Small Talk ESL Activities, Games, Role-Plays and Worksheets

What do we have in common?

ESL Small Talk Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 25 minutes

In this communicative small talk activity, students make small talk and try to find things they have in common with their classmates. This activity can also be used as an icebreaker to help students become better acquainted with one another. First, students complete the worksheet with information about themselves by writing one answer in each box. Students then walk around the class speaking to one another about the various topics on the worksheet and asking the related questions. When two students find something that they have in common with each other, they write one another's name down in the space provided. The students then move on to speak to someone else. When everyone has finished, students share what they have in common with one another.
What do we have in common? Preview
 

Both of Us

ESL Small Talk Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this fun small talk activity, students find out what they have in common with their classmates. To begin, students write down the names of all the students in the class on the worksheet. The students then use small talk to find out one thing they have in common with each student in the class. Students go around the class speaking to one another about various small talk topics, such as hobbies, food, sports, etc. When two students discover something that they have in common, they write it down next to their partner's name. The students then move on to speak to someone else. Students must try to find a different thing they have in common with each classmate. When everyone has finished, students share what they have in common with one another.
Both of Us Preview
 

Never can say goodbye!

ESL Ending a Conversation and Saying Goodbye Activity - Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this engaging saying goodbye activity, students practice phrases for ending a conversation and saying goodbye by putting sentences from three conversations in the correct order. The students' task is to put conversations in the correct order by reading the sentences to their partner and numbering them from 1 to 8. Student A starts each conversation by looking at their sentences and reading the most suitable one for the ending of the conversation. The student then puts number 1 next to the sentence. Student B listens and looks for a suitable reply and then reads that reply to Student A, putting number 2 next to the sentence and so on. When the students have finished, they move on to the second conversation. This continues until all three conversations have been completed. Afterwards, each pair reads the three conversations to you. Finally, review the conversations and language for ending a conversation and saying goodbye with the class.
Never can say goodbye! Preview

Interactive Version - In this small talk breakout room activity, pairs of students work together to put sentences from three conversations in the correct order to practice language for ending a conversation and saying goodbye.

 

Small Talk Questions

ESL Small Talk Questions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this small talk questions activity, students learn and practice how to keep a small talk conversation going by asking questions. Students begin by reading through information on small talk and looking at example small talk topics and questions. Students then write questions of their own for six small talk topics. In pairs, students then practice making small talk using the topics on the cards and the questions from the worksheet. Students take it in turns to pick up a card and start talking about the small talk topic on the card. Their partner responds with a question and the two students try to keep the conversation going for two minutes. After two minutes, the other student picks up a card and the students create small talk on the next topic and so on. Afterwards, there is a class feedback session to find out which small talk topics were the easiest and hardest to talk about.
Small Talk Questions Preview
 

Small Talk Techniques

ESL Small Talk Lesson - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 60 minutes

In this free small talk lesson, students learn techniques for keeping a conversation going and making small talk. Students begin by learning how to use echo questions and echo words to show interest, encourage someone to speak and direct a conversation. Students then move on to learn words and phrases for showing attention and agreement. After that, students practice asking follow-up questions to help keep a conversation going. After completing exercises covering each method, students read dialogues in pairs and identify examples of each technique. Students then practice the small talk techniques they have learnt in the lesson by taking it in turns to start a conversation with a partner. Students keep each conversation going for at least two minutes by asking five follow-up questions and using the other small talk techniques from the lesson.
Small Talk Techniques Preview
 

That's Fantastic!

ESL Small Talk Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 40 minutes

In this fun small talk game, students learn and practice common responses that convey feelings. In pairs, students create a dialogue that includes at least ten expressions from a set of cards, e.g. 'Oh no!' 'Oh dear!', etc. When the students have finished writing their dialogues, they practice reading them aloud several times until they can remember them. Pairs then perform their dialogues in front of the class. Afterwards, pairs join together to make groups of four. Students then take it in turns to pick up an expression card and make a statement that will elicit the response on the card. The first student to reply using the correct expression wins and keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
That's Fantastic! Preview
 

Common Responses

ESL Everyday Responses Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 20 minutes

In this free small talk game, students reply to everyday statements and questions with commonly used responses. The aim of the game is to reply with the exact response shown on the card. In groups, students take it in turns to pick up a card and read out the statement or question in bold to the group. The first student in the group to respond with the exact words on the card wins and keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
Common Responses Preview
 

Conversation Starters

ESL Conversation Starters Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 45 minutes

In this useful small talk activity, students complete questions and statements that can be used to start a conversation. The students then use the conversation starters to practice making small talk. Students start by completing statements and questions for each small talk topic on the worksheet by writing words in the gaps. The students then stand up, find a partner and use the conversation starters to practice making small talk. The students make small talk with their partner for two minutes using the three questions and statements from the first topic on their worksheet. After two minutes, the students find a new partner and make small talk again using the questions and statements from the second topic and so on. Afterwards, the students discuss the topics and share any interesting information they discovered about their classmates.
Conversation Starters Preview
 

How to Make Small Talk

ESL Small Talk Worksheet - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

This small talk worksheet helps students develop an understanding of small talk, identify suitable small talk topics, learn about conversation starters, and practice keeping a conversation going. Students start by reading an introductory text about small talk and completing sentences using words and phrases from the text. Next, students choose which topics they think are suitable for small talk and then compare their choices with a partner. In pairs, the students then choose two topics for small talk with strangers, acquaintances, and colleagues. Working alone, students then match sentence halves together to make small talk conversation starters. After that, students choose a suitable response to each conversation starter. Students then write what they would say in reply to each response to keep the conversation going. In the last exercise, students work with a partner. The pairs practice making small talk using the conversation starters in Exercise D. After a few minutes, they start a new small talk conversation. The students continue until they have used all eight conversation starters.
How to Make Small Talk Preview

Interactive Version - In this small talk interactive worksheet, students work through a variety of exercises to learn about and practice small talk.

 

Small Talk Role-Play

ESL Small Talk Role-Play - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 45 minutes

In this small talk role-play, students take on the role of people attending a school reunion and practice interacting with one another. First, students prepare a character for the role-play by completing personal information on a card. When the students have finished, give each student a corresponding small talk card. The small talk card contains a secret topic they want to talk about and the reason for talking about it. The card also contains a question they must answer. Students then take on the role of the person on their two cards and go around talking to the other people in their group. Students introduce themselves to each person and make small talk for a few minutes before moving on to speak to someone else. As they talk to each person, students introduce the small talk topic on their card. When the students have spoken to everyone in their group, they guess what small talk topic each person wanted to talk about and what their reason was for doing so. Students then reveal the truth and give feedback about the questions on their small talk cards.
Small Talk Role-Play Preview
 

Social English

ESL Small Talk Role-Plays - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In these small talk role-plays, students use conversation starters to make small talk in two authentic role-play situations. In the first role-play, Student A has to use the conversation starters to find a small talk topic Student B is interested in talking about. When the students have finished the role-play, Student As give feedback on the topic they thought Student B wanted to talk about. Students then move on to the second role-play. In the second role-play, Student B has to steer the conversation away from a certain small talk topic. Afterwards, the students tell the class if they were successful in doing that.
Social English Preview
 
0
0
0
s2sdefault

Get the Entire Teach-This.com
Library

Only $59

All our Resources in One Download

Get Started Here

LATEST FREE
RESOURCES

LATEST MEMBER
RESOURCES

ESL International English Teaching Jobs Board

Become a Member Now