1
Snowball 2
Snowball 3
Snowball 4
Snowball 5


Snowball 6
Snowball 7
Snowball 8
Snowball 9
Snowball 10