Number one for English language teachers

Exchanging information: Don't answer back

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

I got this idea from a quiz show on a radio programme last year. It guarantees confusion and lots of laughter in the classroom, perfect for teenagers.

The aim of this warmer is for each student to give the answer to the question asked to the previous student. It sounds complicated but the students pick it up quickly. This warmer is a good listening activity and really makes the students concentrate on the questions.

Procedure

  • Before playing the game you will need to make a list of questions suitable for your students and their level. Depending on class size you will need at least two questions for each student and it's best if they progressively become more and more difficult. I find questions for personal and general information work well.

Example

1. Are you English?
2. Where are you from?
3. What colour are your eyes?
4. How many people are there in your family?
5. What's the weather like today?
6. What time do you have lunch?
7. How often do you go to the cinema?
8. What are you doing?
9. When were you born?
10. Have you ever been to England?

  • Write the question What's your name? on the board. Explain to the students that you are going to ask each student a question but they are going to answer the question from the student before. To help explain this, get a student to ask you a question e.g. Have you got a dog? Don't answer this question but tell them your name (answering the question written on the board). Then ask another student to ask you a question. Again don't answer this question but tell them if you have got a dog (answering the previous question).
  • Now start the game. Point to the question on the board and then ask the first student question number one. This student must give the answer to the question on the board.
  • Then ask student number two the next question, they must give the answer to the question before. Don't worry, they soon get the hang of it! Continue asking questions making sure all students have a go.
  • To make it more fun, you can give each student three lives. If they hesitate for too long or they tell you the wrong answer they loose a life. The player or players with the most lives win.

Example

Are you English?
S1 - 'My name is Roberto'.
Where are you from?
S2 - 'No. I'm not.'
What colour are your eyes?
S3 - 'I'm from Italy.'

Variations

  • These questions can be adapted for different levels and can also be used for revising specific tenses. As an extra activity, you could get students to write five questions for their partner and in pairs ask and answer them or you could write down some of the answers during the game, read them out loud to the class and get the students to write suitable questions for the answers. 

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