With the increasing popularity of online tutoring, there is a growing demand for online tools for tutors to create engaging and interactive activities. Personally, I found it ever so difficult to create automated gapfill or matching exercises within an online environment. However, this is where Lesson Ninja attempts to bridge that gap (no pun intended) and offer intuitive tools for the benefit of tutor and student. In this post, you will learn more about this valuable tool which could support those that are involved in language tutoring.

I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Maciej Szwarc, co-founder of Lesson Ninja, and this video is available to watch below. In this video, Maciej shares his website as well as the tools that are available.

An Introduction to Lesson Ninja

When registering to Lesson Ninja, which is a simple process, you will be introduced to a very clean looking page. Lesson Ninja is essentially an online tool that has been built to offer automated gapfill or matching exercises which can then be organised into sets and then sent to individual students. It is a simple tool where little is effort needed to create exercises (or sets) for students.

There are two different sets which you could create for your lessons, Gapped or Matching sets.

When starting to create your own activities, you have the opportunity to create one of two different sets or activities. These are either a ‘Gapped set’ or a ‘Matching set’. Funnily enough, when I first started in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), the gapfill was the first activity which I was first introduced. It is the most common EFL activity for many English teachers, where it has become a bit of a cliché among the teaching community, but it is still applicable and can be used to aid language learning.

Creating a gap takes seconds!

Nevertheless, gapped activities can be useful for detailed listening with song lyrics, completing multi-gaps which draw attention to lexical chunks, or developing creative writing such as the gapfill poetry lesson from the Teaching English community. Meanwhile, the matching exercise is a great opportunity for students to match sentence halves, key words and definitions, or collocations, synonyms or antonyms. Lesson Ninja makes the creation of the gapfill or matching task a lot easier compared to attempting to create one which can be accessed via Google Forms or the like.

Why Use Lesson Ninja?

The primary reason tutors should consider using Lesson Ninja, rather than alternative tools, is due to the simplicity of creating tasks as well as the accessibility of such exercises for students. Users on Lesson Ninja could create their own gapped or matching activities and then share with students within minutes. Maciej used TED Talks as an example, in the YouTube video above, where he accessed the script, copied and pasted this into Lesson Ninja, and then finally inserted gaps within it. Users can also create matching activities using the same process too!

Creating a gapfill exercise takes a few clicks of a mouse!

The second reason that language tutors should consider Lesson Ninja to use with their lessons is the low cost of such an application. Initially, the tool is free to use but there is a cost after the initial trial. Check the following link for a 10% discount with the membership fee – and as Maciej mentioned during the video, the monthly cost is comparable to the purchase of a single coffee or latte.

The third reason that tutors might consider Lesson Ninja is the ease of sharing tasks and generating results of usage with potential students. Once a tutor has created a task for their student(s), it is simple enough to share this. Students are not required to create their personal account on Lesson Ninja to access material, with learners being able to complete activities either on a laptop, tablet or mobile device.

Matching tasks can be created in minutes!

Once learners have completed the gapfill or matching task, tutors are able to access the results of these tasks which could offer insightful feedback which could inform areas to focus upon with potential future lessons. Feedback would obviously include highlighting correct or incorrect answers, as well as the time that it took students to complete particular exercises. There is also the option of exporting vocabulary for use in Quizlet as well as a corpus tool to help with the generation of lexis for gapfill and matching exercises. Finally, the created tasks can be exported and printed out for use in a physical classroom which would help tutors customise activities based on what they are planning to do with their lessons.


My overall opinion of Lesson Ninja is that it is suitable for those tutors who wish to expand their resources. There are many online resources to access material to print out or make available online with students. Ideally, the combination of tech and a physical class makes this invaluable. You could print out activities or share to students so they could complete in their own time.

There is some additional opportunity for Lesson Ninja to expand their tools – so far there are only two activities which are accessible for use: ‘Gapped Sets’ and ‘Matching Sets’. If they were able to extend these to include vowel or consonant removal, highlighting mistakes within a sentence, or grammar auction exercises then this would definitely elevate the tool for students and teachers. There are some wonderful gapfill ideas on this website which offers some capabilities for possible develop. Nevertheless, the intuitiveness and clean aesthetics of the website makes things simple for all users.

This is a highly engaging and instinctual tool which could benefit language tutors whether they are teaching remotely or within a physical classroom at an annual cost that is affordable for the cost of a cup of coffee.