ESL Teaching Activities for Beginners – Friendly Greetings


How are you?

Simple Greetings Activity with Handouts 

The informal language we use when we meet our friends or family is often idiomatic. ESL beginners can find it very confusing unless they are introduced to the short greetings that we all use. Students need to participate in many activities that provide opportunities for them to practice with their classmates. This article will suggest an introduction to the most commonly used expressions and provide some fun activities.

We suggest that role-plays are the easiest way to introduce greetings to your students. One way to do this is for the teacher to ask the initial question and the students to answer in unison. Write the possible commonly used answers on the board.  



Greetings Activity

Greetings Activity

Let’s begin with the positive responses.



Teacher: How are you?

Students: We are fine.  Or  We are fine, thanks.

 Next move to individual students:
 Teacher: How are you,_________ (name)? 

Student: I’m fine thanks.

Continue by introducing these questions and responses:


She's just great!

She’s just great!







How are you doing, _________?

Student: I’m doing fine.  Or   I’m just great!

Teacher: How are things going?

Student: Things are going well.  Or   Everything is fine.


Now try the negative responses. Tell them they are feeling sick, tired, depressed or whatever.  



He's not so good.

He’s not so good.

Teacher: How are you?


Student: I’m so-so. (means: not good – not bad)  Or I’m not so good. 

Or  I’m not very well.  Or  I’m sick.

Teacher: How are you doing, ______?

Student: I’m okay. (The meaning changes with the tone of voice.)

Teacher: How are things going?

Student: Not badly  Or   Not so good.

Students need to be able to use these expressions automatically. Consequently, the oral parts of the activities outlined in this article are the most important. It is our experience that students tend to skip the oral and complete the written parts. Watch closely and get them talking!

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Modified: June 8th, 2018 June 8th, 2018
Published: June 1st, 2011

Comments (4)

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  1. Pamela says:

    Nice points. I feel the more activities that you use the better.

  2. Taanya says:

    Learning to speak English is a practical subject and so the more activities and role playing that can be done the better.

  3. Lorissa says:

    There are some very good points here that I can use right away.

  4. hetrgefwda says:

    Thanks for finally talking about > Activities that Introduce Beginners to Friendly Greetings < Liked it!

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