Focus: to provide learners with the opportunity to develop all four skills in an engaging and real-life like activity.
Outcome: a written or recorded news report
Level: intermediate and above
Time: Two 60-minute classes
Brainstorm with students names of famous people they would like to interview. Write their ideas on the board in a word cloud.
When students are done naming famous people, ask them to, in groups, categorize the celebrities and name the groupings they make. Elicit students’ groupings and have the class choose one to work on in this activity.
Ask students to choose three people from the selected grouping to interview. Encourage students to make their selections in groups and prepare to justify their choices. Elicit the groups’ selections and the reason why they chose these people. After all groups have presented, carry out a classroom vote to decide the three celebrities the class will interview.
2. Preparing for the interview
Ask students to prepare five questions they would like to ask the celebrities. Monitor and help as needed. When groups are done, encourage them to compare their questions with other groups.
Invite three volunteers to play the part of the celebrities. Let volunteers decide who they are going to play in the interview, and allow them some time to research and prepare for the part. Ask the other students, the reporters, to rehearse the questions in a big group and assign them to specific reporters so they don’t repeat questions.
3. Interviewing the celebrities
Have the students playing the celebrities stand in front of the class while the reporters sit in rows as in a press conference. Encourage the reporters to record the questions and answers using their mobile phones.
Have reporters raise their hands and celebrities choose who asks the question. The reporter asks the question and all three celebrities answer. Repeat the process until you think it is enough.
4. Preparing to report
Have students go back to their groups and listen to
the recordings made during the interview. Encourage them to listen attentively and record questions and answers they can hear. When students are done, ask them to stand up, mingle, share questions and answers, and complete their notes.
As students go back to their seats, ask them to decide how they want to report their findings: a written news report or a videoed news report. Get students together according to their choice.
Provide each group with two or three examples of the genre chosen. Ask students to analyze the material and describe common features of content, layout, organization, grammar and vocabulary, and style. You might need to provide a model for the analysis or do it with students. When they are done, elicit answers and write them on the board.
Ask students to produce their reports in pairs and, when done, share with another pair for peer review and feedback. When students are done with the final version of their reports, fix the written ones on the walls and play the recorded ones in the classroom. This material can also be digitalized and made into a class newspaper.