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7 Best Get-to-Know Games for ESL Lessons

7 Best Get-to-Know Games for ESL Lessons | ITTT | TEFL Blog

First lessons are always a little bit overwhelming because the students and teacher don’t know each other yet. That's why it’s very important to break the ice and help your ESL learners to relax. Plus, for future planning, you need to learn more about your students and their likes and dislikes. Get-to-know games are great for these purposes and work best if you play them during the first 3-5 lessons.

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1. Are you more like…?

For this activity, give your students two opposite words to choose between and ask a question “Are you more like 1 or 2?”. This way, you find out a little bit more about your students and the students also can bond among themselves.

  • For example: Are you more like rain or snow? Are you more like a cat or a dog?

happiness and sadness

2. Me/not me

This is another fun get-to-know game for your ESL lesson. Before a lesson, select several pictures in digital or printed format. Point at a picture and if it is related to you, say “Me”. If not - “Not me”. Count how many times you have the same answers.

Also Read: Why is Teaching Vocabulary so Important?

3. Never have I ever

For this activity, you need to prepare a set of random statements on what a person has done or hasn’t done. Then, you read the statements out loud. For example, "Never have I ever eaten sushi". If somebody has done it, they raise their hand and tell you about the situation. You can choose some particular topics to find out more about your students.

facts and myths

4. Alphabet

To play this game, explain to your students that they need to tell you a fact about themselves beginning on each letter of the alphabet. For example, A - Australia is my favorite country. B - Blue is the color of my eyes, etc. Go on until you finish the whole alphabet.

Also Read: Comparing Foreign Language Learning in Japan and Canada

5. Random number

Google any random number generator and play the following game: Get a random number and think of a fact about yourself containing this number. For example, 2 - I have two cats. 10 - I was 10 years old when I went to the sea for the first time.

6. Top 5

This game will help to learn about your students' preferences. Choose a category, such as "the top 5 things that I always have in my bag". You and your students have to make a list of 5 things related to this category. You can play this game repeatedly by changing the topic.

bullet points sticker

Also Read: 5 Great Activities For Black History Month in the EFL Classroom

7. Deserted Island

Let your students imagine they found themselves on a deserted island. Ask them to describe one object they would take with them. That object should be realistic but still, encourage students to be creative, such as "If I got on a deserted island, I’d take a guitar with me because I love music and want to have fun."

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Remember that you also need to take part in all activities. It's really important because students also enjoy learning about their teachers. Plus, it's a great way to practice speaking.

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