Adjectives of Appearance Speaking Game
Appearance Exchange Game

Ever wanted a partner that was svelte, tantalizing and seductive?

Or are you the kind that prefers the dumpy, zaftig and butter-faced type!?

This ESL Adjectives of Appearance Speaking Game will definitely make your students perky!

LEVEL: Advanced FCE, CAE & CPE character adjectives worksheets included
AGE: Adults (Thematic Adjectives)
SYNOPSIS: Students try to sell positive and negative appearance adjectives about their potential dream partner to other students.
LANGUAGE FOCUS: Appearance adjectives and speaking fluency.
EXAM FOCUS: FCE/CAE/CPE Speaking Part 2 and 3.
TIME: 45-90 minutes
INTERACTION: Individual/Pairs in reading, group discussion and pair work for follow up.
VOCABULARY: FCE: unsightly, glamorous, homely, dumpy, cute, plump, chunky, chubby, plickity-plick, stocky, unkempt, tattooed; CAE: Scruffy, obese, shapely, flabby, flat chested, bow-legged, crooket teeth, wandering eyed, colossally breasted, curvy; CPE: butter faced, zaftig, droopy, limp, perky, portly, tantalizing, bootylicious, voloptuous, scrawny, waiflike, svelte

[callout3] The point of this game is for students to create a sale’s pitch and sell their appearance traits cards about a potential dream partner to the other students who must buy one.

ESL Activity Procedure:

1. Copy and cut out a set of Appearance Exchange Cards so everyone has three cards.

2. Divide the class into pairs, and have them decide on what makes a great romantic relationship. Then, have them discsuss in what top-5 ways would their dream
partner look like, and 5 ways a partner from hell would look like. (These are designed to get students interested in the topic and should be about physical characteristics)


Have students pick 3 Appearance Exchange Cards, whether good or bad and they must try and sell this character to the group. Tell the students:

You have to sell your appearance trait cards for as much money as you possibly can. Think about your cards, and what’s positive about it and then present your sale’s pitch to the class. Everyone must present one of their cards before the bartering can begin, and no - you cannot keep your card. You must sell your card, and you must buy one.

3. This game lasts for three rounds and works best if everyone presents one of their cards - and then students can barter together.

4. Repeat this process three times so they sell all of their cards.

The point of this game is for students to create a sale’s pitch and sell their appearance cards to the other students who must buy one.

Esl Activity Follow Up:

1. After all the cards have been sold, bought and cried over, put students into pairs and have them develop a coping strategy as if they were in a relationship with that person they’ve just bought.

2. In pairs students could compare their two partners and discuss how well they would do in a romantic relationship together.

3. Students could then hypothesise about themselves and what they would need to do in order to have a quality relationship (based on their activity in point no. 2).

4. Have students rank their adjectives from worst to best and explain why.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The point behind this activity is to help students look at traits which are consistently thought of as bad, and help them develop an alternative point of view on topics. This ultimately helps them excel at the topics presented in the Cambridge Suite of Speaking Exams.

This game is based on the Character Exchange Adjectives of Character Speaking Game found at that link.

ESL Speaking & Negotiating Game: Appearance Exchange (PDF)

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