FCE and CAE Speaking Practice Activity – Just A Minute

In the FCE and CAE Cambridge exams, students must talk about some pictures for 1 minute on their own. They will have questions to answer and all of the pictures will have a common theme. Like the following examples:

To practice the skills needed for this part of the exam, my students love playing an adaptation of the popular BBC Radio 4 game ‘Just A Minute’.

BBC Radio 4 Game – Just A Minute

In the game the panellists, in this case your students, are invited to speak about a topic for one minute without hesitation, deviation, or repetition. Exactly the things that they should avoid doing in their speaking exam. It’s the perfect game!

How To Play

  1. Explain the rules to the class, they will be given a card with a topic on it. They must speak about the topic, without hesitating, deviating or repeating anything, for one minute. If they commit any fault, another student will stop them and the game master (you) will stop the timer. If they have time left on the clock, the student that noticed the fault will get the chance to finish the time remaining.
  2. Perhaps find an old Youtube example of the game being played on the radio.
  3. Do one or two rounds of example topics, and you are ready to play.
  4. In advance, you have prepared cards with topics on them. Make sure that they are appropriate for a students’ level and do not present a huge challenge.
  5. Start the timer!

Topic Ideas

  • The Environment
  • Household Chores
  • Homework
  • Reading for Pleasure
  • Television Shows
  • Favourite Film
  • Music
  • English Classes
  • Eating Out vs Homemade Dinner
  • Travelling
  • Green Tourism
  • Friday Feeling
  • Learning for Pleasure
  • A Period of History (e.g. The Industrial Revolution)
  • Cooking
  • Fashion
  • Junk Food
  • Stressful Situations
  • Bad Habits
  • Theatre

Here’s a comprehensive list of topics that have been used on the radio, happy hunting!

Just A Minute Topics

Have you played this game before? Did it go well? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! 

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