Tag question standoff

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A tag question standoff is an activity which tests a student's accuracy in using grammar and intonation in tag questions. It uses minimal materials, is student-centered and is best used with students who already know each other fairly well.

Preparation

  • Students need paper and a pen or pencil
  • Teachers may want to review tag questions and the difference in meaning conveyed with rising/falling intonation before starting the activity.

Procedure

  • Students are asked to find a partner who they know fairly well, but not too well.
  • Once they have found a partner, the students separately write ten things they think they know about their partner e.g. "you have got three cars", "you are engaged to a farmer", "your favourite colour is purple" etc.
  • Once the lists are complete, the students take turns to read out their sentences with tag questions attached. If they are sure of an assumption, the tag should have falling intonation; and if they are unsure, the tag should have rising intonation.
  • If a tag question with falling intonation is a correct assumption, the correct guess wins the speaker a point; whoever has the most points at the end is the winner.