Adult ESL Valentine's Day Activities and Icebreakers

by Emilia Lamberto

Valentine's Day may be confusing to those unfamiliar with the tradition.

Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

For individuals learning English as a second language, understanding and partaking in a holiday you're unfamiliar with may be intriguing or downright intimidating. Because not all countries celebrate Valentine's Day, grasping the symbolism, activities, parties and gift-giving regarding the holiday may be difficult. Break the ice by discussing the event in-depth to learn more.

Host Interviews Regarding Valentine's Day

Prior to Valentine's Day, organize a group of individuals for interviews. In a room, pair up with one other person and ask one another questions pertaining to love and romance. For example, some questions might be about his idea of a romantic date, her favorite romantic activity to partake in or what he considers symbolic of Valentine's Day. These activities allow individuals to hear and better understand what Valentine's Day means to others.

Discuss The Holiday In-Depth

In groups, conduct research on Valentine's Day including the history of the holiday, annual events, symbolism and common activities such as dates. Discuss your findings and compare them to how others celebrate Valentine's Day today. For example, Valentine's Day was once about showing your love and affection for another through cards and flowers, but today it seems to be more about spending money on expensive gifts and lavish outings. Symbolism may also be discussed in depth. Questions such as "Why is the heart a symbol of love?" may provide insight to understanding the symbolism surrounding the holiday.

Celebrating the Holiday

For individuals wanting to partake in the events of Valentine's Day, planning a mock date or party is an effective way to grasp Valentine's Day symbolism. Invitations or love letters, decorations, food dishes, gifts and music are all acceptable when planning a party. Hearts, Cupid, bows and arrows and flowers may be implemented into the decorations. Colors such as red, pink and edible items such as chocolate and cake are possible food dishes. When planning parties and dates, individuals may also discuss the ideal Valentine's Day gift and why it is such a sentimental or appreciated present.

Compare Symbolism and Expressions of Love

In America, symbols of love include hearts, red roses, greeting cards professing love, songs, kiss marks with lipstick, lace, Cupid, chocolates and jewelry. Adults who speak English as a second language may discuss how American symbols of love are similar or different from symbols of love in their own country. Another possible idea may be to compare how an individual professes his love in America as opposed to confessions of love in another country.

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About the Author

Since 2007, Emilia Lamberto has been a professional writer specializing in home and garden, beauty, interior decorating and personal relationships. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Lamberto owns two blogs, one which provides readers with freelance job opportunities and one which covers beauty advice and product reviews.