The objective of this game is to help students practice answering typical exam Part 4 questions, being careful about not monopolising the speaking time, and including the partner in the discussion.
The game is suitable for up to 5 players, works best with the minimum of 3. Each group needs a board, a set of 25 questions, counters, a dice, and a stopwatch. Students roll the dice to decide the order in which they will play the game.
Each student moves along the board from the start to finish, following the hexagons in their given colour. Their task is to answer the question assigned to each hexagon and involve one other player by asking about their opinion and responding to it (as they would in the exam). Additionally, their initial answer can’t be longer than 40 seconds. If a player exceeds this time limit, other group members, who are timing them, need to signal that the time is up. At this point, the original player must finish and address one of the group members.
For sticking to the time limit players get extra points at the end of each round. At the end of the game the player with the highest number of points wins.
Make sure to revise different ways of expressing / asking for opinion before starting the game.
I designed this game in response to my students’ desire to “revise it all” before the oral exam they have coming up. Even though the game might easily be played without the board, I decided to go crazy and change up the usual routine (drawing questions from a pile). The biggest controversy was the speaking time limit and after two rounds we decided that the answers must be no shorter than 30 seconds and no longer than 50 seconds.
This game proved especially useful in reminding my students about the necessity of interacting with each other during this part of the exam (some of them thought it is more like Part 1 where they just need to talk to the examiner) and about the importance of not monopolising the allotted speaking time. They left the class telling me they were feeling more confident about the exam and happy we covered so many various questions.
I selected the questions from these books:
- Cambridge English Advanced Practice Tests Plus 2 by Nick Kenny and Jackie Newbrook
- Cambridge English Advanced Practice Tests by Mark Harrison
- Complete Advanced Second Edition by Guy Brook-Hart and Simon Haines