These are two board games to practise the art of making small talk. I have created two games with questions on the same topics but version A is for lower level students and version B for higher level students. Different font colours on the board correspond to different topics: work, sport, family, travelling, food and entertainment. This activity is a great way to help students practise speaking, develop fluency and prepare for exciting conversations with English speakers in the future.
Also I find these games extremely useful since most of us are now teaching online. You simply display a board game on the screen and that’s a speaking activity sorted for you. Do not forget to feed students new vocabulary and obviously draw their attention to mistakes.
As always encourage students to ask each other additional questions and comment on each other’s responses. Do not let it be a monologue. I often tell students that if I asked them the same questions in a bar or outside the classroom, the conversation would flow much more naturally so aim towards that and have fun.
- To practise speaking about work, sport, family, travelling, food and entertainment.
- To master the elusive art of small talk. Sorry, the weather is not one of the options;)
Materials (Click on the worksheets below to download the PDF files):
- Making small talk A
- Making small talk B
- A die ( use an online dice roller) and a timer ( or no timer, play around and see what works for your group)
- Give students a copy of one of the board games or display it on the screen if you are using Zoom or any other platform. Choose the board game depending on the level of your students.
- Tell students that they have just arrived at a party and they are about to start mingling. Of course all of them are trying to make a great impression on others, network or even find the love of their life 😉 so being a boring conversationalist simply will not do this time.
- The teacher now throws the dice twice – the first throw indicates which column they should use, and the second throw indicates which row, to obtain the question.
- The player(s)/ partygoers must then answer the question and provide their ¨classmates¨ with as much detail as possible. If you have a bigger group, split your students into pairs or small groups at this stage. Encourage students to ask additional questions and try to make sure the conversations don’t run dry too quickly.
- When the teacher throws the dice again and moves on to the next question, the students could speak to someone else this time. You don’t want them to be “stuck” in a corner for the rest of the “party” speaking to the same person.
- At the end, ask students to name people they would like to have another conversation with based on how well the previous one(s) went and how interestING and interestED the speaker(s) seemed to them.