Absolute Beginner English Personal Information

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Once English students can spell and count, they can also begin giving personal information such as their address and telephone number. This activity also helps students learn to answer common personal information questions that may be asked in job interviews or when filling out forms. 

Personal Information Questions

Here are some of the most common personal information questions that students might be asked.

Start simple with the verb be and target simple answers which are shown below. It's a good idea to write each question and answer pair on the board, or, if possible, create a class handout for reference.

What is your telephone number?  -> My telephone number is 567-9087.

What is your cell phone number? -> My cell phone / smart phone number is 897-5498.

What is your address?-> My address is / I live at 5687 NW 23rd St.

What is your email address? -> My email address is 

Where are you from? -> I am from Iraq / China / Saudi Arabia.

How old are you? -> I am 34 years old. / I am thirty-four.

What is your marital status? / Are you married? -> I am married / single / divorced / in a relationship. 

Once students have gained confidence with simple answers, move on to more general questions about daily life with the present simple do. Continue with do you like questions for hobbies, likes and dislikes:

Who do you live with?

-> I live alone / with my family / with a roommate.

What do you do? -> I am a teacher / student / electrician.

Where do you work? -> I work at a bank / in an office / in a factory.

What are your hobbies? -> I like playing tennis. / I like movies. 

Finally, ask questions with can so that students can practice speaking about abilities:

Can you drive? -> Yes, I can / No, I can't drive.

Can you use a computer? -> Yes, I can / No, I can't use a computer.

Can you speak Spanish? -> Yes, I can / No, I can't speak Spanish.

Starting Off - Example Classroom Conversations 

What is Your Phone Number?

Practice personal information questions by using this simple technique to help students both answer and ask questions.Begin by asking for a student's telephone number. Once you've begin, ask the student to continue by asking another student. Before you begin, model the target question and answer: 

Teacher: What is your telephone number? My telephone number is 586-0259.

Next, have students participate by asking one of your best students about their phone number. Instruct that student to ask another student. Continue until all students have asked and answered.

Teacher: Susan, hi, how are you?

Student: Hi, I'm fine.

Teacher: What is your telephone number?

Student:  My telephone number is 587-8945.

Student:  Susan, ask Paolo.

Susan:  Hi Paolo, how are you?

Paolo: Hi, I'm fine.

Susan: What is your telephone number?

Paolo: My telephone number is 786-4561.

What is Your Address?

Once students are comfortable giving their telephone number, they should focus on their address.

This might cause a problem due to the pronunciation of street names. Before you begin, write an address on the board. Ask students to write their own addresses on a piece of paper. Go around the room and help students with individual pronunciation issues so they feel more comfortable before beginning the exercise. Once again, begin by modeling the correct question and response:

Teacher:  What is your address? My address is 45 Green Street. 

Once students have understood. Begin by asking one of your stronger students. They should then ask another student and so on.

Teacher:  Susan, hi, how are you?

Student: Hi, I'm fine.

Teacher:  What is your address?

Student: My address is 32 14th Avenue.

Teacher:  Susan, ask Paolo.

Susan:  Hi Paolo, how are you?

Paolo:Hi, I'm fine.

Susan: What is your address?

Paolo: My address is 16 Smith Street.

Continuing with Personal Information - Bringing It All Together

The final part should make students proud. Combine the phone number and address into a longer conversation asking about nationality, jobs, and other simple questions from information that students have already studied. Practice these short conversations with all of the questions you provided on your worksheet. Ask students to continue the activity with partners around the class.

Teacher:  Susan, hi, how are you?

Student: Hi, I'm fine.

Teacher:  What is your address?

Student: My address is 32 14th Avenue.

Teacher:  What is your telephone number?

Student: My telephone number is 587-8945.

Teacher:  Where are you from?

Student: I'm from Russia.

Teacher: Are you American?

Student: No, I'm not American. I'm Russian.

Teacher:  What are you?

Student: I'm a nurse.

Teacher:  What are your hobbies?

Student: I like playing tennis.

This is just one lesson of a series of absolute beginner lessons. More advanced students can practice speaking on the telephone with these dialogues. You can also help students by going over basic numbers in English during the lesson.