(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)
Develop techniques, bond with classmates, improve cognitive performance all in one activity!
The first time I used this type of activity, I was a relatively new ESL Conversation teacher and just wanted something to get my students talking. Over the years, I’ve developed it more to involve additional conversational techniques. And from cognitive psychology, I discovered why students are so energized by it.
You may be familiar with a simple version of this activity called “Find someone who” in which students are given a list of items and directed to talk to their classmates and find someone who has that item or has done that activity. For example, find someone who has a pet or has lived in Europe or has gone backpacking. However, that simple version has limited value.