Paired Verbal Fluency

Paired Verbal Fluency


Facilitating Dialogue

Additional Purpose(s):

Generating and Sharing Ideas


This process provides a structured framework for activating background knowledge and generating and sharing ideas about a topic.


  1. Have learners pair up so they are working in partners. Decide who is partner A and who is partner B.  
  2. Provide a topic that learners will discuss in turn for a timed duration.  
  3. will begin speaking about the topic. B listens closely and carefully to A because the challenge of this strategy is that when it is B’s turn, he/she does not repeat anything that A said. There are three rounds:  
    • Round One: A talks for 60 seconds. Teacher calls “Switch.” B talks for 60 seconds, sharing knowledge and related experiences about the topic that A did not verbalize.  
    • Round Two: A will start. Duration is now 40 seconds. Challenge: to share new information that was not shared in the first round. Teacher calls “Switch.” B talks for 40 seconds.  
    • Round Three: Repeat the process for 20-second time periods.  


Flip the times for each round, starting with 20 seconds, moving to 40 seconds and ending with 60 seconds. 


Adapted from: Lipton, L., & Wellman, B. (2011). Groups at Work: Strategies and Structures for Professional Learning (p. 16). MiraVia.