Intermediate ESL Vocabulary – Personality Adjectives

There are so many great ways to teach your students how to use personality adjectives. In this lesson, I get my students talking as much as possible. I try to elicit lots of vocabulary, but also teach them some great new words along with appropriate examples.

I begin by showing them just the picture below and asking them to describe the woman. When they do that, I note down any personality adjectives they use. Then I show them the text beneath, and have them extract the personality adjective (patient). Usually they can come up with 10 adjectives to describe her – for example, kind, caring, nice, hard-working, and so on.

I like to point out that together they have collected 10 adjectives instead of just saying something dull and boring like, “She’s a kind lady.” Then I get them to describe a roommate. Once they realize they can use so many adjectives, you can usually get some colourful descriptions.

Once again, as they’re describing I will monitor and write up any good vocabulary they use.

Next I teach them some more advanced words from my PPT. I tell them first that their efforts were good but that it’s time to up-grade their vocabulary:

ESL Vocabulary – Personality Adjectives from David Wills

After this you can show them a clip of a popular TV show like Big Bang Theory and have them describe the characters, followed by some games like describing and guessing a celebrity or classmate. The possibilities are endless!

Head Teacher
I'm the founder and editor of Beatdom Literary Journal, author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and World Citizen: Allen Ginsberg as Traveller. I'm also a teacher and operate the popular website, TED-IELTS.

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