Students work in pairs. Student A asks Student B questions. Student B answers the questions but does not elaborate. The idea is for Student A to continue to ask follow-up questions to get more information.
Student A: Have you ever been to France?
Student B: Yes, I have.
Student A: Did you enjoy your trip?
Student B: It was okay.
Student A: Were you there on a business trip?
Student B: No.
Student A: Were you on vacation?
Student B: Yes.
Student A: Who did you go with?
Student B: My family.
This warm up forces students to ask for more information and keep a conversation going.
The teacher brings in some controversial statements and students have an impromptu mini-debate.
Example statement: People should only check their email three times a day because email can be a major distraction in the workplace. Student A has two minutes to say why he agrees with the statement. After Student A’s two minutes, Student B has two minutes to explain why she disagrees with the statement.
More difficult version: Students must argue in favor of something they disagree with.
For ideas, see these debate topics for business English.
Love it or Hate it
The teacher has a list of things and students decide whether they love or hate the things on the list. Students have to choose either “love” or “hate” and can’t be undecided or in the middle. Students then explain their position and argue with the opposing side.
Sentences with Difficult-to-Pronounce Words
The teacher keeps track of words the students are having trouble pronouncing. The teacher then makes sentence strips using these words. Students take turns reading these difficult-to-pronounce sentences.
For example, if students have trouble pronouncing the words responsibility, prioritize, comfortable, educate, and extremely, the teacher might make the following sentence strips:
1. This office chair is extremely comfortable.
2. We need to educate people on how to prioritize their responsibilities.