Get Certified to Teach English
as a Foreign Language

Talk to a TEFL Advisor


Contact Us

« Back to The TEFL Insider

Top Five Icebreakers for the EFL Classroom

By on Thursday Feb 10, 2011

This post was written by Rachel Spillane
The first few minutes of English class are crucial for setting the tone for the whole period, so it’s important to start with a bang. EFL students might be coming to class tired after a long day or groggy and sleepy-eyed, so we want to get them engaged and energetic, and it might take a little creativity to get the class energized. Here are some ideas:

1. Would You Rather…? – Students can make their own would you rather questions. e.g. “Would you rather eat worms or cockroaches?” They ask each other and why?

2. Two Truths and a Lie – This can be good for the very first class but also as a warm-up. English students tell three statements to the class. Two are true and one is a lie. Other students must guess which statement is a lie and if they can, explain why they think so.

3. Positive, Negative, Crazy – Write a discussion topic on the board and then pass a ball or hot potato to a student. Tell them negative and they must make a negative statement about the topic e.g. Facebook decreases productivity at work! And, crazy can be anything – My sister spends 6 hours a day on Facebook! (Speaking of Facebook, visit our page!)

4. Finish the Sentence – Write half a sentence or statement on a piece of paper (repeat to make a few different ones). Students take a sentence, read it out loud and then finish the sentence. To really get them going, time them for 30 seconds and make them talk the whole time.

5. The Hot Seat – Put a chair with its back facing the board; this is the Hot Seat and a volunteer must sit here. Then write a word on the board (for beginners, tell them the category or theme of words – this might be vocabulary they are already studying). Then students try to prompt the hot seater into guessing what the word is by describing it (fun with famous people too!).

Need more activities? We’ve got lots of ideas and EFL icebreakers to get your classes up at at ’em. Get them talking, singing, and keep them engaged by breaking free from frozen teaching techniques. We’ve even got you covered for your most important day of your TEFL job, so you can utilize the latest materials and instructions to become a better, more effective teacher with that first impression. 

About the AuthorBridge TEFL

  • Sam

    These are some great ideas of which two of them I have tried and tested in Belgium and they both worked very well. The two truths and a lie is a particularly effective classroom ice breaker too. From my 2 years experience I have put together 4 which I think worked really well for me. You can read them on my blog here –