Best of NTC: The Zero lesson

Best of NTC: The Zero lesson

Teaching tip

A teacher’s nightmare: The new term is about to start and you have prepared your first lesson using Network Now – only to discover as the lesson is about to begin that not all students arrive with a copy of the book. Don’t panic – we’re here to help.


The Network Now Zero lesson is a stand-alone lesson and can be used with all the books in the Network Now series at the A level, from A1 Starter to A2.2. The aim of the Zero lesson is to encourage students to get to know each other and to get used to working together. Its activities are also confidence-builders and they help students overcome their inhibitions about speaking. And, at the same time, the Zero lesson helps you to get to know your class and the students’ level of English.

If you would like to download the Zero lessons for A1 Starter, A1, A2.1 or A2.2, click here.

If you click on the box ‘The Zero lesson’ below, you’ll find more details about the contents of its four pages.
And if you need more ideas for that first challenging lesson, we’d like to offer you a further activity below.

Best of network Teachers' Club
Making scones New activity


The Name Game

Remember, if you need any help with your first lesson, the Network Now stand-alone Zero lessons for the A-level are at hand for you here and we offer you a related Teaching tip which gives you more details about their aim and contents.

Research has shown that students learn better when they feel comfortable in the classroom and the activities in the Zero lessons aim to provide this.

Another good activity to get students to get to know each other so that they feel more relaxed when they are working together is The Name Game:

  • Remind students of the English alphabet. Ask them to join in with you while you recite: A, B, C…
  • Ask all students to stand and ask them to get in a row in alphabetical order by their first name. When they are in the correct order, ask them to introduce themselves. Hello, my name’s (Eva). You could also ask them to spell their names for some additional alphabet practice.
  • Then ask them to mingle and introduce themselves to everyone else in the class.
  • Ask students to sit down again.
  • Write your first name vertically on the board and then write words which begin with those letters. For example:

    Ice cream
  • Ask students to sit down and write their name vertically on a piece of paper. Tell them to think of words that begin with each letter of their name. If students find this difficult, let them look in the dictionary at the back of your Network Now book. (If someone finishes quickly, then ask him / her to do the same activity for their family name.)
  • In groups of three or four ask them to say their names again and then the list of words:
    My name is (Eva - England, visit, airport).
  • Depending on the level of the class you could ask them to talk about the words:
    (England is a nice country. I visit my mother every week. The airport is near the city.)


This exercise can help you see the level of the students: Do they have any difficulties spelling basic words? Are they producing higher level words? Etc.
The final activity uses the first word students chose for their name.

  • To start this you give your name first: My name is (Patricia - postcard), then the first student gives your name and then his or her name and the word he / she chose: (Patricia - postcard) and my name is (Eva - England). Then the second student gives your name, the first student’s name and then his / her own name: (Patricia - postcard, Eva - England) and my name is (Thomas – train). The third student starts at the beginning, reciting each student’s name before him or her and adding his / her own and so on around the class.
  • At the end, you should say everyone’s name.
    You are all sure to be laughing during this exercise …!



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