Questions for speed dating icebreaker

Each set contains 12 different pictures, each picture has a number from 1 to 6 on the back (you need to glue pictures and number and cut them up before class).

Numbers double, so there are two different pictures of holiday destinations/houses with the same number on the back. What are advantages and disadvantages of each holiday destination/house?

In case you have toner issues at work, you might always use pictures cut out from newspapers and magazines, just remember to put numbers on the other side of each. Give them a minute to think about it and then ask them to walk around the class and find the person who has the same number at the back of their picture. The topics are neutral enough in nature not to cause any controversy or immediate clashes of opinions.

Ask students to randomly pick a card from a box/ a sack and take a look at the picture. Once they find their partner, they should introduce themselves briefly, and talk about their pictures answering the questions you have asked before. Give your students 5 minutes to talk in pairs and then ask numbers 1 and 2 to get together (you should get a group of 4). Now, let students introduce their partners to new students: MATCHING PICTURES HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS MATCHING PICTURES HOUSES I learned this game during my TEFL course and instantly regretted not knowing it earlier. In my case here is what each cloud stands for: BLUE = my favourite colour WRITER = I wanted to be a writer in the future when I was a kid BLOG = I have a blog (in the past it used to stand for “I’d like to start a blog”) BIKE = I love riding a bike PEAS = I hate peas BRAZIL = I’d love to travel there one day Let students ask 3 questions about each cloud, if they can’t guess, move on to the next one.

Don’t let your attendees wallow in stilted conversations about the weather.

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I have seen this game in action many times and it is incredible how quickly students strike up conversations when they have a visual prop to give them something to work with.

Here are some examples I came up with for my intermediate group of 8: Alternatively, at the beginning of the class, you could ask your students to write one question they would like to ask a stranger use those instead of your own ideas.

Although it is more motivating for students, you run the risk of not everybody coming up with suitable questions (and in the case of teenage groups you almost ALWAYS end up with at least one dirty question ).

I always play this game together with my students but at the same time I try to keep an ear out for grammar; once again question word order is crucial here. After the quizzing, I give my students a minute to decide among themselves which sentence they think was a lie, and the winner gets some candy (yes, my adult students are absolutely over the moon with some candy on the first day, teenagers slightly harder to please when it comes to the choice of treats…) FYI, #1 is A LIE, I sadly don’t know how to swim.

You might adapt the grammar to your students’ (expected) level. Tell them they need to find other students who can answer YES to the questions. After asking YES / NO questions, your students should try eliciting more information from those partners who answered YES, and write it down in the other column together with the person’s name: Were you born in June? Here are some examples of questions students could ask me in order to discover the truth: Once the students expose your lie, it is time for them to play the same game among themselves.

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