ESL activities and games for expressing likes and dislikes

Functional language | 60 - 90 minutes

A collection of practical ESL activities and games for teaching beginners how to express likes and dislikes. Feel free to adapt the ideas contained in this ESL lesson plan for your classes.

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Use of the board

The board below is one suggestion on how you could present the target language for this lesson. You should modify it as you see fit.

Start off by eliciting the affirmative and negative for like and adding it to the board along with the L1 translation. After that, step through each of the constructions eliciting as much as possible either through the use of L1 or actions. Use the colour coded text to give you an idea of what you should try to elicit.

EFL - ESL Lead-in activity for adult beginners | likes and dislikes


Classroom questions

For this activity, you'll demonstrate the functional application of the target language by asking your students questions.

We kick off with a fun and interactive ESL speaking activity. If you have used the sample board, go around the class asking students questions using those examples as a guide. Move your finger along the board as you ask questions so that the students can see how they are formed.

What do I like?

The students will work on their own statements for this writing activity.

This EFL - ESL writing activity builds on the work of the previous two tasks. Students will write about three things that they like, and three that they don’t. Encourage them to make sentences using all of the new language from the sample board (If you have used it).

Interview preparation

Students prepare some interview questions that they'll use to interview a partner in the next activity.

For this ESL writing activity, students will make five 'Do you like...?' questions that they can use to interview another student. Tell them to use at least one of each type shown previously on the board and correct their work before beginning the next activity.


The students interview a partner using the questions that they made during the previous exercise.

In this final activity, students will interview each other using the questions that they have made from the previous exercise.

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Memory: Likes and dislikes

A fun little memory game that uses the target language for the lesson, while introducing the structure of the third person.

Divide the class into two teams. On each turn, pick a student and use their notebook to ask the opposing team a question. If they can remember, or guess correctly, they get a point:

Teacher: Does he (pointing) like going to the zoo?
Student: Yes, he does.

More ESL lesson plans for beginners

We hope that you were able to grab a few ideas from this lesson plan. Our suggested next lesson focuses on expressing likes and dislikes in the third person. Be sure to check out our full list of ESL lesson plans for beginners (A1 Mid-level), as well as the complete collection.

Are you an iOS or Android user? Then you should give our app a go! The TEFL Handbook app has over 100 lesson plans, 300+ ESL activities, over 100 ideas for games and has been designed for the ESL the classroom.

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