Cultural training, loads of useful real-life speaking, and in one version a great way to contrast tenses.
Students rank some questions and/ or topics from 1 point for great even with complete strangers to 5 points for completely taboo. They then ask each other some questions of various levels. The Q&A stage can be done in a game format where they choose the number of points they want to go for and get a percentage of those points depending on how well they do so, from zero for (politely) refusing to answer the question to five to a taboo question answered in full.
Discussion of cultural differences can happen naturally at or between any of those stages, or you can plan more carefully for it. Students can also write their own questions and/ or come up with more topics at all those five levels.
A brand new version of this version of the game is here:
It’s brand new because I change my mind about how taboo such topics are every time I use it and some (such as Scottish independence and house prices) seem to have become more or less taboo with time. Therefore, you’ll probably want to make your own version before using it or at least think about your opinions of my rankings.
The grammar comes in with this version:
It’s basically the same game, but the questions are all in just two tenses. As well as ranking and discussing, at some point students try to recall which of the two tenses the questions were in and why, in what I call the URA (Use Recall Analyse) approach. The same is possible with other tenses – I have a half-finished Present Perfect Simple and Continuous one I’ll finish off one day, and should be perfect for Simple Past and Present Perfect as well.
Links to more of the same kind of stuff:
Cultural training games/ worksheets for EFL learners (many also doing a language point at the same time)