Socialising 1: Breaking the ice

For many people, the idea of walking into a room full of strangers and trying to socialise with them can be terrifying, especially if you have to use a foreign language. The barriers to ‘breaking the ice’ in a situation like this are just as much psychological as linguistic, which is why this lesson aims to get students thinking about the situation (through a quiz-based discussion and jigsaw reading) as much as speaking and practicing the skill of starting conversations with strangers.

Topic: Socialising and starting conversations
Level: Intermediate (B2) and above


  • To discuss and deal with some of the psychological issues connected with starting conversations with strangers.
  • To teach some useful phrases for starting a conversation and leaving a conversation.
  • To provide practice and feedback of the situation of starting and leaving conversations with strangers.

Plan components
Lesson plan: download

Worksheets: download

By Jeremy Day

The plans and worksheets are downloadable and in pdf format - right click on the attachment and save it on your computer.

Copyright - please read

All the materials on these pages are free for you to download and copy for educational use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place these materials on any other web site without written permission from the BBC and British Council. If you have any questions about the use of these materials please email us at:


Submitted by ali1095 on Mon, 06/11/2012 - 06:52


I've downloaded lesson plan and worksheets. They are so useful and I hope to use them in my class.

Thanks a lot

Yours sincerely.

Submitted by dunjica21 on Wed, 09/19/2012 - 09:58


The lesson is excellent. It's very useful and motivating. I've done it in some classes but I will do it in others too.

Submitted by jennythird on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 09:30


I've used several of the lesson plans and worksheets for Business English, but am very disappointed to find that several are not available. Have they been removed?

Hi Jennythird, We have had a technical issue with the site, which is why you might be having problems downloading lesson plans and worksheets - the lessons have not been removed. I've fixed the links for this plan now, so you should be able to download the materials. Please let me know if you are still having problems. Thanks, Cath

Hello, This lesson is aimed at intermediate (B2) level, so it might be quite difficult for a false beginner - you may need to adapt it quite a lot. I hope you find it useful, Cath TE Team

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