This is a game for upper-intermediate and advanced students. It was designed as a  speaking game and serves as a revision tool for two lexical sets: professions and personality adjectives. The main focus is a better understanding of the subtleties of personality adjectives through group discussion.

Download the handout by clicking here

This is a game developed using a format I outlined in a previous post – Apples to apples – adapting-games. There are two sets of cards: professions and personality adjectives. The game is played in groups of four to six students. There are 60 profession cards and 40 personality cards.

jobs pic

Each player is dealt six cards from the professions deck. A starting player is chosen, who will be judge for the round, and that player takes a card from the personality deck. They reveal the card to the other players, who then each choose a profession card in their hand which best matches the personality adjective. Then, players take turns explaining why their profession card is the best match to the judge’s personality card. After everyone has had time to explain their reasoning (including a degree of debate) the judge picks a winner.

Here is an example round of the game: There are five players, four players who are competing and one judge. The Judge’s card is ‘wise’.

The four players select professions which fit this criteria and reveal their cards. The four cards the judge has to choose between are surgeon, newspaper editor, lawyer and diplomat. Each player gives their reasons for their selection and the judge asks a few follow up questions. After a short discussion the judge then picks a winner (the judge’s decision is final).

The winner is given the personality card to show they won the round. Then the role of judge moves clockwise and the next judge picks up a personality card. Each player draws profession cards until they have a full hand of six cards (players sometimes miss this step so will occasionally need to be reminded). The game continues until a player has won three rounds.

The game is very simple to follow and generates interesting conversations and unusual arguments. The great variety of jobs and personalities in the game means that the game will be different every time. Students are encouraged to rationalise and justify their card any way they can, which means that they can try to gain the judge’s favour by being the funniest or most inventive. This gently competitive edge pushes students to think creatively and means they are more inclined to generate less conventional ideas. Players don’t win by having the right card, they win because they give the best or most interesting explanation.

jobs pic2

The cards are available for download [Here]. The card sets include some tongue in cheek professions like drug dealer, queen and magician. It also includes personality adjectives like forgetful and insecure. This creates a lot of fun combinations and unexpected debates. After a couple of weeks of play-testing I have received a lot of positive feedback from students.