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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers

ESL Party Games
By:Victoria Weinblatt

Ice-breaker activities make for great English as a second language (ESL) party games because they give participants a chance to get to know one another. Once your guests have "broken the ice" with one another, conversation comes more easily.

On the Flip Side
This ESL party game works well with large or medium-sized groups. Party-goers practice asking and answering yes or no questions in English and have an opportunity to talk to everyone in the room. To prepare for this ESL party game, write the names of famous people or celebrities on pieces of paper, such as Barak Obama, Michael Jackson or Mickey Mouse; you will need one for each participant. Provide safety pins and tape to affix the a celebrity name to the back of each person at the party. Players walk around the room and pose questions about the celebrity on their back. When a person's identity is discovered, he can continue answering questions for the others.

You Too?
Use this ESL party game for large or small groups to practice general speaking skills. Create a questionnaire for each guest with five prepared questions and three blanks. Simple questions work well such as "What do you do at work?" or "What is your favorite food?" Each guest answers the questions and then writes a few of their own. Place the guests in two lines, either seated or standing, facing each other. In pairs, participants ask one another questions and share their answers with a two- or three-minute time limit. Once the time is up, they move on to the next person. Party-goers will soon find out that they have some things in common. The point of this game is to spark conversation, not ask and answer every question.

Toilet Paper Confessions
Toilet paper confessions works well with small ESL party groups and provides practice speaking English in the first person. Seat everyone in a circle and take out a (fresh and clean) roll of toilet paper. Pass the roll around the circle and instruct each participant to take 3 to 10 squares. Just the sight of a roll of toilet paper outside the bathroom sparks smiles and curiosity. Once party-goers have taken their chosen number of squares, reveal that to break the ice each person must stand up and share things about themselves equal to the number of squares in his hand. Ask for a volunteer to go first, so shy participants have a chance to feel more at ease and prepare what they would like to share.

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