Sometimes students are very nervous when they first start a class and speaking in front of the whole group seems a daunting prospect. So, for the first activities, it’s a good idea to start with pairwork, then small groups, building up to students talking to the group.
An easy starter with a new class, or one that hasn’t been together for a while because of a break, is to let students talk about themselves.
Simply put students in pairs, mix them up if they are sitting with people they know and you want the class to mix. Then tell them to get their phones out and to share a couple of photos with their speaking partner. It can be a photograph from their holiday, family and friends.
Student 1 should talk about the photo(s) for at least 2 minutes.
Student 2 should ask at least 2 questions about the photos.
Then swap over.
At the end of this part, you can encourage any students who would like to talk to the class about a photo.