Hot Seat


Beginner to advanced.

Skills Practised

Speaking and listening.



1. Prepare a list of five to nine words your class has recently learned.
2. Draw a scoring table on the board, like this:

        Team A                Team B        

How it Works

1. Ask your students to form two teams and have them move their chairs forward to form two groups facing the board. After explaining the game and modelling the roles if necessary, ask for one player from each team to move his or her chair forward again and turn it to face his or her group. These players then sit in their chairs (now 'hot seats') with their backs to the board.

2. Write the first word on the board, making sure the players in the 'hot seats' can't see it. After you say 'Go!', the members of each team try to elicit this word from their team-member in the 'hot seat' without saying the word or giving any clues as to its spelling (such as the first letter). For example, if the word is 'vitamins', players could make statements such as 'We need lots of these in our food' or ask leading questions such as 'What does fruit have a lot of?'. The team whose 'hot seat' player first says the target word wins a point.

3. The two players in the 'hot seats' then swap seats with another member of their respective teams. After writing the second word on the board, say 'Go!' again, and so on. The game continues until all the words have been used, with the team having the most points at the end of the game winning.

- If neither of the players in the 'hot seats' has stated the word within a reasonable length of time, move on to the next word without having the players swap seats.
- It's a good idea to tell the players the total number of words you intend to write on the board before play begins. This allows players to gauge their team's chances of winning as the game progresses.

Variations: There are many possible variations on this game. You could write the names of famous people instead of recently-learned words, or movie titles, song titles, countries, famous places, etc.

For a small class (3 - 6 students): Set up just one 'hot seat' and have a player write any word on the board. The other players try to elicit this word from the player in the 'hot seat'. After this player has had a chance to guess 2 or 3 different words, players alternate roles as they wish. This variation need not involve scoring.

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