3-2-1 ESL Conversation Activity

Duration: 10 minutes

Type: Rotating Partners

  1. This is an activity Larry Ferlazzo recommends. You can read more about how he suggests using this activity in his book The ESL/ELL Teacher's Survival Guide.
  2. After practicing any particular conversation topic with your students, you can use this fun activity to help make the students more fluent with the conversation.
  3. Put students in two parallel lines or in inner and outer circles, some call this Conga Lines or Speed Dating Circles.
  4. Students have 3 minutes to have a conversation with the person across from them. If you have been practicing the conversation as a group already, then students should be able to have the conversation with minimal help.
  5. Then one line or one circle rotates while the other line or circle stays still. That way everyone has a new partner.
  6. Now students have 2 minutes to have the same conversation.
  7. Repeat with giving the students only 1 minute to have the same conversation.


  • This activity requires no preparation. 
  • Students get really familiar with a particular conversation topic so that they can have it more naturally and are less likely to forget.
  • Everyone student is required to speak so that everyone gets lots of practice.

Have you tried this activity? How did it go? Leave your comments below!

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