Ice breaker games for beginners?

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Ice breaker games for beginners?

Unread postby brainislost » 01 Oct 2010, 16:35

Hi there,

Does anyone have any ideas for ice-breaker games for beginners? I've recently been offered a new job, teaching adults (beginners, elementary, upper-int and FCE) and first lessons are next week. This will be my first post (completed CELTA in Aug). I had some ideas for ice-breaker games but they would really only be suitable for groups with SOME level of English. Is there any kind of game you can play with beginners, or is it only really feasible to start with introducing their names etc via demo'ing?

Thanks for any advice!

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Re: Ice breaker games for beginners?

Unread postby Alex Case » 04 Oct 2010, 12:59

Should be something in my article here: ... beginners/

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Re: Ice breaker games for beginners?

Unread postby LouannePiccolo » 07 Oct 2010, 08:00

Hello Brainislost,

Are you looking for a lesson for your beginners because you do say that you have different levels of learners? Where are you teaching? I ask this because there are adult learners in a lot of countries who sign up for beginner classes while having studied English in school and even though they think they are beginners they do have some basics.

I always find that ice-breaker lessons for adults work best with games. Adult learners are mostly a little anxious which is understandable and a lesson packed with language games does, in fact, break the ice, get them laughing and enjoying themselves while getting to know each other. It also sets the mood for future classes.

A great ice-breaker game is to hand out post-its and ask students to write their name on it. Once this is done, get them to add an adjective in front of their name, like Lovely Lydie or Magnificent Murielle. They can use dictionaries, ask each other or you.
Once this is done seat them in a circle and have the first person say "my name is Lovely Lydie". The second person must say "my name is Magnificent Murielle and she is Lovely Lydie" and so on until every person has introduced themselves and all the others before them. You can go back the other way once you get to the end of the circle and add more information or change the sentence to "my name is Eager Elodie, I am a hairdresser" so that the first person, who is now the last person, also gets a chance to talk more than just introducing himself.

When you have finished this activity, students will know a little about each other and have had a laugh. Gather up the post-its and put them in a pile upside down on the table. One student must take a post-it and stick it to his forehead. He can ask 3 questions - this part of the lesson depends on the level of your students. You can make it easier for them by writing the prompts on the board such as "am I a woman? Am I blond, brunette? Am I a (here they substitute one of the jobs that your students volunteered as information during the first part of the game) - once the three questions have been asked, the student must guess who he is by saying "Am I Lovely Lydie?"

I have used this lesson a few times, varying the difficulty of the games depending on the level of my students.

Last edited by Susan on 07 Oct 2010, 20:21, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: To remove commercial link

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Re: Ice breaker games for beginners?

Unread postby harrison » 14 Mar 2011, 18:47

As awkward as ice breakers are sometimes...they're actually a really great thing to do...only if they participate--which can be a really great learning opportunity. I always like name/location ice breakers which I think are the most interesting about people.

But here's a good reference site to look at for some conversation starters:

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Re: Ice breaker games for beginners?

Unread postby clipton » 12 Aug 2011, 00:48


This is one of my all time favorites. It can be altered to suit beginner, intermediate, or advanced students. If you have a large class, split them into smaller groups and use multiple cubes. Please see instructions below:

Materials: Paper Cube, Marker, Glue, Tape

Go to ... d102521457 for instructions on how to construct the cube.

Once the cube is constructed, use a marker to write one word on each side. For example: What, When, How, etc. You can make the cube as easy or difficult as you like depending on your students. You can use nouns, adverbs, adjectives, etc.

Demonstrate by throwing, tossing, or rolling the cube. The word that lands face up must be used to ask a question. How are you? How is the weather? How old are you? The students can take turns. You give points, prizes, etc. to make the game more competitive, based on accuracy, intonation, etc.

If you want to find more EFL tips, travel advice, or teacher tales, go to TEFL FLYER BLOG at If you have any ideas, suggestions, or stories of your own, they can be emailed to for review and publication.

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