Meeting criteria games (TEFLtastic Classics Part 39)

Another instalment in my series on posts on the most useful and adaptable TEFL activities, for once for an activity that I (probably) invented. If you like anything here and want more, please support TEFLtastic.

Updated 21 July 2020

This is one of the board games I wrote about here, but is worth another mention as it is one of best ways of making students listen to each other and pay attention to their own production, and I’ve come up with a card game version that works really well too.

In the original Meeting Criteria Board Game, a student does a speaking task written on the square that they are on, e.g. “Start chatting to someone in the lift”. Their partners decide how many of the criteria in the middle of the board game they meet with their speaking, and therefore how many squares they can move on. For example, if the other students decide that they started smoothly and showed interest (but didn’t end smoothly, etc), they get two points and can move on two squares. Examples:

Telephoning meeting criteria board game (in this e-book) – NEW

Meeting people criteria board game

Dealing with foreign guests meeting criteria board game

Different kinds of business communication meeting criteria board game

Negotiating language meeting criteria board game

Small talk meeting criteria board game in this e-book

Social English meeting criteria board game in this e-book

It also works well for (chairing/ taking part in) meetings, travel English, phone calls, emailing, etc, all due in future e-books.

I like this game so much that I often want to use it more than once with a class, so I’ve also come up with a card game version. Create a pack of cards with roleplays/ challenges on each one, possibly just by cutting up or reformatting a Meeting Criteria Board Game above. Also make a different worksheet with the criteria on (“Right level of formality”, etc). Deal out the same number of cards to each student, e.g. five cards each. The first student chooses one of the situations on their cards, e.g. “Email back a customer who complained”, and roleplays it with someone else in the group (just saying what they will write if it is email communication). Their partners give them a number of points by how many criteria they met, then they can take that many cards from the pack, to give them more options next time (and to represent points if they will benefit from more competition). Example:

Small talk meeting criteria card game in this e-book

and, as I said, you can easily cut up the board games above into cards.


38 more highly flexible activities with hundreds of PDF versions here.

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