ESL Speaking Activity for the First Day of Class
This is an excellent ESL Speaking Activity to do on the first or second day of class as a way for students to get to know each other. Here are a few of the reasons why I like to do an introduction survey with my ESL/EFL students:
- It breaks the ice between students if they don’t already know each other
- It sets the tone for the rest of the semester (students have to get up, out of their seats and talking in English to everybody)
- This ESL survey is a non-threatening way to get students talking. They only have to talk to one other person, and not in front of the whole class
- Students can also talk to the teacher during this ESL introduction survey.
How this ESL Survey Works
I get the students to stand up and they have to move around the class talking to as many people as possible in the assigned amount of time (around 15 minutes). Here are a few of the ground rules I set up:
- Only talking 1-1. It’s not a group activity
- The goal is to speak in English. You could do it in your first language, but it’s a waste of time
- It doesn’t matter if you finish or not, just try to have an interesting conversation with lots of your classmates
- You have to ask a follow-up question. Remember how to do that???
If Someone Says Yes
The way it works is that students have to find someone who answers yes to a question. If they say yes, they can ask a follow-up question or two. Then, they fill in the chart quickly with the answers.
If Someone Says No
If a student says no, you don’t write anything on the survey paper. Just ask another question from the survey. I always leave a couple of blank spaces on my surveys for students to make up a question or two on their own, if they’re having a hard time finding a yes for someone.
Do Some Examples
This introduction survey can be a bit difficult to explain, so it’s best to do two examples before you start. The first one is where you ask a student a question and another where the student ask you a question.
Check it out ESL Survey Here:
Here’s the introduction survey I use in my own classes. You can really easily make your own in 5 minutes or less.
Adapt the questions to suit your level of students. Of course, students in middle school probably wouldn’t have a part time job, or live away from their parents.
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What’s your Favourite ESL Speaking Activity?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts. What’s one or two of your favourite ESL speaking activities and games?