At the beginning of a new course of adolescence or adult students, I'd try to engage them in a set of activities. That very first class (assuming a 40-minute class) will be devoted to get to know each other and motivate them to start the year with the right foot.
Ice-breaker: BRANDED NAME (10 min)
Sit them in a circle (if possible due to sitting arrangement) and ask the first one to say his/her name and a word or brand that they know in ENGLISH. Each student should have to repeat the previous student's word and add a new one. By the end they will have mentioned at least 20 words in English.
OUR REASONS (10 / 15 min): These words should work as starting point for me to ask them whether they use English in their every day life or not? And ask them to carry out a short survey within the class to find out the top 5 reasons why they should study our subject.
After some minutes, I will ask them to write on a poster their reasons and to find out a title that will summarize their objective.
STORY TIME (10 min): After they've finished with the poster, I will read the following story asking them to find connections between the reasons they've written down and the story.In the end I will give out the following copy taken from The Teacher's Magazine #110, EDIBA, February 2009, for the to reflect upon for Homework and come up with one thing they can commit themselves to throughout the year: