Here’s a quick speaking game that encourages collaboration and improvisation. It was designed to help students practise FCE speaking part 3, but would be suitable for general English classes too.
Divide your class into pairs or groups of three. Give each group a set of question cards and location cards. They take one question card and place it face up, then take five location cards and place them face up. They are given a moment to read the question and think about their response.
Then, students have two minutes to discuss the question together. After two minutes ask students to stop and then give them one minute to decide which is the best (or worst for the drawback questions). Students then draw a new set of cards and start again.
Before and during the activity give students the language they need to help them express their opinions, give reasons and take turns by asking each other questions. Start with an example question on the board for the whole class to do together and write some useful expressions on the board.
I think that having a [ ] would be really beneficial because… what do you think?
I think that having a [ ] in the city centre would be useful because … what about you?
I can’t think of many benefits of a [ ], can you think of any?
When students are playing the game add more chunks of language between rounds and draw their attention to it. Monitor and pick phrases to help their specific problems like interrupting, disagreeing politely or reaching conclusions.
You can use the same cards to play a game I wrote about in a previous post. In this case the judge would give the point to the player with the best or most creative answer.
The game can be a little silly at times (in one game students had to think of ways in which a nightclub could be used to help educate children) but this is intended to be a fun speaking activity. You can download the Powerpoint version of the cards here if you’d like to make any changes.