Pair work activities and grouping students

Getting students speak can sometimes be a bit of a challenge but there are a few strategies that will help you to prevent it. Generally, if you show students the real reason why speaking is an absolute must, their attitude will slowly change over time.

Pair work is one of those ways how to get students speak.

  1. Pair work increases students’ confidence.
  2. Pair work increases students’ motivation.
  3. With the right tasks, pair work can simulate real life situations.

Wonder what tasks to use?

#1 Interviews

Interviews simulate real life situations & it is pretty easy to come up with topics. Try a job interview, school entrance exam interview, celebrity interview or just set a 2 min timer and let students talk about what is new and exciting in their lives.

#2 Discussions & Debates

Discussions and debates are extremely effective, especially if the topics represent students interests and controversial stuff they care about. If you want to build a whole lesson on discussions, try speed debating!

Download the list of topics here and try it out in your classroom:

#3 Role-plays

Role-plays are wonderful for teaching basically anything. From vocabulary, grammar to informal or business English. Make sure to give students enough time to get ready and allow them to become actors for a minute :).

How to group students?

#1 By students’ learning style

If you know your students for some time, you probably know what learning style and needs they have. Making groups according to learning styles helps students to work step by step- exactly how they need.

#2 Randomly

If students in your classroom don’t have any strong learning needs, making groups randomly works just fine! To prevent the boring process of grouping students, partner up cards is a wonderful tool! You can get them by clicking on one of the buttons below.

#3 Based on students’ skills

Grouping students based on their skills is another great way to do it. Personally, I prefer mixing stronger students with those who aren’t confident enough- however, you know your students the best, every class is different.


One response to “Pair work activities and grouping students”

  1. […] is impossible, so you can probably imagine the reason why and how CLT improves relationships. Focus on pair work/group work and teach students more than […]


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