Last Friday I went to the English Teacher’s Club at MZK, the local library, where we shared some ideas for ice-breakers, warmers and fillers. The activity I took along is one designed to get students talking by making them ‘experts’.
1. On the board put up the interviewer’s questions:
Tell me something I don’t know about…
What’s the best thing about…
What would you like to change about…
2. Now, generate some topics, choose ONE of the following ways to create a list of 3 or 4:
a. get some random words on the board
b. get students to write down a topic they know something about, e.g. a list of hobbies
c. ask students to write down
i) something that was in the news
ii) something they did at the weekend
iii) something they learnt recently (not in English lessons!)
3. Student A is the interviewer and uses the questions from 1. above. Student B is the ‘expert’, they choose ONE of the topics from their own list.
Student A starts by asking for the topic, then says Tell me something I don’t know about…
Student B should try to talk for one minute on the topic, if they are struggling, student A can prompt with one of the other questions. Then they swap roles.
One minute can sometimes seem like a long time but if you do this regularly with students (especially exam classes where part of the Speaking exam is a one-minute individual turn) you can show them how to structure their ‘presentation’ and feed in other useful language for doing this.