An Activity For The First Day of Class

Join a global community of over 200,000 TEFL teachers working throughout the world! Enrol me!

The beginning of a new class or a new term is an exciting time. The problem is, sometimes you just don’t know whether your students know each other or not. Obviously they don’t know you, but they might have been in the same level before or they might be friends from outside the class, so doing the usual getting-to-know-you activities are risky: if they do know each other, the activities will be pointless. What you need is an activity for the first day of class.

Instead, try this as a way of getting your students talking about themselves to each other. It involves your students having conversations on questions which are personal but are not the usual suspects. Even better, you can personalise it as you see fit to suit your class.

Read more: Student Talk Time in the Classroom

Tips for how to get your private ESL students talking

AIM: To get your students speaking freely about themselves

MATERIALS: Questions on slips of paper

PROCEDURE: Make a list of interesting questions your students could ask each other. Think of questions which will reveal information of a personal nature (not too personal!) but are a bit different and can initiate conversation. Relate these questions to your students, so they are appropriate and relevant.

Examples of questions:

Do you prefer vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

Who are you closest to in your family?

What time did you go to bed last night?

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

What do you want to get for your next birthday?

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Divide the students into groups and hand out sets of questions to each member of the group. Give them the freedom to ask each other the questions and respond to each other however they want to. There is no need to give instructions, just tell them to have a conversation. You will find that they will naturally ask for more information on the questions they are interested in and they will move on quickly from those they have little to say about.

Teen EFL students working together

Read more: How Should Teachers Give Instructions?

While they are talking, discreetly make notes about any errors they may be making. When they are finished their questions, board their errors and let them figure out how to correct them. It is best to do this anonymously so as not to embarrass the student who made the error. Try to get errors from a range of students. Your students will be impressed that you were listening to them each individually. Make sure you note the entire sentence to provide a context for the error.

By doing this activity, you will give your students a chance to chat to each other freely and get to know each other a bit better, without having to do the usual, boring activities. You may even find out some interesting information about them!

Get Social

Follow us on social networks, join our newsletter - get the latest news and early discounts

Sign up to our newsletter

Follow us on social networks, sign up to our e-newsletters – get the latest news and early discounts

Accreditation Partners

The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.

Product added to your cart

You have added to your cart:

Request call back

    Please leave your details below and one of our TEFL experts will get back to you ASAP:

    captcha Type characters on the left:

    Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

    Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

    Thank you! Your message has been sent!

    Download the TEFL World Factbook

      Please enter your details in order to download the latest TEFL World Factbook.

      Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

      Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

      Thank you for downloading the TEFL World Factbook!


      If the TEFL World Factbook did not download
      > Click Here To Download <

      Download the Online Teaching Guide

        Please enter your details in order to download our Online Teaching Guide.

        Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

        Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

        Thank you for downloading our Online Teaching Guide!


        If the Online Teaching Guide did not download
        > Click Here To Download <

        Download Prospectus

          Please enter your details in order to download our latest prospectus.

          Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

          Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

          Thank you for downloading our prospectus!


          We hope you enjoy reading our prospectus, we have tried to make it as useful as possible! Please get in touch if you have any questions.


          If the prospectus did not download automatically
          > Click Here To Download <

          $
          $