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Tips and Ideas for First Day of ESL Classes

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Tips and Ideas for First Day of ESL Classes

Useful questions you can ask on your first day of ESL Classes

Prepare yourself for the first day of ESL Classes by learning some easy questions which will make it easier for you to learn English quickly.

Placement tests, welcome talks, the first lesson, new faces wherever you look… Usually packed with lots to see, learn and do, your first day at school will be busy and exciting.

Prepare yourself by learning some easy questions, which should help you get through those moments when you’re feeling lost, stressed, confused or simply too tired to think… but need to communicate.

Confidence is something you will gain throughout the learning process. See this as something to help you get started, put you in the mood for studying, and make you feel good about your decision to learn English abroad!

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You can ask the following questions while at school or in class:

  1. When you don’t understand what someone’s just said… ask: Can you repeat (e.g. the last word, the second question), please?
  2. When someone is speaking too fast… ask: Can you slow down a bit, please?
  3. When you don’t know the meaning of a word… ask: What does (e.g. ‘articulate’) mean?
  4. When you’re not sure what a word sounds like… ask: How do you pronounce (e.g. giraffe)?
  5. When you’re not how to write a word… ask: How do you spell (word)?
  6. When you want/need to leave the classroom (for e.g. to go to the bathroom etc.)… ask: Can I be excused?
  7. When you want someone to join you… ask: Would you like to go to the library/canteen/school café with me?
  8. When you want to start a conversation with another student… ask: Which class are you in?
  9. When you want to speak to a staff member, but can’t find them or don’t know who they are… ask: Where can I find (staff member’s name) office?
  10. When you can’t find a specific room/facility in the school… ask: Where can I find the (e.g. library) or How can I get to the (e.g. library)


You might want to try asking the following questions during break or in a casual social context. These questions can also be referred to as icebreakers, or questions you could use to start a conversation with someone.

  1. What are you planning to do this afternoon?
  2. Where are you planning to go (specify time, e.g. tomorrow/this weekend)?
  3. Where are you staying?
  4. How far is your accommodation from school?
  5. What is your host family like?
  6. Are you enjoying your time in (destination name)?
  7. What is your favourite place in (destination name)?
  8. Have you been to (place name)?
  9. Which café/restaurant do you enjoy going to?
  10. Have you been (e.g. surfing, swimming, diving…)?

You might need to ask the following questions when you’re out:

  1. Where is the closest supermarket?
  2. Where can I catch the bus to (place name)?
  3. Where can I buy (item name)?
  4. Where can I find (place name)?
  5. Can you help me find this (place name)?
  6. How far is (place name) from the school?
  7. Is there a (e.g. ATM, pharmacy, hairdressing salon) in the area?
  8. Is there a post office nearby?
  9. How can I get there? / Can I get there by bus or train?
  10. Which direction should I walk in to get to (place name)?

We hope you have found these questions useful… Now make sure you put them to practice as soon as you get the chance to!

If you want to learn more about preparing yourself for an exciting language travel experience, make sure you check out our ultimate guide to learning English abroad. It’s FREE – all you need to do is download it here.

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