5 First Day Activities for an ESL Class

1 Home life and hobbies brainstorm

This is a nice and easy way to start a class and a good way to assess the abilities of new students.   Also, the brainstorm generates vocabulary and questions which can become the basis of a “getting to know you” speaking activity. Click on the image or the link to download the printable PDF file.

Brainstorm home life and hobbies vocabulary and questions

Brainstorm home life and hobbies (PDF)

2 Getting to know you survey speaking activity

A fun and reliable speaking activity for a large class. The teacher models the activity using the example questions and a survey template drawn on the board. Students are then encouraged to write their own questions. During the survey part of the activity the teacher is free to monitor the students and also participate, having an opportunity to speak to students individually. As the students are finishing their surveys, the teacher can write a model report on the board. 

getting to know you speaking activity for elementary students

Getting to know you (PDF)

3 Introductions conversation

This is model dialogue for practicing language useful for greetings and introductions. Students complete the conversation with the vocabulary in the box

Introductions conversation gap fill exercise

Introductions conversation (PDF)

4 Getting to know you exercise conversation writing


  This is another elementary and introductory speaking skills exercise to encourage students to write their own “getting to know  you” questions and answers.

Getting to know you conversations and language exercise

Getting to know you (PDF)


5 Greetings & introductions vocabulary exercise

This is an elementary ESL exercise for practicing language useful for greetings and introductions. Students try to match the greetings and introductions with appropriate pictures.


Greetings and introductions  (PDF)

Share On -