Group Therapy- A Fun Icebreaker for ESL Students

ESL Icebreaker Activity for Adults

Group Therapy: An ESL Icebreaker

Skills: Speaking/listening
Materials Required: None

Group therapy is a fun icebreaker for ESL students. It’s not kid-friendly though! In the style of an AA meeting, students sit in a circle if possible and introduce themselves, “My name is _____, and I’m _____.” Instead of finishing with “. . . and I’m an alcoholic,” finish with a problem they have learning English, such as using articles correctly or conjugating verbs. They should then solicit tips and tricks from their classmates.

The teacher should begin by modeling and could give an actual problem they have as a language student. For example, “My name is Jennifer, and I’m never sure how formal or polite to be when speaking Korean to someone I don’t know well. Does anyone have any advice for me?”

Teaching Tip:

This is a great first day activity, because it is a not-very-sneaky way to get an idea of what areas of language the students perceive to be more difficult, which you can use to inform your lesson planning for the semester.

Procedure:

1. Before class, arrange the desks in a circle, if possible. If the class is very large, divide students into several large groups.

2. Begin by telling your students that everyone has trouble learning languages, and even those who speak several languages fluently have difficulty with some aspect of any language they learn.

3. Introduce the lesson as “therapy” for them to get counselling for their troubles.

4. Begin with your own example of a problem you have with a foreign language you speak. For example, “My name is Jennifer, and I’m never sure how formal or polite to be when speaking Korean to someone I don’t know well. Does anyone have any advice for me?”

5. Go around the circle and give each student a turn to introduce themselves, “My name is _____, and I’m _____.” Instead of finishing with “. . . and I’m an alcoholic,” finish with a problem they have learning English, such as using articles correctly or conjugating verbs. They should then solicit tips and tricks from their classmates.

Want to Make your Life Easier?

I know that I sure do. I try to plan my lessons as quickly as possible so I can have more time to go surfing and hiking and the other stuff that I really love! This icebreaker for ESL students is from the book, 39 ESL Icebreakers: For Teenagers and Adults. My co-author and I have over 20 years of experience in ESL/EFL classrooms and all the activities have been personally tested and approved as awesome! Click the link below to get the book now on Amazon. It’ll be lesson planning made easy, guaranteed.

39 ESL Icebreakers: For Teenagers and Adults

ESL icebreakers

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