Stay interested, stay motivated – first lesson with new students

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First lesson with new students

first lesson


This ESL worksheet can be used in the first lesson with new students. In the lesson, students discuss their interests, watch a video about motivation, and do vocabulary and grammar tasks. 

B2 / Upper Intermediate
C1 / Advanced
60 minStandard LessonFree / Premium Plan


At the beginning of the lesson, students discuss eight topics in pairs (e.g. art and culture, travelling, science and technology) to find three which they feel similar about. Then, they do a vocabulary task. They need to complete sentences in three sets. The words are provided for each set (e.g. rewarding, accomplishment, eager). They also choose a topic from each of the three sets and tell their partner about it. After that, students look at six lesson topics and predict what they might learn in each and how enthusiastic they would be about participating in the lessons. All the lessons are available on the ESL Brains website, so they can be used with students as a follow-up to this first lesson plan:


Students finish sentences so that they are true for them. The sentences contain the words from previous exercises and refer to students’ motivation to learn English. As this is the first lesson with new students, it can be helpful to find out what their motivations are. Then, students watch the video about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. They also discuss how they are motivated and whether their motivation has changed over the years. The final task is a grammatical one. Students need to create questions using provided words. To do the task, they need to use a variety of English grammatical structures.This task will help test students’ grammatical knowledge. With a group of students, the teacher can split the task in two. This way, each student will do six examples. In a one-on-one class, the student can create six questions chosen by the teacher. After finishing the tasks, students choose some of the questions to ask their partner. 

Other ESL Brains first lesson worksheets:




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Leave a Reply

  1. chaviracorona

    Great. Just in time for a speaking course I’m about to launch and a couple of 1 to 1 lessons!

    1. Ewa

      I’m glad to hear you will use the lesson 🙂

  2. Nejra Građan

    This is amazing! You should make one for each level! It would be so helpful! Excellent work.

    1. Ewa

      Thank you! There is also a B1/B2 lesson which you can use with your new lower-level students: Me, my work and I.

  3. Beata Traskowska

    The communicative part is very interesting however, my students who were B2+/ C1 found the questions at the end in the last exercise very challenging. I think it might be a bit overwhelming for them to put the words in order and also sort out the grammar. I used it for my first lesson with a new group and I think they were a bit discouraged at the end.

    1. Ewa

      Hi Beata. Thanks for your feedback. The task you are referring to doesn’t require changes to the word order, just using the correct grammar. And I believe the examples are suitable for B2/C1 level (conditionals, verb patterns, etc.).

      1. Beata Traskowska

        The examples are certainly a B2/C1 level, I just think they might be more suitable for students who are a bit more ‘warmed up’ with the course material. Let’s not forget that this is our first lesson after a break or even the very first lesson with a new group. Some emotions are at play, students don’t want to fail, they are a bit withdrawn, perhaps a bit stressed. It’s just a thought that perhaps a good idea would be to have something ‘lighter’ in terms of grammar 🙂

  4. pomidorku

    I LOVE THIS. Keep up the great work!


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