Top 10 ESL Icebreakers: Start Your Class Off the Fun Way

ESL-icebreakers

If you’re looking to get your semester started off on the right foot, then you’ll need to use a few of these ESL icebreakers. They’ll help the students get to know each other and you as well. By starting your classes off with some ESL icebreakers, you’re setting yourself up for a successful semester. Keep reading for the top 10 ESL icebreakers. You can see the detailed activity description by clicking the links! #1: Ball Toss If you’re looking for one of the most versatile ESL activities ever, look no further than this Ball Toss one. You can use it for…well…just…

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39 ESL Warm-Ups for Teenagers and Adults

ESL Warm-Ups

Awesome Classes, Easy Lesson Planning Do you want to make your classes awesome and your lesson planning easy? I’m sure that all teachers do but it’s not so easy when you’re tired and pressed for time due to having to teach so many classes each week. However, it really is possible to plan amazing classes that your students will love in a short amount of time. 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Teenagers and Adults is the book that belongs in your teaching resource library because it will help you get your classes started well. A good beginning is key to a…

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I’m an Alien: An ESL Speaking Activity for Kids

I'm an Alien: ESL speaking activity for kids

I’m an Alien: ESL Speaking Activity for Kids Skills: Speaking/listening Age: All Materials Required: None I love a no-prep, no-materials ESL speaking activity for kids, and students always enjoy this one. You begin class by telling the students you are an alien. You landed just a few minutes earlier, right outside the school. Since you are new here, you don’t know a lot of words, and you need some help. You can create a mission scenario, and elicit vocabulary that will help you. Maybe you want to send a letter telling your mother you arrived safely. You can elicit pen,…

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Dictogloss: An ESL Listening and Speaking Activity

Dictogloss ESL Listening and Speaking Activity

Skills: Speaking/listening Age: 8+ Materials Required: A short story Dictogloss is a simple activity for more advanced level students that helps them practice their listening and memory skills, as well as substituting vocabulary words if the original word is no longer accessible to them. Find a short, interesting story or make up one yourself. I’ve used various things from children’s stories to a story about something I did on the weekend. Nearly anything can work. Tell the story 1-3 times, depending on the student level and of course you can also vary your speaking speed to make this activity easier…

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Would You Rather? An ESL Warm-Up Activity

Start your Class Off in Style Would You Rather? is a fun ESL warm-up activity. You can buy ready-made decks, but they aren’t ESL specific. I use self-made cards, but you can just make a list of questions or you can do this without materials, if you can think of choices on the spot quickly. For example, “Would you rather have eyes like a fly’s, or eyes like a spider’s?” Students must choose one and explain why. If you class is small, you can do this as a single group, but I prefer to work in small groups of 3-4,…

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Picture Prompt: An ESL Warm-Up For Kids and Adults

Picture prompt ESL warm-up

An ESL Warm-Up Activity Picture prompt is a great ESL warm-up for kids as well as adults that can be used for all levels from beginner to advanced. Show students an image and have them generate questions or speculate about the picture.   For lower level students, this can be purely descriptive: Q: What do you see?   A: I see a house, a car, and some people. Q: What color is the car?   A: It is blue. For high beginner/low intermediate students, have an image which can generate questions such as: What is happening in this picture? How does that…

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What am I? An ESL Speaking Warm-Up

What am I? An ESL Warm-Up Activity

Skills: Speaking/listening/reading Age: 10+ Materials Required: Tape or pins and vocabulary words on paper What am I? is a classic party game that is an excellent way for beginner students to practice asking simple questions. I often use it as an ESL speaking warm-up in the next class if in the previous one we studied about question forms. For more advanced students, you can choose much harder vocabulary words instead of simple ones like you would for beginners. A good topic for advanced students (or a party you are hosting) is famous people. Write a bunch of animals, jobs, hobbies…

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The Cocktail Party: A Small Talk ESL Speaking Activity

The Cocktail Party-ESL Small Talk Activity

My Favorite Small Talk ESL Speaking Activity Small talk is a necessary skill, but can be difficult for non-native speakers, especially those from countries where such conversation is not common. Explain to the students that they are at a cocktail party being thrown by their spouse/partner’s company. They must engage in small talk with a group of 3-4 others for 2-3 minutes. You may need to scaffold the activity with common cocktail party conversation: current events, sports, even the weather, if they must. Let them know certain topics are NOT appropriate at a cocktail party: political opinions, religious discussions, salary,…

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81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome

introduction

I’m sure you want your ESL speaking classes to be as awesome as possible. Everybody does! Here are my top 81 tips to help you do that. Ready for great classes in the future? Because that’s what you’re going to get if you follow these tips!   1.What’s your Target Language? Be clear about the aims of your lesson. “Practicing speaking” isn’t enough. Something more specific like, “Introduce and practice 5 feeling words,” or “Practice using the simple past in conversation” is much better.   2.Change Speaking Partners Often– It’s boring to talk to the same person all the time!…

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ESL Warm Up Questions- Student Generated!

ESL warm-up

ESL warm up questions…take the burden off yourself to always be coming up with new and interesting questions and instead get your students to do the hard work. Take a rest, teachers. Only 1 Question ESL Warm-Up Skills: Listening/speaking Materials Required: Pen, paper Students have to think of one single question about a certain topic. For example, if you’re studying about holidays, they could use any of the following: “What’s your least favorite holiday?” “What did you do last _____?” “What do you think about Valentine’s Day?” There are many possibilities but I usually make a couple rules that it…

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ESL Speaking Activity for Adults: Just a Minute

just a minute

Just a Minute is a fun ESL speaking activity for adults that’s perfect as a warm-up at the beginning of your classes. I heard about this one in a presentation about toastmasters and have been using it in my adult ESL classes ever since. Be sure to adapt it to your level-shorter for beginners and longer for more advanced. Like this activity? There are 38 more in 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults

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ESL Icebreakers

ESL icebreakers

Icebreakers are an excellent way to start your class–they help your students ease into speaking English and they can also help them get to know their classmates. Here are a few of my favorite ESL icebreakers that I use in my own classes. Just a Minute ESL Speaking Challenge This is a good one for both kids and adults. Students have to speak for one minute, about a certain topic without stopping. Flashcard Sentences For kids. It’s a fun way to review some vocab. The Name Game-ESL Icebreaker For kids and adults to help them remember names. You can make…

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ESL Speaking Warm up Activity

Michael Jackson

Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 5-15 minutes Level: Intermediate to Advanced Materials Required: Nothing This is an excellent ESL speaking warmup activity for higher levels. Put the students in small groups of 3-4 people. Have them pick four famous people, dead or alive that they’d like to invite to a party they are having. Then, they have to say the reason why they’re inviting them. I do an example like this: Person: Michael Jackson Reason? He has a cool house and he can play some dance music for us. Also, I want to know why he got so much plastic surgery. Give…

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