Blog | English Language Learning | Centre For Excellence

Getting to Know You

  • Getting to Know You

The following blog post was written by Jennifer Jessop, a faculty member at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement.

I like to play a memory game in the first week of class to practice students’ names and encourage bonding. It is a classic activity, adaptable to different language levels. While it is ideal for ESL literacy learners with its focus on oral communication, any class can benefit.

Here's how you play it:

  • Sit in a circle.
  • Review “My name is ___” and “I am from___” (Use only the first for very beginning students). Ideally, the students already know these phrases.
  • Practice “His/Her name is___” and “He’s/She’s from___ “
  • Ask the first student to your left to introduce him/herself with the two phrases.
  • Ask the next student to introduce the original student, and then to introduce him/herself.
  • The third student begins with the original student, then the second student and then him/herself. And on it goes around the circle. This results in much giggling, guessing and helping among the students.
  • The teacher should always be the last person, so the students can see that you know all the names.

Of course, this game can be as much a benefit for you as it is for them! Have you played a similar memory game? What other "getting to know" you activities do you do with your ESL literacy learners?