This summer I once again participated in the Heritage Language Teacher Workshop at UCLA. One of the very enthusiastic mentors was keen on having a series of icebreaker activities that, whether one liked them or not, got the participants talking to people in the far corners of the room.
Over the last month there has been an ongoing discussion of effective icebreaker activities on the Heritage Language Teachers Facebook page (HL TEACHERS!). A few days ago somebody posted a link to 21st Century Icebreakers, most of which use technology in an interesting and engaging way. These activities are not things one would do in class, but rather, as a homework assignment that might be discussed in a subsequent class. Since our student’s have a three-day weekend at the beginning of the semester, this is a good way to keep the class dynamics from becoming stagnant.
I haven’t decided which of the activities I will assign, but I’m already considering some of them for other points throughout the semester.