This is a great speaking activity that can be used as a warmer or as a short speaking activity to practise a grammar point or some vocabulary or anything. I got it from colleague in a sharing session after the ACEIA conference, where it was one of the activities presented by Teresa Bestwick (see her great blog here).
Here’s how it goes:
- Put the students in pairs and tell them that they are going to do a speaking activity for 4 minutes.
- Ask them to choose which one of the pair will speak first.
- Explain that this person will speak about one of the questions. Their partner will listen carefully but not say anything until they can say “Me too!” in response to something that has been said. Then they take over talking until the first person can interrupt with “Me too!” and take over, and so on. The person who is speaking when the 4 minutes ends is the winner.
I used this activity with a class of FCE teenagers that I’ve just inherited. They may feel uncomfortable speaking in front of a new teacher: they’re all shy to be the first to start talking in class, and they all speak quietly. So I hoped that this activity would motivate them to speak and help them shake off nerves: when the goal is to be the one speaking rather than to say something interesting, it’s somehow easier to find something to say. In terms of topic, we used some personal experience and preference questions on the first page of a new unit about transport in our coursebook. The activity got them talking immediately and competing to win, the atmosphere became noticeably more relaxed, and they said they enjoyed the activity. Thanks, Teresa!