Rejoinder bingo: Getting beyond “me too”

Eddie Van Der Aar, Okazaki Women’s Junior College


Quick guide
  • Key words: Showing agreement/disagreement, rejoinders, accuracy
  • Learner English level: Intermediate
  • Learner maturity level: High school to university
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Activity time: 45 minutes
  • Materials: Blank bingo sheets (Appendix A), list of rejoinders
Students generally have no trouble using the ubiquitous “me too” in conversation. This activity is a way to reinforce and reacquaint students with a variety of rejoinders they probably rarely use. It is especially useful for distinguishing between rejoinders used for positive and negative statements. It can easily be made more challenging.
Copy and distribute the blank bingo sheets (Appendix A). Have the rejoinders written on the board or projected onto a screen for the students to easily see (a sample list is shown in Appendix B).
Step 1: Have students form groups of 4-6.
Step 2: Have students select an equal number of rejoinders for both positive and negative statements. Have students write the rejoinders randomly in the bingo sheet spaces. They can only write each rejoinder once. They can, however, write rejoinders with the same meaning, for example, So do I, and I do, too. At this stage, it is important that students give a little thought to which rejoinders they will most likely need rather than racing to fill the blanks (see Appendix C for an example of a completed sheet).
Step 3: The first student in each group makes a positive statement for the other students to hear. Each student responds with an appropriate rejoinder. For example:
  • S1:  I have finished my economics report.
  • S2:  So have I.
  • S3:  I haven’t. 
  • S4:  I have, too.
Students should respond even if they do not have an appropriate rejoinder written on their sheet. If they have the correct rejoinder written down, they should cross it off. They can only cross one square each turn. Each student takes a turn making a positive statement.
Step 4: Conduct a second round of statements. This time, each student makes a negative statement. Once each student has made a negative statement, the students continue with another round of positive statements. The teacher should monitor, encourage creativity, and prompt for specific kinds of statements if needed to help the students get bingo.
Step 5: The game continues until each group has a winner. Groups who have winners early on can easily continue the quest for another bingo until the allotted time is up.
If time permits, have students report on something they found in common with another group member. For example, ‘She enjoys swimming during the summer, and so do I’.
To extend this even further, the activity can be run again. Students should continue speaking and add more information after they have said their rejoinder.
The intention with this activity is to allow practice of rejoinders in a controlled setting. Students are generally motivated and not threatened by the activity as it is a game. The language that must be produced to elicit the rejoinders is not given, so it allows for students to express themselves freely and meaningfully. Using the ideas in the extension allows the activity to be more communicative and fluency-orientated.
See PDF file below.