In the Celebrity Interview ESL activity students role-play a TV talk-show style interview.
Divide the class into pairs.
With advanced students, you could show a clip of a late-night talk show (Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel etc.) to give them topic ideas.
- Each pair chooses a famous person (or students could even imagine themselves in the future). One student will act as that person, and the other the host/interviewer.
- They work together to create a set of questions and answers for the interview, using the target language. Lower levels may need to create a full script, but encourage higher levels to work from just a few notes if possible.
- When they are finished, the pairs take turns performing their role play. Set up two chairs at the front and play some introductory music for a nice touch of realia. While a pair is performing, the other students take note of key information.
- At the end of each interview, ask the audience for the information they heard. Review target language accuracy.
The Celebrity Interview ESL activity works particularly well for practising a mixture of the present simple, past simple and present perfect simple. Biographical information provides a good template for this language, and the relative contributions of these tenses can be adapted according to the level of your class. Being an interview, it’s also great for practising information questions.
You can also use this activity for reported speech. When the students in the audience say what they heard after an interview, they should do this using the appropriate reported speech (e.g. She said she had started work on a new album). Depending on the level of your students, you may want to give students a few minutes to prepare/write up these sentences in pairs before they share them.
Once students are confident with reported speech, a similar activity based on real-life celebrity interviews is 73 Questions.
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