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Good News, Bad News‏‎

Empty newspaper stand.Good News, Bad News is a simple game you can play with almost any level of class. It’s useful to practice both listening and speaking. Students need to listen carefully to what was said before and prepare their own ideas as well.

With your class, go through the concept of “good news, bad news” with an example:

The good news is that I won a million dollars.
The bad news is that the tax man took away almost half of it.
The good news is that I still had lots of money.
The bad news is that a thief took the rest.
The good news is that the police caught the thief.
The bad news is that he’d spent all my money.
The good news is that he promised to pay me back everything.
The bad news is that he could only pay 1 dollar a week.

And so on. With your class play around with other starting points and ideas:

  • The good news is that I’ve got the day off tomorrow.
  • The good news is that Manchester United are in the final.
  • The good news is that I’m going on a date with [attractive celebrity] tonight.

Encourage your students to use their imaginations and experiment.

Running the Activity

Once your class are familiar with the way in which good news, bad news works, break them into small groups or (if the class is small) have everyone sit in a circle in the room.

For this part of the activity it can be best to prepare beforehand a selection of cards. On each one simply write the first bit of good news. A student chooses one at random and the activity begins with everyone in turn keeping it going for as long as possible.

Sample Starts

  • The good news is that it’s going to be hot tomorrow.
  • The good news is that I’ve got a new girl/boy friend.
  • The good news is that there’s a big parcel for me at the post office.
  • The good news is that I’m going to get a pay rise.
  • The good news is that my parents are going to buy me a Porsche.
Image © John Fraissinet

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