In this activity, beginning ESL students complete a very simple form with their name, home country, and native language. When students are finished, ask them to practice reading it aloud to themselves. Then, students go around the room reading their information to the other students in the class. My class is small, so I asked had my students to introduce themselves to every member of the class. I participated as well to model the English and get to know my students. When everyone is finished, each student reads their information one more time, in front of the whole class.
This was so simple, but it allowed students to break the ice with their peers, practice their reading/speaking fluency, and build confidence in front of the class. Because students were reading from their paper, it wasn't as awkward as some icebreakers I've tried. It was also helpful in providing me an informal assessment opportunity.
This is for my students who have very little English. If this is too easy for your students, feel free to add/change things.
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The file is one slide with 3 information slips on it.