If you’re looking for ESL Activities for First Day of Class, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll give my top 10 first day ESL activities so you can get your semester started off on the right foot. By the right foot, I mean the awesome way-students and teacher getting to know each in a fun, engaging and interactive way. Set the tone for the rest of the semester during that first day. Without further ado, here are my favourite ESL activities for the first day.
Top 10 ESL Activities for First Day
#1: Ball Toss
Ball toss is an extremely versatile activity that lends itself to just about any topic or context. It also happens to work particularly well as an ESL activity for the first day of class. Use get to know each other type questions, dependent on the age and level of your students. This activity is best for children or younger teenagers though and not adults.
#2: Group Therapy-ESL Activities for First Day
Group Therapy for ESL Students is a fun way for adults to introduce themselves. It’s done in the “AA” style, where students have to say something like, “My name is ______ and I _______.” The last part of the sentence is what students struggle with in English.
#3: Find Someone Who Bingo
Find Someone Who Bingo is a classic get to know each other activity on the first day of class. It’s a great activity for children as well as adults. But, it’s not ideal for very low-level students because they may struggle to understand the instructions in English. It’s not so difficult to explain, but it does require some focused listening in order to understand.
#4: The Expert ESL Speaking Activity
If you teach higher level adults students, “The Expert” is the perfect ESL activity for first day of class. It requires students that are capable of holding 5-10 minute conversations with a partner. The best part about this activity is that students talk about things they’re an expert in, making the conversations very interesting and fun.
#5: Toilet Paper Icebreaker Activity
I’m sure you’ve played the Toilet Paper Icebreaker before (perhaps with candy). It’s fun for ESL students too! I like to add a twist to it and get students to ask questions too. Check out the link below for how I do this.
If you have low level students and want to help them learn each other’s names, the name game is a good choice. You have to say the sentence, “My name is ____ and I ______.” The last part can depend on the level of students, but it can be something they like, what they did last night, etc. Then go around in the circle, repeating the sentences and adding another one.
#7: My World
My World is a fun way for a teacher to introduce themselves to the students. Then, have the students introduce themselves to a partner or small group doing the same thing.
#8: Introduction Survey
I love to use ESL surveys in my classes and this introduction is one of the best ESL activities for first day of class. It gets students up and out of their seats, talking to all their classmates. My favourite thing about ESL surveys is that they hit all four skills. We love that here at ESL Activities!
Check out the link below for an example survey and more details about how I use them.
#9: Puzzle Finder
Puzzle Finder is a fun ESL activity that gets students up and out of their seats, mingling with their classmates. It’s challenging too!
#10: 39 ESL Icebreakers: For Teenagers and Adults
Finally, if you can’t get enough ESL activities for first day of class, then you’ll need to get this book: 39 ESL Icebreakers for Teenagers and Adults. It’s a quick resource guide to help you get those first day of classes planned in no time at all. ESL awesome: there’s plenty of it in there!