Happy New Year busy teachers! I hope you all had a nice break. I think most places around the world have a short break in teaching around the end of December and beginning of January. Personally, I have enjoyed sleeping late and recovering from 2016! I always feel it’s not so easy to get back in the swing of things after a mini break, so today I have been preparing some conversation starters for the first classes back after the break, and I thought I’d share them with you.
I always like to start the first classes back with a period of reflection and to encourage my classes to look forward. I usually ask my learners to think back about what happened in the previous year and to share some happy moments from their break too. I also try to get my learners to look forward and set goals for the coming year. In Japan, New Year is a time for families to get together, so usually they enjoy reflecting on what they have done.
I therefore thought I’d try to help other busy teachers by sharing a few conversation starters that I intend to use. Feel free to use any of these. I usually do this as a warm-up activity and do it as a speed chat. A speed chat is an activity where students pair up and talk about topics for a limited number of time before rotating to a new partner to do the same. If you are interested in learning more about this activity, please check out my post for the British Council Magazine here.
Anyway, here are 10 useful conversation starters for the first classes back after the break. I wouldn’t recommend using all 10, but please feel free to take the ones that are the most suitable for your classes. Most of my learners haven’t spoken any English for a while, so I usually like to pick a few of the easier ones and then add a couple that might encourage a more deeper conversation at the end.
Have a great year fellow busy teachers! I wish you all the best for 2017!