The Interview | Drama and ESL Game For Wacky Characters and Improved Sentence Structure

The Interview really makes students think about sentence structure and work as a team. It can be quite a lot of work for the students but the results are hilarious!

This great game can be safely played at a social distance or virtually.

COVID-19 Update!
To ensure the students are socially distant, place the interviewees’ seats two metres apart.

Instructions

  • Ask for one volunteer to be the interviewer.
  • Ask for 3 or 4 volunteers to be interviewees. A larger number than 4 can make things quite complicated.
  • The interviewees must sit in a line.
  • Choose a topic for the interview, e.g. sports.
  • The interviewer must ask questions related to the topic but try to give space for creative answers.
  • The interviewees all play one character. They must answer the question together.
  • The first person in the line says the first word of their answer, followed by the second person saying the second word and so on.
  • Students may only say one word each before passing to the next student.
  • Once you have reached the last person, you loop back to the start until the answer is complete.
  • Students must not help each other or confer.
  • Once the students are happy that they have finished their sentence or answer, the interviewer can move on to the next question.

 Top tip: Dependent on the level of your students it may be better to play the role of interviewer yourself. Don’t be afraid to step in at any time if things aren’t making sense. Reiterate the sentence so far and encourage them to think about structure.

In my experience

This game is a PERFECT way to enforce articles in ESL classes. Those tiny words that are often forgotten become favourites when scrambling around for the next word in a sentence. Encountering an article suddenly becomes a relief.

In drama class, I have used this game as a stimulus for devising. In small groups, students have had to create a scene around the character who was interviewed. Because no one is able to predict how the interview will go, it can lead to some very interesting scenes.

Definitely one to try out in drama class or with intermediate and advanced ESL students.

Need help keeping your students socially distant? Try marking a space using the following:

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Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.

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