12 Describing your colleagues
A wide range of teaching activities are useful for teaching the vocabulary of personality including: vocabulary-picture matching, personality surveys, word sorting exercises and role plays
This is a listening/speaking exercise for personality vocabulary for describing friends and colleagues. Students listen to the audio and match the appropriate vocabulary to the pictures. The audio is a picture/conversation matching exercise. The video is a simpler vocabulary/matching exercise.
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This is a listening/speaking exercise for English language learners to talk about personality and first impressions. This exercises focuses on a woman. Students look at the pictures and try to create a story about how they got to know this man.
This is similar to the exercise above. This exercises focuses on a man.
Nearly all the words used to talk about personality are adjectives. This makes it quite easy to teach. The only problems I have with elementary personality vocabulary are the words “fun” and “funny”. My students often use “funny” when they should be using “fun”. And then there is the problem of “fun” often being used as a noun. But other than that….teaching the language of personality is …a lot of fun!
The range of personality vocabulary becomes almost infinite the more you look into it. Here is a selection of more advanced vocabulary which can also serve as a pronunciation exercise for better students. Many students have problems with words such as “enthusiastic” and “conscientious”. And other words that are tricky for some students include “weird” and “suspicious”.
When you look at the grammar of personality, it is quite interesting that most of the words are adjectives. But it is worth helping students get to know the noun forms of these adjectives too.
Writing a conversation exercises work really well for some topics and personality is one of the best. This works best with lower level students of course, but with advanced students you have to encourage them to build on their ideas.
This is an ESL speaking lesson for talking about personality. Students interview each other using the questions on the handout. They also ask for examples of each personality trait. Then they choose a job for the interviewee based on the answers they receive.
This is my favorite all-purpose and sustainable (ie. it never gets old and can be repeated endlessly – you just need new vocabulary and new pictures) teaching exercise . It’s a listening exercise, a vocabulary exercise and it’s suited to every size of class. It can be used to introduce vocabulary. It can be used to review vocabulary.
To introduce vocabulary the teacher dictates the words randomly but going row by row 1-10. The students have to choose or guess which is the appropriate picture for the word. So they are choosing a word to match one of three pictures. They should write the word in the same box as the picture it matches. The teacher can make sentences using the words to make the context and meaning clearer. Also, spell and explain the meanings of words as necessary.
First, go down the rows one by one so students are choosing from three pictures. Then. come back up to the top and go down row by row again and students choose from two pictures to match the word I am dictating.
After the students have 2 pictures per row filled in with an adjective I write the remaining adjectives on the board and ask the students to complete the sheet so that every box has an appropriate adjective.
Click on the image or the link to download the printable PDF file.
In this vocabulary exercise students have to decide whether the personality adjectives are positive, negative or if they are sometimes positive and sometimes negative depending on the situation.