Getting to Know You ESL Activities, Games and Icebreakers

Can you tell me more?

ESL Icebreaker Activity - Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this getting to know you activity, students practice asking for details to basic questions and building conversation. In two groups, students write short answers to questions on the worksheet. Students then pair up with someone from the other group and give them their answers. Next, students take it in turns to ask their partner questions to find out more details about their answers using the language provided. Finally, students share what they found out about their partner with the class.
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Do you have a secret?

ESL Getting to Know You Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this getting to know you game, students discover secrets about their classmates by asking yes/no getting to know you questions. First, students write secrets about themselves on cards. Each secret can be an interesting fact or something unique that is unknown to the rest of the class. Students then fold up their secret cards and put them in a box. Next, each student takes one card from the box and silently reads the secret on the card. After that, students form a yes/no question about the secret on their card to find out who wrote it. Students then walk around the class asking one another the question to find out whose secret they have. When a student finds the right person, they write the person’s name on the card, keep it, and take another card from the box. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Getting to Know You Survey

ESL Get to Know You Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this free get to know you activity, students conduct a survey to get to know their classmates and find out information about them. Students go around the class asking questions with 'Do you...?' or 'Are you...?' in order to complete statements on the worksheet. When a student finds a classmate who answers 'yes' to a question, they complete the corresponding sentence with their name and ask a follow-up question to gain more information, noting down the response. If a classmate replies 'no', the student asks a different question or moves on to speak to another student. Afterwards, students give feedback to the rest of the class on what they found out.
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The Question is...

ESL Getting to Know You Questions Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this get to know you questions game, students race to make questions from answers given by other students. To begin, students look at their question cards and complete sentences with answers that are true for them. Students then take it in turns to pick up the top card from their pile and read out the answer on the card to the group, e.g. 'In the future, I want to travel the world'. The other students then race to say the question that they think corresponds to the answer. The first student to say the question written on the reader's card wins and keeps the card, e.g. 'What do you want to do in the future?' The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins. As an extension, students read the questions on the cards they won and each group member answers the question in turn.
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Are we compatible?

ESL Getting to Know You Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this getting to know you questions activity, students interview each other and share personal information to find people who would make compatible flatmates. In pairs, students take it in turns to interview their partner by asking the get to know you questions on the worksheet and noting down the answers. Students then compare their answers and decide if they would make good flatmates or not. Next, each pair joins with another pair and the students take it in turns to share their partner's answers with the group to see if they would be compatible with any other students. Afterwards, there is a class feedback session to find out who would make compatible flatmates.
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Tell Us About...

ESL Getting to Know You Board Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

This engaging get to know you board game can be used as an icebreaker activity on the first day of class to help students talk about themselves and become acquainted with one another. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a student lands on a square, they talk about the get to know you topic on the square. While the student is talking, the other students listen and ask follow-up questions or join in with their opinions. The first student to reach the finish wins the game.
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A to Z

ESL Getting to Know You Questions Activity - Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

This getting to know you speaking activity can be used as an icebreaker on the first day of class. Students take it in turns to pick up an alphabet card from the pile and look at the corresponding topic and question on the worksheet. The student then tells the group the topic and asks the other students the corresponding question. Each student answers the question in turn and the students generate a short discussion on the topic. The next student then picks up an alphabet card and the process continues. When the students have finished, they share any interesting or surprising information they found out about their classmates.
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Assumptions

ESL Get to Know You Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this fun icebreaker game, students guess information about a partner and form questions to ask them to find out the truth. Assign each student with a partner from the other group, keeping the two groups separate. Working alone, students read the statements on their worksheet and indicate whether they think they are true or not for their partner. Next, students write down the questions they need to ask their partner to find out the truth. Students then pair up with their assigned partner and take it in turns to ask each other their questions. For each correct guess, students put a tick. Students also ask follow-up questions to find out more details. The student with the most correct guesses wins the game.
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Pair Introductions

ESL Get to Know You Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

Here is a useful getting to know you activity to use on the first day of class. In the icebreaker activity, students create getting to know you questions, interview a partner using the questions, and then introduce them to the class using the information they found out. First, students complete the worksheet with getting to know you questions that they would like to ask their partner. When the students have written 12 questions each, they take it in turns to ask and answer the questions with their partner. Students write their partner's answers in sentence form in the space next to each question. Afterwards, students introduce their partner to the class using the information.
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Shapes of You

ESL Get to Know You Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this getting to know you activity, students write information about themselves and then hand it to a partner who has to find out why the student wrote the information and ask follow-up questions. Students start by writing short answers to questions in shapes on the worksheet. Students then give the shapes part of the worksheet to their partner. Next, students take it in turns to ask their partner why they wrote the information in the shapes, e.g. 'Why did you write Spain in shape number 2?' Their partner then explains their answer, e.g. 'I wrote Spain because I went there on my last holiday'. Next, the student asks follow-up questions to gain more information. The two students continue taking it in turns to find out why their partner wrote the information in the shapes until all the information has been revealed. Afterwards, students report back to the class on the most interesting things they found out about their partner.
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That's Interesting!

ESL Get to Know You Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

Here is a fun getting to know you activity for the first day of class to help students find out interesting facts about one another. Students look at incomplete personal information statements on the worksheet and write the get to know you questions they need to ask to complete the statements, e.g. 'What's your earliest memory?' Students then go around the classroom asking each question to a different classmate and completing the statements with answers, e.g. 'Sophia's earliest memory is feeding ducks in a park'. When the students have finished, they share what they found out about each other in small groups and then with the class.
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True or False?

ESL Icebreaker Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this free icebreaker game, students give true and false personal information and their classmates ask questions to help them decide if the information is true or false. First, students complete ten personal information statements on the worksheet. Five of the statements must be true and five must be false. Students indicate which statement is which by putting a tick for true or a cross for false. In groups of four, students then take it in turns to read their ten statements to the group. As the students listen to each statement, they ask questions to help them decide if the reader is lying or telling the truth. Students then decide if the statement is true or false by marking their guess with a tick or cross. Afterwards, students reveal which statements were true and which were false. Students score one point for each correct guess. The student with the most points wins the game.
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Link Up

ESL Icebreaker Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 35 minutes

In this icebreaker game, students talk about various topics and try to use specific linking words and phrases in their conversations. Each student takes a linking word card and the first topic card is turned over for everyone to see, e.g. ambitions. The students then get to know each other by having a conversation about the topic on the card for two minutes. As the students talk, they try to naturally work a sentence into the conversation that uses the linking word or phrase on their card. When a student does this, they score a point and take another linking word card from the pile and continue, trying to use the next linking word or phrase. After a couple of minutes, the conversation ends and the students place all the linking word cards back in the pile and reshuffle them. The process is then repeated with the next topic card and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Tell the group about...

ESL Getting to Know You Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this fluency practice game, students talk about various topics for one minute to help them get to know each other and improve fluency. In groups, students take it in turns to pick up a card and talk about the topic on the card continuously for one minute. If a student manages to talk for one minute, they score a point. However, if the student hesitates too often, repeats information or stops talking before the time is up, they don't score anything. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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