Peer Interviews

An interview is one-to-one, person-to-person communication and consists of a question or series of questions that are asked in the context of a two-way conversation. Interviews are open-ended. For example interview questions would be questions similar to those found in the lists below.

Instructions

  1. The teacher provides a list of questions. Alternatively, students may create their own questions as described below in differentiation.

  2. Students are divided into pairs to conduct interviews.

  3. In each pair, one person is assigned to be Partner A and the other person is Partner B.

  4. Partner A interviews Partner B for a set amount of time. They may take notes as described in Tips below.  

  5. Partner & and Partner B switch roles, and Partner B conducts an interview for a set amount of time.

  6. Optional Presentational Extension Activity: Each partner presents their findings orally to the class to small groups or to the class.  Alternatively, each students writes a summary of the interview.

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. This is a synchronous activity.

  2. The teacher provides a list of questions. Students may also create their own questions as described in differentiation below.  

  3. The teacher randomly divides students into pairs, designating one student as Partner A and one student as Partner B. 

  4. The teacher sends each pair into a breakout room.

  5. Partner A interviews Partner B for a set amount of time. They may take notes as described in Tips below.  

  6. The teacher recalls the students to check in and provide any additional scaffolding or clarification based on the first round of interviews.

  7. The teacher sends the groups back into their breakout rooms.

  8. Partner A & and Partner B switch roles, and Partner B conducts an interview for a set amount of time.

  9. Optional Presentational Extension Activity:  Each partner presents their findings orally to the class using a video recording like Flipgrid.  Alternatively, each students writes a summary of the interview and posts for others to read. 

Helpful Tips

  1. Before sending students into groups they must first know how to interview. Role play with students beforehand or show them a video of an interview to get them familiar with the process.

  2. The teacher may wish to have students record their interviews (either audio or video).

  3. Variation: Three-step interviews A interviews B for the specified number of minutes. At a signal, students reverse roles and B interviews A for the same number of minutes. At another signal, each pair turns to another pair, forming a group of four. Each member of the group introduces his or her partner, highlighting the most interesting points they have found out in the interview process.

  4. Be sure to carefully monitor interview progress and adjust time limits (up or down) as necessary.

Differentiation

  1. For novice learners, it would be best to give them a question bank in advance to choose from.

  2. For intermediate learners, the teacher might choose to brainstorm a list of topics for the interview and then allow students time to generate their own questions. The teacher might decide to review the generated questions as a class before the interviews take place to make sure that all students have plenty of questions to ask their partners, but s/he should encourage students to ask follow up questions for more information during the interviews.

  3. The teacher may choose to have the students take notes during their interviews. These notes would likely be in English for novice learners, but could be in the target language for intermediate learners.

Materials

  1. (optional) recording equipment

  2. (optional) writing materials / technology to take notes during interviews

Sample Materials

Click a thumbnail to see a larger version.


Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3goabROO4w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSOHImYiBO4