Celebrity Chat is a simple game you can play with classes of all ages and levels from beginners up to advanced. It helps practice speaking and listening.
First prepare a set of flashcards and on each one write the name of a famous celebrity along with a small photograph. Make sure that these celebrities will be known to the class and they can include (depending on the age of the students) people like:
- Daniel Craig
- Lady Gaga
- The Queen of England
- Vladimir Putin
Next, add to each card a few salient facts about that person’s life: dates, education, achievements and so on. This doesn’t have to be a major biography, but just a little information to help out.
You can of course build up quite a collection of these cards so remember you can always laminate them to help keep them in good working condition for longer!
Running the Activity
One way to play this game is to give each person a card, making sure they understand the information on it. Tell them they are not allowed to reveal their celebrity name to anyone but they can talk about their celebrity self freely. You can give an example here:
Oh yes, I enjoy my work very much. Last year when I received my Oscar I was so proud! And of course when I made my last film we went over to Europe which was a great experience for me…
Remember to ham it up!
The next step is to hold a “celebrity cocktail party” where students mingle and chat about themselves (with you, of course, mingling and chatting amongst them). Encourage everyone to ask questions and talk about their celebrity self… but stress again that no names can be mentioned!
When were you born?
Oh, a long time ago – in the 1950s.
Are you a singer?
No! I am terrible when it comes to singing!
What’s your nationality?
I’m American, what about you?
and so on. After a few minutes of this get the class back to their seats. The next step is to go around and have them try to identify each other
As a teacher you may wish to revise some useful language functions before the party begins, phrases such as
I am from…
I was born in…
and so on.
Variations on a Theme
- Divide the class into two teams. A student from the first team comes to the front and collects a card at random and reads it silently (you may want to make sure there are male and female cards to avoid embarrassment here). The two teams each take turn in asking questions about the person on the card – the student can either “be” the person and answer in the first person or they can answer in the third person. The team which guesses the identity of the famous person on the card wins a point.
- Prepare a homework assignment where the students have to find basic information about someone famous; in the next lesson they use this identity instead of one you have prepared.