I learned this from a Japanese popular educator whose name I can't recall. The combination of physicality with abstract thought produces interesting results.
Put a disorderly pile of three or four chairs in the center of an open space, with all the participants around.
Announce that the chairs are the theme we want to discuss, for example, "English" or "Democracy" or "Equality".
Then, one by one, each participant positions herself in relation to the chairs, in some way that reflects their relationship to the theme in their lives. (For example, someone who feels that "English" is irrelevant might turn her back, someone who feels he is making slow progress might take the position of someone crawling towards the the pile of chairs.) Once all are in position, we take a photo, then ask people to explain their positions, returning to the circle as they do.
It is important to take notes as people explain their positions -- the results can be very interesting.
This can work well as a thematic introduction in which people introduce themselves for the first time, or as the prelude to a deeper discussion.