Chinese Zodiac: What’s Your Sign? A Fun Vocabulary Lesson for ESL Students

It’s the Year of the Horse! What’s your sign? Check to see what personality traits you have!

If you don’t know the meaning of the word that describes you, look it up in a dictionary or on the internet. Then write three sentences using the vocabulary to describe yourself.

12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac 

The Chinese zodiac is a mathematical cycle of 12 animals. Each animal represents one year. People are associated with the animal for the year they are born. The 12 animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Although it is called the Chinese zodiac, this system is also used in several other countries in Asia such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

Chinese believe that each zodiac animal has a personality, and people born in the same year may have similar personalities.

years: 1984, 1996, 2008
Honest, freedom, hard working, charming. Can be selfish, ruthless, controlling, scheming.

years: 1985, 1997, 2009
Smart, calm, patient, inspiring, modest. Can be stubborn, narrow-minded, demanding, rigid.

years: 1986, 1998, 2010
Aggressive, rebellious, strong, daring, generous. Can be restless, clumsy, hot-temper, impatient.

years: 1987, 1999, 2011
Kind, sensitive, elegant, artistic, cautious. Can be moody, shy, lazy, opportunistic.

years: 1988, 2000, 2012
Strong, proud, direct, eccentric, show off. Can be arrogant, violent, brash, controlling.

years: 1989, 2001, 2013
Wise, graceful, calm, mystic, shrewd. Can be a loner, bad communicator, possessive, distrustful.

years: 1990, 2002, 2014
Cheerful, popular, talkative, witty, earthly. Can be fickle, rude, gullible, stubborn.

years: 1991, 2003, 2015
Righteous, honest, shy, artistic, understanding. Can be moody, a worrier, a complainer, and or too soft.

years: 1992, 2004, 2016
Witty, curious, flexible, sociable, smart. Can be vain, clumsy, trickster, snobbish.

years: 1993, 2005, 2017
Neat, organized, alert, scientific, responsible. Can be critical, egotistical, rough, opinionated.

years: 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Honest, smart, loyal, sense of justice, affectionate. Can be lazy, cold, stubborn, quarrelsome.

years: 1995, 2007, 2019
Simple, hard working, strong, peace-loving, trusting. Can be naive, gullible, materialistic, clingy


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