Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers
The first day of class in an ESL (English as a second language) classroom is similar to the first day of class in any other subject. Students are typically nervous and unsure of what to expect. However, you can ease the tension, as well as gauge the level of your classes' English skills, by playing simple introduction games.
Say Your Name
After everyone has introduced themselves (you may want to have classmates say their names again to make sure everyone is relatively clear on one another's names) have students stand in a circle. One student will get in the middle of the circle and call the name of a classmate three times. The classmate whose name is being called must say "Yes!" before the person in the middle finishes calling his name three times. If the person says "Yes!" before the person in the middle has finished, she will have to pick another person. If the person fails to answer before his name is called three times, he is now in the middle.
What's Everyone's Name?
For this activity, have students stand in a circle and introduce themselves. Have the next person then repeat the names of all of the students in front of him, going around the circle until everyone has said their names and everyone else's names. Continue going around the circle, saying the names of everyone in the circle. If someone gets a name wrong after the initial introduction round, he is out.
Throwing the Ball
Have all of your students stand in a circle and introduce themselves. Take a small squishy ball and throw it around the circle. However, the trick is that each student must say the name of the person she is throwing the ball to before she throws it. If she gets a name wrong, she is out.
Two Truths and a Lie
This game is good for classes that are already at an intermediate or advanced level of English. Have students write two facts about themselves that are true, and one that is false. However, students must construct the false sentence so it isn't obvious. For example, the false statement should not be, "I have a talking dog." Students will go around saying their two truths and a lie, and it is up to the other students to guess which statements are true and which are false.