Something In Common

The Something In Common ESL activity is a short speaking exercise in which students ask their classmates about their likes and dislikes.

Students for Something In Common ESL Activity:6+Time for Something In Common ESL Activity:10-15 mins
Resources for Something In Common ESL Activity:

Students complete this activity as a class.

  1. Students stand up and mingle, asking each other about their hobbies or taste in food.
  2. The aim is to find a common like or dislike with each of their classmates. When they find one, they should change partners, but try and remember it for later.
  3. After about five minutes (depending on the class size), the students sit down again.
  4. They then take turns sharing with what they have in common with other students (e.g. Max and I both hate olives, Neither Katya nor I can stand shopping). You could do this as a class, or with large classes, in small groups.
Target Language

The Something In Common ESL activity works well as an icebreaker, to help classmates get to know each other. You can also limit the likes and dislikes topic to practise a specific vocabulary, usually sports and hobbies or food. This works best with beginner students.

Another option is to practise different language for giving opinions (more suited to intermediate students). Pre-teach phrases like ‘I can’t stand’ and ‘I don’t mind’, and ask the students to match these opinions. Students should also use appropriate responses, such as ‘Me too’, or ‘Me neither’.

For similar activities to practise giving opinions, try A Scale Of One To Ten, and Order Of Preference. In these games students have to guess how much their classmates like certain things.

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