What do you need?
- Cards – one for each student – with (interesting) names/topics on them
- Enough space so the students can make a big outer and smaller inner circle (if the weather is good – why not go outside?)
- Clock to stop the time
Divide the students into two equal groups. One group forms an outer circle, the other an inner one. The students face each other. Give each student one topic-card. To begin, the person in the outer circle starts talking about his/her topic for two minutes (or less… or more), while the other student listens. The students switch after two minutes and the one listening before is talking for another two minutes. Now, before all the students in the outer circle move clock-wise, they exchange cards with their first partner. This way they never talk about the same topic twice and realize quickly that it helps them imensely if they listen to their partner.
- Ss talk (a lot)!
This activity can be used at any level, as teacher I just need to chose less complex topics for lower levels. My students (upper-intermediate) loved it and it woke them up this morning at 8am. I’ve barely seen them talking so lively without realizing that they use English. It’s also possible to use the Speed Dating/Talking idea for a first lesson where the students don’t know each other yet; instead of topices they’ll then talk about themselves.
This great activity wasn’t my idea. I got it from:
B. Hoffman, Germany, published in ETp 76, September 2011 – thanks for this awesome activity!