Interview a Star: An Interview Activity for Fun Speaking Practice

microphone for an interview or interview activityThis is a pretty simple speaking lesson and interview activity where each student picks a famous person and then the other students interview him/her as that person. It can be done in class or assign kids to do research for homework first.

Materials for the Interview Activity

Preparation for the Interview

Each student should choose a famous person they plan to act as. Alternatively you can assign roles so this lesson can be linked to a recent reading about famous people, or it can be linked to current events where students choose people in the news. Students can also choose or be assigned fictional characters so it can be linked directly to a novel, film or almost any activity you’ve done in class.

If the characters are well-known to everyone (ideally they should be), you can run the activity in class. Otherwise you might have students choose the famous person for homework and do research. Or you can bring source materials to class and do a lesson on researching. In any case, students should be prepared to be interviewed as this person. To keep the class focused or make sure they do some research, you can use the Interview Fact Sheet. In any case, students should be ready to be interviewed as this character so they should know something about them and be prepared to improvise, guess or make up any answers on the spot!

Interview Activity

Now, you can do this two ways:
1) Put the students in pairs. Each student prepares 5 questions for the other student and then they take turns interviewing each other.

2) Do a mock talk-show in class. In turn, each student goes to the front of the class, announces who they are acting as, and the whole class can interview them.

You may choose to have the interviewers in turn do some research first. This works best if you pair the students. One way to do it is to have each student choose who they will be. Then pair them, at random or have them choose who they want to interview. Now each student has to do research on both the person they picked AND the person their partner picked. That way the questions will be more relevant and focused.

You have to be a little careful to make sure that people don’t ask insulting or slanderous questions like, “Mr. President, why are you so ugly?” Or, “Angelina Jolie, will you sleep with me?” Other than that, this is a very fun lesson and students get very creative explaining away scandals or making up histories of their characters. It’s especially fun when the interviewer knows more about the person than the actor does. Encourage students to be creative!

Note: For beginner students, you might ask them to just find some basic information on the star and formulate basic questions like, “Where are you from?” and “What do you like to do?” For higher level students, I would push them to ask more probing questions and give more complete answers.

Thanks to EnglishBaby! for reminding me of this great idea.

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14 Replies to “Interview a Star: An Interview Activity for Fun Speaking Practice”

  1. If you are setting yourself up as an English site, please ensure you use correct English! This kind of mistake (in your case continually using ‘chose’ when it should be ‘choose’) is really unacceptable.

  2. Happens to the best of us. I believe I originally had this text in a different form and rewrote it. Must have forgotten to switch chose to choose.

  3. Seriously Gino, someone comes on this site and offers a great activity..take it for what it is worth and stop picking at unimportant things.

  4. . . . I am generally reluctant to post on website’s as I have had similar ‘nit-picking’ comments, which usually distract from the main point of the original post and unquestionably say something more about the ‘nit-picker’ . . . suffice to say . . . if you can’t put-up . . . then shut-up . . . as the adage goes . . . btw . . . great lesson idea EA . . . and FAB opportunity to explore untapped creativity . . .

  5. Thanks for the support. I am actually glad when people correct my mistakes. At the moment I’m trying to keep this website up-to-date, teaching 20 hours in the classroom, and starting part 2 of the TESOL Certificate course, so sometimes mistakes happen. I need people to copy-edit me. And hopefully include other ideas, or reviews of how my lesson plans went in the classroom.

    I can’t claim to have invented this idea of course. I’ve seen it in several textbooks here and there. But this is how it’s worked best for me.

  6. just tried this one out today. A good fun lesson. Robert Downey Jnr, Marilyn Monroe, Tyra Banks and Mel Gibson all enjoyed their interviews.

  7. Wow. First of all I want to thank you for what you are doing. It really seems that you are really kind and want to help other teachers. It is worthy of congratulations.

  8. This is a great idea! I wasn’t able to download the interview sheet – is there any chance to have look at it? I’d be very grateful!

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