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.
Personality vocabulary for friends (PDF)
(see the YouTube video of this activity)
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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.
Write a conversation: personality(PDF)
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.
First impressions 1 (man) (PDF)
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!
Elementary personality vocabulary(PDF)
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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”.
More advanced personality vocabulary(PDF)
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.
Parts of speech for personality(PDF)
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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.
Personality interview speaking exercise (PDF)
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.
Personality adjective and vocabulary exercises (PDF)
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.
Personality vocabulary sorting (PDF)
This is an ESL speaking and writing lesson for talking about personality. First, each student chooses one adjective. Then they write five survey questions that adjective. There are some examples of questions at the top of the first page of the PDF. When they have written five questions, they can walk around the class asking classmates their questions and noting down their answers on the worksheet. Finally, they write a short report from their survey question answers. This is a fun communicative exercise that allows students to mix freely.
This is an ESL speaking exercise for talking about colleagues at work.. First, students complete the sentences with the vocabulary below the pictures. Then they can have a conversation about their colleagues using the questions at the bottom of the page as a guide.
This is an elementary ESL exercise for learning and using words and expressions that are used to describe kinds of people. Matching the words to the pictures is an enjoyable and fun way to learn vocabulary. First, the students match the words to the pictures. Then they try to write sentences using the words.
This is a lower level ESL speaking exercise for talking about personality. It is an elementary questionnaire exploring commonly used words for describing personality characteristics.
Types of people questionnaire (PDF)
Students interview a classmate about their leadership potential and write their opinions at the bottom of the page.
Leadership potential questionnaire (PDF)
This is an ESL exercise for practicing the use of adjectives that might be useful for describing a businessman’s personality and behaviour. Students match the adjectives to the pictures and if possible, try to make a sentence explaining why the adjective matches the picture.
Adjectives for a businessman (PDF)
8 Replies to “Personality Adjectives, Vocabulary and Speaking Activities”
This is really a great work.
Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for the comment. I’ve improved this page quite a bit.
Thanks a lot for all these activities!! Awesome!!!
EXCELLENT TEACHING TOOLS.. I JUST LOVED IT….THANKS
It is very useful for my students. Their mother language is spanish but they are in eleventh grade of the high school, so, they want to think in english and try to do speak in english as well.
Hello! How do you do? I am sorry for disturbing. You don’t know me. But i have a question. Could you tell me please how can i prepare for CEFR by myself?
Your material is greatly appreciated and useful. Keep up doing the good work❤️
Great resources for Literacy and ESOL class. Thanks for sharing.