ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Linguistics

Getting to know you Games - 5 ESL Icebreakers

Updated on May 24, 2017

Teaching an ESL (English as a Second Language) class has its own challenges such as dealing with cultures of international students, having shorter classes, and building a rapport quickly. The most important part is starting the first day of class with some good icebreakers so everyone can get to know their classmates and then be able to participate in the class more easily.

Here are 5 easy ESL icebreakers for you to try.

1. Partner Interviews

In pairs students introduce themselves to their partner. Give them 15 minutes. After as a class everyone will introduce their partner.

2. Three Truths and A Lie

As the teacher, I write 4 sentences on the whiteboard about myself. Three are true statements and one is a lie. In pairs or groups students guess which of the following is a lie. As a class we discuss and students have a chance to ask me questions. After each group has given a chance to share their thoughts, I reveal which one is lie.

Then I ask students to take 10 minutes to write down 4 sentences about themselves on a piece of scrap paper.

In groups of 4 students read their sentences to their group and they discuss which one they think is a lie and their reasons why.

As a class, students share what was the most surprising, interesting truth or lie.

Which one of the sentences below is a lie?

See results

3. The Story of My Name

Students sit in a circle or semi-circle (horseshoe shape) to encourage open discussion. One by one students share what their name is, where they are from and what is the story of their name. Why were they given that name? What does their name mean?


4. Stranded on a Desert Island

Write the following on the whiteboard: You are stranded on a desert island. You can bring three things with you. What will you bring? Why?

Students write down their three things on a piece of paper individually first, then in groups of 4-6 students will discuss their ideas and as a group decide on what their top three things will be and the reasons why.

Groups present their ideas to the class.

5. Human Bingo

Give students a blank bingo template and have them write a getting to know you question in each square.  Or give students a pre-made bingo sheet with the questions already on it so you can get the students moving.  Students will then mingle and meet the other students in the class.  They ask each student only one question and write the student's name in the bingo box.  The first person who has completed the entire bingo sheet calls "BINGO".  After as a class, students can share one fact about a classmate. 

6. Who Am I?

Everyone writes down three facts about themselves on a piece of paper and do not put their name. This is best during the first day or week of class when the students do not know each other very well yet.

Example facts include: I was born in Hong Kong. This is my first time travelling to another country. I cannot swim.

Then they fold up the paper and put it in a hat or bag. A student will pick up one piece of paper and they have to ask questions to find out whose paper it belongs to. The students can write their questions on the back of the paper to help them.

Where were you born? Is this your first time travelling to another country? Can you swim? Is this your card? What is your name.

After they find their partner and are found, they can introduce the person on their card to the class.


Now you have 5 ESL Icebreakers for your first week of classes. One for each day of the week. An ESL icebreaker a day will get the students talking, laughing, and getting to know each other better.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)