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December 2022 - Year 24 - Issue 6

ISSN 1755-9715

Bringing Pub Quizzes into the Classroom

Anna Pereszlényi is a language teacher at the Department of Language Pedagogy at Eötvös Loránd University and a temporary lecturer at Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest. She is also a PhD candidate in the Language Pedagogy Programme of ELTE. Her main interests include teaching with literary texts, teaching culture and materials design. Email:



One of the areas that university students have to improve their skills in is presentation. My students are not only required to do numerous individual presentations during their studies, but they also receive some training in presentation skills. Nevertheless, many of them experience stage fright, they have a feeling of unease with performing in front of their peers. Another area that they need some practice in is research; for example, how to find appropriate sources, how to select and organise information.

When I developed a new course in spring 2022, I knew that I had to provide some practice in these two areas. However, I had included presentation skills in my previous courses and I knew that those students who had attended those courses would be bored with having presentations again. So here was a dilemma that I had to solve: how to provide some opportunities for mastering presentation skills without actually asking the students to do presentations?


Pub quizzes

I had an unexpected inspiration from a game which is getting more and more popular around the world. In the past couple of years, pub quizzes have become well liked in Hungary as well. There are several organisers who hold these events in various cities. The teams get together each week, they answer questions and solve puzzles; and at the end of each season there is one quiz tournament when the ultimate winners are announced. The questions are prepared primarily by the organisers, nevertheless, the participants can also contribute to the list of questions and puzzles. These events gave me the idea of merging pub quizzes with language lessons.


Pub quizzes in the EFL classroom

In this particular course, there were several topics that we discussed. All the topics were related to our everyday life, current issues or relevant questions; for instance, why people believe in conspiracy theories, how our memory works, what political correctness is and why we talk about it. I designed the study materials for each week, and as an assignment, I asked my students to form pairs and prepare a pub quiz for each topic.

The reason why I asked the group to pair up is threefold. First, the number of students exceeded the number of lessons we had, so I had to save some time. Second, I wanted the group to cooperate, to make friends after the lockdown and online lessons we had had due to the pandemic. I felt that everybody was still in need of some human contact. Third, joint presentations are probably less intimidating for those who have stage fright as they can rely on each other and help each other.

Since I deliberately included solely the main titles of the lessons in the syllabus, the students had some freedom to decide what subtopic they wanted to focus on in their quizzes. Once they decided on the subtopic, they had to do some research and come up with questions. They prepared 8-12 questions on slides; they had 15 minutes to walk the group through their questions and check the answers. The others answered the questions in teams and at the end of each round we had a winning team. Regarding the types of questions, I gave my students a free hand to come up with any type of questions or puzzles. Thus, we had multiple choice questions, picture puzzles, matching activities, riddles.

The first topic of the course was life. Since many students were clearly dumbfounded and frightened at the mention of ‘quiz’ and almost none of them had been familiar with this type of game, I prepared the questions for them to set an example. The topics of the quiz included longevity, lifestyle, healthy and happy life. There were altogether four sections in the quiz which included different types of questions and tasks. I used a template for the quiz downloaded from Slidesgo ( The first section of the quiz consisted of some multiple choice questions; each right answer was worth one point.

An example of multiple choice questions (answer: B)

The second section focused on one-word answers. I was looking for specific countries (as shown below), phrases and items related to happy and healthy life. The students gained one point for each correct answer. There was one official correct answer, however, more than one answer was accepted in some rare cases.


Looking for a word (answer 1: Finland – but Denmark was accepted as well; answer 2: Hong Kong – but Japan was accepted as well)

The third section included some picture puzzles. The students had to find the connection between three pictures. Again, one point was given for each correct answer.


An example of picture puzzles (answer: Denmark)

The last section focused on a famous person. There were altogether five clues which were shown one by one. If the team had an idea who the famous person in question was after reading the first clue, they got five points. If they needed two clues, they got four points; if they needed three clues, they got three points, etc. The clues in this particular quiz were the following:

Clue 1: ‘I am one of the oldest British celebrities alive.’

Clue 2: ‘I was a navy officer, then I was an editor working with children books at a publishing company. First, they turned me down when I applied for my job – which has become my career.’

Clue 3: ‘I was knighted by the queen for my work.’

Clue 4: ‘I have worked for various media outlets but mainly radio and TV. Recently I have cooperated with Netflix.’

Clue 5: ‘I am passionate about our environment, flora and fauna.’

                                                                                   (answer: Sir David Attenborough)

The presentation of questions and tasks took around 8-10 minutes. Altogether the time limit was 12-15 minutes that the presenters had to keep as there were other tasks to complete each lesson.



The pub quizzes definitely made the lessons more entertaining and colourful; and overall, the students seemed to enjoy them very much in class. As participants, the students were eager to answer the questions, they were interested in the answers and they seemed to be fully engaged in the whole game. As presenters, they had the opportunity to do some research in a certain topic, select and organise information, keep the time limit while presenting the questions and checking the answers. The players were clearly amused by the game, but the presenters seemed to enjoy the quiz making process as well: for example, one student, who had already done the assignment, wanted to prepare another quiz for the group, so he joined another student, thus created two quizzes.

Since many students are concerned about facing an audience, moreover, many struggle with keeping the time limit, the quiz format was an excellent choice to provide some practice in these areas. The quiz ensured that the presentation was regarded as a game, in this way, the students had to present in front of their peers without actually feeling the tension and pressure of giving a presentation. The presenters had to manage the teams and make sure that the focus of the whole group was set on the topic and the questions; they also had to ensure that both the presentation of the questions and checking the responses fit into the given time limit. Apart from skills development, knowledge must be mentioned as well. The quizzes provided an excellent opportunity to expand the students’ horizons: they could broaden their scope of knowledge about the world both by researching a topic and by answering questions while also having fun.


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