Top 10 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 about anything, but it lends itself especially well to an icebreaker activity.

#2: Toilet Paper Icebreaker

This toilet paper ESL Icebreaker is a classic icebreaker activity that can work in your classes as well. You can also use candy of some kind as a more fun alternative.

#3: Puzzle Finder Activity

In order to complete this Puzzle Finder Activity, students have to use teamwork to finish it, making it an excellent ESL icebreaker. They also have to mingle and talk to each other, which is exactly what you want on the first day of class!

#4: Group Therapy

Group Therapy works especially well for older teenagers or adult classes. It helps your students share the fears that they might have about the upcoming class, or learning English in general.

#5: Cosmo Quiz

Cosmo Quizzes make an excellent ESL icebreaker for adults. You can use other age appropriate quizzes for kids as well to get a sense of what your class is like.

Need more ideas? Check out: 39 ESL Icebreakers for Teenagers and Adults on Amazon

#6 Riddles and Trivia

One of the things that I love to do in my classes is to use trivia and riddles as a warm-up. They make excellent icebreakers too, if you put the students into teams and let them get to work. Here are two recommendations for trivia and riddles:

The Monster Pack (Trivia for Adults)

501 Riddles and Trivia Questions (For Kids)

#7: The Name Game

The Name Game is perfect for a smaller class of 15 students or fewer to help your students (and you too!) remember each other’s names.

#8: Find Someone Who Bingo

Find Someone Who Bingo makes an excellent ESL icebreaker because it encourages your students to move around the class, talking to each other and finding out information about their classmates. It’s fun too! This works well with kids as well as adults.

#9: Surveys

Surveys are one of my favourite ESL activities of all-time because they get students up and out of their seats, mingling, talking and asking questions. Here are 6 ESL surveys that I use in my own classes, including an introduction one.

#10: Conversation Starters

Try out some of these Top 10 Conversation Starters for Adults to help your students get to know each other. You can put them in small groups and let them get to it.

You could also check out these Top 10 Discussion Starters for Children for even more ideas.

Did You Like These ESL Icebreakers?

ESL Icebreakers: For Teenagers and Adults

If yes, then you’ll love 39 ESL Icebreakers for Teenagers and Adults. There are even more ideas to help you get your classes started off on the right foot with a bit of awesome. It’s lesson planning made easy, guaranteed.

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