Introductions

(Icebreakers)

 
 
 
 
When people first meet each other — and even among close friends — they often ask each other general, conversational questions. Here are some of them.

Note: some of these questions may not be appropriate depending on culture, the individual and circumstance.
 
 
 
 

The Weather
0. How’s the weather?

What’s the weather like
(in Beijing, London, Moscow,
New York, Sao Paulo)?

The weather’s beautiful (fine, nice, okay, so-so, not bad, bad, awful.

It’s scorching hot, hot, not too hot, warm, cool, chilly, cold, freezing cold.

It’s sunny, rainy, snowy, windy, cloudy.

The sun is shining. It’s raining, snowing.

There’s an overcast, a storm, a thunderstorm, a hurricane, a typhoon.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

Personal
1. What’s your name? My name is _______.
2. Where do you live? I live in _______.
3. Where were you born? I was born in _______.
4. What nationality are you? I am _______.
5. How old are you? I am _______(years old).
6. How are you? I’m fine. I’m ok. Not bad.
So-so. Not too good.
Not very well.

 
 
 
 
 

   

    
 
 
  

 
 
 
 

Family
7. Do you have any brothers
or sisters?
(+) Yes, I do.
(–) No, I don’t.
8. How many brothers and sisters do you have? I have no, one, two, three…
9. Are you married? (+) Yes, I am.
(–) No, I’m not.
10. Do you have any children? (+) Yes, I do.
(-) No, I don’t.
11. How many children do you have? I don’t have any children.
I have no children.
I have one child/two, three… children.

 
 
 
 
 

         

  

 
 
 
 
 

Education
12. Are you a student? What grade are you in? (+) Yes, I am. (–) No, I’m not. I’m in ______ grade.
13. What are you studying? I’m studying _______.
14. What’s the highest level of education you’ve completed?

How much schooling have you had?

I finished primary school/
high school/technical school/college/university.I have a high school diploma/
certificate/technical degree/
college degree/bachelor’s degree/master’s degree/
Ph.D., doctorate.
15. What school or university are you
attending? What school or university did you
attend?
I’m attending/I’m studying at _______.
I attended/I studied at _______.
16. What did you major in? I majored in _______.
17. What is/was your favorite subject? My favourite subject is/was _______.

 
 
 
 
 

 

Languages
18. Can you speak any foreign languages?
Do you know any
foreign languages?
(+) Yes, I can/do.
(-) No, I can’t/don’t.I don’t speak/understand (English).
19. Do you speak/know English? (+) Yes, I do. (-) No, I don’t. I don’t know/speak/understand English.
20. What languages do you know? I know/speak (a little/some)_______.
21. Where did you learn English (Bengali, Latvian, Malagasy)? I learned English at school; a language centre.
22. How did you learn English (Abkhaz, Guarani, Kyrgyz)? By myself; with course books; an audio program. I just picked it up (from films, TV, foreigners).
23. What is your level of English? I’m a starter. I’m a beginner. I’m elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced, fluent in English. I’m a native speaker.
24. How long have you been studying English? I’ve been studying English for_____years.
25. Where/How have you been studying English? I’ve been studying English _____.
26. Who is/was your English teacher? Is/Was she or he local or foreign? My English teacher is/was Mr/Ms_______. She/He is from_____.

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Jobs, Career
27. What do you do? What’s your job? I am a/an___.
28. What do you want to be (when you grow up)? What job would you like to have? I want to be
a/an _______.
29. Where do you work? I work at_____.
30. Who do you work for? I work for____.
31. What are your aims, goals, or ambitions? I want to be a/an_______.

 

Daily Life
32. What are you wearing? I am wearing _______.
33. How do you go to work or school? I _______ to work/
school. I go to work/
school by _______.
34. Do you have any friends? (+) Yes, I do. (–) No, I don’t..
35. How many friends do you have? What are your friends’ names? I have _______ friends. Their names are_______.
36. What do you usually do after work or school? After work/school, I usually _______.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Favorites
37. What is your favourite animal? My favourite animal is the _______.
38. What are your favourite songs? My favourite songs are _______.
39. What are your favourite places? My favourite places are _______.
What places do you like visiting? I like visiting _______.
40. What’s your favourite food or dish? My favourite food (dish)
is _______.
41. What’s your favourite TV program? My favourite TV program
is _______.
42. What’s your favourite movie or film? My favourite movie/film is _______.
43. What are your favourite websites? My favourite websites are _______.
44. What’s your favourite season? Month? My favourite season is _______.
45. Who is or was your favourite teacher? My favourite teacher is (was) _______.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Hobbies, Pastime
46. What are your hobbies? My hobbies are _______.
47. What do you do in your free time? In my free time I sometimes/usually _______.
48. What do you do on Saturdays and Sundays? On weekends, I sometimes/often _______.
49. What do you like to buy? I like buying _______.
50. What do you collect? I collect _______.
51. What would you like to buy? I would like to buy a/an _______.
52. What do you do on your holidays or vacation? On my holidays/vacations,
I _______.

 
 

*     *     *     *     *     *

 
 
 
 
 
Diagnostic Questions

A. What is your level of English? Starter or beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced, or somewhere in between?

B. Are you in elementary (primary) school, high (secondary) school, vocational school, technical college, university, graduate school, looking for work, and, or working?

C. Why are you learning English? What are your English-language goals? Are you learning English for school, university, an exam, your career (business or specialized English), to emigrate, travel, culture, fun, as a hobby, or general self-improvement?

D. What do you like to read, watch, and talk about?
What are your hobbies? What are you interested in? For example, travel, food, movies, sports, shopping, fashion, stories, TV, music, celebrities, the internet, business, economics, history, nature, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, sociology, all of the above?

F. What sort of teaching and learning style, method, techniques, material do you want or like? What kind of teaching and learning style, method, techniques and material do you dislike or not want?

G. Describe or give examples of fantastic, perfect English lessons, average lessons, and boring or useless lessons.

 

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