a story about bad grammar and non-existent punctuation and my TEFL adventures
There are loads of activities for the first day of a new class on the internet and in your coursebooks, but I find a lot of them same-y. That doesn’t mean that they don’t work but just that they lack a bit of imagination.
I know finding out about someone’s family and what they like doing in their free time is important blah blah blah, but surely there’s a better way of doing that?
A few months ago I found myself in that situation and really wanted to try something different. So I did. The inspiration actually came from a coursebook and the activity was aimed at reported speech. The reason I liked the activity was that the questions were so different and, even though the activity wasn’t focussed on the answers to the questions, I thought that they could produce some really interesting answers.
Basically, you set up your run-of-the-mill conversation activity – a mingle, pair activity or speed-dating activity – but instead of using ordinary first-day questions – “Where are you from?”, “Why are you studying English?” – use more interesting ones.
You should find that your students are surprised by some of the questions, may not know how to answer others and will relate their answers to their personal lives anyway so they will end up getting to know each other, just in a more unusual way.