Activity 22: Matchmaking Roleplay

▶ Duration:  15–20 min
▶ Aim:  Oral fluency practice
▶ Requirements:  Lots of space
▶ Summary:  Each student is given a "child", and tries to pair him/her up with a suitable partner.

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The students are initially organised into groups, with each group member receiving a different information card describing their son or daughter. But the actual speaking is done on a one-to-one basis, with the students mingling in their group and talking to the other "parents".

Groups contain 8 to 10 students, so this mingling requires a classroom with lots of space, and preferably no desks to obstruct movement. For a similar activity that can be run in a cramped classroom, see Activity 21: Matchmaking Discussion.

Print enough copies of ten_singles.doc (html preview) so that each student can receive one information card. Note that this document is formatted for A4 paper.

Optionally, use a different colour of paper for each set of information cards.

If your information cards are all white, then you need to organise the students into groups of 8 or 10 first (ideally an even number, otherwise one poor child will miss out on a husband or wife). If you have a different colour for each set of information cards, then you can simply hand out the cards as you wish, and get the students to form groups according to the colours after they have read the card.

Explain that you are going to give each student a son or daughter! Tell them to read the card and imagine what the person is like: do you think they are romantic? Friendly? Humourous? Hard-working?

Give out the cards and allow some time for reading. (If there are some groups of eight, simply give them four male and four female information cards).

Explain that the students can add extra details that aren't on the card. For example, does your child have a car or a motorbike? Is he/she clever? To encourage this, give the students an extra minute to think of one detail to add.

Now explain that each person should talk to the "parents" of potential husbands/wives. They should only speak to one person at a time. Once they have heard about all the potential partners, students should agree on how to match them up. Check:

If some groups finish early, you can tell them to think of reasons why the couples they have matched up are suitable.

Have a feedback session at the end, perhaps writing the results on the board.

As mentioned above, Activity 21: Matchmaking Discussion is based on the same topic, but run in a different way that is more suitable for classrooms with limited space. It encourages group discussion, rather than one-on-one interviews.
Rating: 5 stars

Needless to say, the students enjoy this activity.