Filling in forms is one of the most common activities English language learning students have to do outside the classroom. It’s a mistake to assume once students reach the intermediate level they have fully mastered the language required for those tasks.
Many of us like to start a new class with getting to know you activities. Here below is a worksheet students can complete in class or for homework. Click on the image below to download it for use in your own classroom. It is followed by a set of cards you can cut up and use for a mixer activity on the following day.
Click on the image below to download your own copy.
Photocopy onto card stock. Cut the sheet into cards. Give one card to each student. Ask students to congregate in the middle of the classroom. Put on some music. Students mingle around the room when the music is on. Stop the music randomly. When the music stops, each student must find the person closest and ask the question on his or her card. The other student answers and then asks the question on his or her card. Start the music again when it looks as though most, though perhaps not all, students have answered. Students must then swap cards and begin moving around. Repeat until everyone appears to have had a chance to talk with everyone else in the class and answer each question.
A competitive game can shake things up and bring some excitement to what amounts to study of the exact same material. Add play money to the game and suddenly, you find students actually paying close attention to the grammar of their sentences, for what may seem like the first time.
Here below is a simple game I use with play money that you are welcome to download. It’s more fun if you start with the questions covered, showing only the dollar amounts.
Divide your class into two or three groups. Individuals choose a dollar amount to try for. Then you reveal the question. Correct answers get the play money for the group. If the answer is wrong, another group can try to steal that question.
Click on this image to view the game large on your computer and/or download it for use in your own class. Enjoy!
Once students have moved past the absolute beginner stage, it’s fun to move beyond the basic “Where do you live?” question and get really specific. Where in the world do you live? Where are you now?
You could add to this vocabulary list below, depending on the level of your students, if you are working with kids, for example, and want to give coordinates for space ships, such as Milky Way Galaxy and Earth. Teenagers may want to add GPS coordinates. But here are the basic words:
State or Province
So, if I were in the classroom now with my students, I could say, for example, that I am in the World, in the continent of North America, in the country of Canada, in the province of British Columbia, in the city of Vancouver, in the neighbourhood of Fairview, at 555 West 12th Ave. in Callan’s ESL School in room number 8, on the left side of the room in my chair.
Students can take turns giving their location as above and also saying where they live.
Below is a free handout I made to practice answering the question “Where are you now?” and “Where do you live” in writing. Following it is a speaking exercise from Callan’s Conversation Surveys that I follow it up with, for speaking practice. You are welcome to download both worksheets and copy for your classroom use.
This handout below from Callan’s Conversation Surveys is great for teaching students how to give the location of their home more specifically than just a street address.