Speaking Game: Sentence Guessing Activity (ESL/EFL)
|Min. # of Students:||3|
|Activity Strengths:||Review, warm-up, entertaining, and communicative|
|ESL/EFL Level:||Intermediate to Advanced|
Basic Speaking Game Idea: Students try to get one of their classmates (Student A) to elicit a sentence written on the board. Student A is seated with his/her back to the board, unable to see the sentence. The other students must get Student A to say the sentence, completely, by using synonyms, alternative descriptions, and other clues.
Speaking Game Preparation: Go through your class notes and pick some expressions (e.g. “kill two birds with one stone”), vocabulary (e.g. “hire”, “ethnic”) or grammar items (“hardly ever”) you’d like to review next class. Then, make some interesting sentences with them, for example: “I killed two birds with one stone. / “A month after I was hired, I was fired.” / “I rarely eat ethnic cuisine.” Get creative. Bring the list to class.
Speaking Game Execution:
- Pick one student from the group (“Student A”) and seat him/her at the front of the class, with his/her back to the board.
- Write the easiest of the sentences you prepared on the board, e.g. “I killed two birds with one stone.”
- Tell the other students that they have to make Student A say the complete sentence on the board. Tell them the game rules: they can only use use English and they cannot repeat any of the key words in the sentence to Student A.
That’s it. The students may think it’ll be hard at first, but they’ll soon get into the game. Be sure to give the easier sentences to the lower-level students. Let each student have a turn at the speaking game. My students seem to enjoy this speaking activity. If you have a large class, the game can be played in team vs team format as well by putting one student from each team at the front of the class. The first team to get their student at the front to elicit the sentence wins the speaking game.
– Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com