Round Robin Interview

Give students the opportunity to practice casual English phrases and questions in a fast-paced, fun warm-up activity.

This activity is similar to the Speed Dating activity from Summer School.


The regular activity is to be used as a 10-15 minute warm-up activity to get the students thinking and excited about English at the beginning of every class.

For 2/3-nensei at JHS and HS, you'll most likely need 30 minutes or more to initially review and check the understanding for each sentence and example options for each side. I usually start with A side and move onto B side in 3 or so weeks.

Have the students repeat parts of, and then the entire questions and answers to get a feel for the pronunciation and rhythm of the sentences. Every three or four sentences you can let them pair up to practice before moving on to the next 3-4.

Reinforce that the students can/should be making memos and notes on their papers regarding reading/pronunciation, furigana if necessary, meaning, and their own ideas/examples/additions.


First, figure out a path your students can take to rotate around the room. For desks where two students sit, one will be the mover and the other will be the interviewer and stay in place.

For example, in my classes I have three columns, 2 desks wide, and I have the movers move in an S-shape around the classroom, with the student in the last row of the third column needing to run/jog to the start of the S on the other side of the class (this is actually kinda fun as they feel compelled to hurry and enjoy the brief opportunity to run inside the classroom).

Once you have a route, allow one of the interviewer students to pick which number they would like to start with, and then number off the rest of the interviewers from there.

Give the students about 30 seconds (give or take depending on their level) and then announce "Rotate!" (I also say "Swap", "Switch", "Change partners", "New partner", etc. to mix it up).

I usually go until the students (I have about 20-30) make a full rotation, or about 10-15 minutes.

Announcements - as appropriate, I will allow a rotation to happen and then say "stop!", followed by:

  • Remember to use eye contact! Read, remember, eye contact, than speak/ask! Try to put the paper down and use eye contact.
  • Any question/any number is okay. You can ask any question!

You can tell the students the sample answers are just examples - if they would like to use something else, new, or exciting, they can and should try their own original answers!

After the students have gotten used to both sides, I like to give them a brand new copy and let them write whatever helpful notes and memos, furigana, even pictures/drawings, and especially their own original ideas for answers. Then I take the final copies and laminate them for them. B5 is usually large enough for them to read/write on and small enough to fit neatly in their notebooks for safekeeping.

Lesson Topics
Junior High
High School
clear aisles to move up and down