Mock Cooking Competition

This activity is best for B1-C2 levels after vocabulary for food and cooking has been introduced. I even use it with business clients when we discuss entertaining and explaining local dishes to guests.

  1. Create cards with various ingredients and also cooking utensils.
  2. Put the learners in pairs and give them some cards (say 6 ingredients and 4 utensils). Explain they are going to have a cooking competition using these ingredients and utensils.
  3. The learners look at the cards and discuss what kind of “new” recipe they want to create. After a few minutes of discussion, ask them to write the recipe out.
  4. Then swap partners and they describe their dish/recipe/cooking procedure and utensils to their new partner. This step can be repeated until everyone has heard everyone’s recipe.

Alternative: have the learners present their recipes to the class as a whole. Vote on the recipe that sounds the tastiest, craziest, yuckiest etc.


3-2-1 Presentations

This one is one of my favorites for practicing presentations, self-introductions, discussing a process etc. It is best at the B1-C2 levels.

  1. After introducing the basic structure of a good presentation (introduction, main points, conclusion) and key phrases, ask the learners to write a very short presentation. The presentation should be 3 minutes and contain no slides. I often assign this as homework.
  2. If possible, check their presentations (focus on structure and key phrases). Then pair the learners up and set a timer for 3 minutes so that one person can give their presentation to their partner. They may refer to their notes on their sheet. Then switch and repeat for 3 more minutes. The trainer should circulate and finally make one or two brief comments (Remember to use phrases like XXX etc.).
  3. Tell the learners to switch partners. Explain they will repeat the process except this time they only have two minutes! Allow both partners a chance.
  4. Have them change partners again. This time they have only 1 minute to give their presentation.
  5. Everyone sits down in their seats. Conduct a feedback round. Ask what happened? How did they feel? Was it easier or more difficult as the presentation went on? Did they get better or worse at giving the presentation? Did they look at their notes in the last presentation? Why did we do this activity? Which presentations of their classmates do they remember? A great conversation will ensue and the learners usually immediately recognize that they a) got more comfortable (usually), b) became better at giving the main ideas of their presentation IF they had a good structure to begin with. Many more topics may emerge at this point.

1-1 Variation. This works perfect with 1-1 learners. The trainer needs to give a presentation.