Speed Dating — A Fantastic Student Activity

If you’ve traveled all the way from your native country for an English Course in Boston, we expect that you’ll want to try and experience the city of Boston and American culture. Here at EC Boston, we love any opportunity to combine speaking practice with authentic American experiences. And, boy, did Valentines Day give us just that opportunity!

Before the internet was popular, busy Americans needed a quick way to meet the love of their life. So, they invented speed dating! People would gather together in a big room and, under the pressure of time, they would speak one-on-one. When the time limit expired, time to switch partner! So, it’s almost like a lot of very fast job interviews in a row, but the job is finding someone to love!

As you can imagine, you have to be pretty good at speaking to be good at speed dating. So, at EC Boston, we changed the rules a little for our students. Our intention here was not to make everyone fall in love, rather it was to give all of our students a chance to practice speaking fluently and strengthen their friendships. Not only that, but we wanted them to speak fluently on a complex, interesting topic. We get tired of the ‘What country are you from?’ or ‘How long are you here for?’ questions. Those questions become repetitive which means students aren’t learning anymore. So, since it was Valentines Day, we provided students with a list of questions on the topic of love. The questions ranged from simple-but-interesting questions on the topic, to the much more complex and difficult questions. This way, students at every level from beginner to proficient could fully engage in the activity.

Students were encouraged to actively listen to their partner’s answer and then ask follow-up questions based on this. We encouraged real, complex discussion, and our students had a great time practicing!


EC Boston Speed Dating 2