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Award interviews

This ESL speaking activity is good practice with question formation fluency, provides the teacher a good opportunity for error correction, and gives students meaningful interaction. I used it as a 'getting to know you' type activity on the first day of class, but I think it would also work with a familiar class.

1. Students come up with award ideas and the teacher puts them on the board. I did this as a think – pair – share (students think alone for a minute, talk to a partner, then share with the class). Awards must not be based on appearance (no Miss Universe and no Mr. Olympia). Possibilities include most likely to succeed, the most sociable award, the best listener award, the most charitable award, etc.

In my college classes students came up with 'the biggest drinker' and 'the biggest party animal' which I allowed. They also suggested 'The laziest' and 'the worst student' which I did not allow. Try to keep it positive while letting your students have fun.

2. In groups (3-6) students choose 1 or 2 awards they would like to give out. Students then decide what questions they should ask (at least 3) in order to determine who deserves the award.

I give students time to compose their questions and then check them for accuracy - this allows for some error correction which can help students with their questions (students tend to get little practice and no feedback when it comes to question formation since it's usually the teacher asking questions).

3. Groups take turns conducting interviews while the class looks on. One group interviews all the members of the group next to them and then decides which person in the other group gets the award they are giving out. Each person must answer at least questions before an award may be given. Continue until all groups have interviewed and given an award and all groups have been interviewed.