I’ve always hated ice breakers. At the start of every camp, club or group trip the leader would instantly lose my respect by pulling out a game suited for six-year olds. “Okay, everyone name a food that starts with your first initial!” or “tell us where you’re from, you’re favorite color, and one special thing about you!” Around the age of ten, the phrase ice-breaker started to elicit a slight gag reflex. But oh, how the tables have turned.
Thursday afternoons, from 2 to 4pm, are reserved for my English speaking club. Two hours are a long time, especially when your students are Mongolian. Mongolians are, on average, extremely averse to making mistakes in front of others. As learning a language is riddled with mistakes (if you’re doing it right), this leads to a lack of speaking. But oh have I found the solution. Ice breakers once filed away under “hopefully will never do again in this lifetime” are now being pulled out and shoved in my students’ direction. The weirdest part? My students LOVE them. So there it is folks, that which once drove me up a wall is now making my life in Mongolia one club easier.