Posted on November 27, 2018 | By Jenni Fogg
25th Feb 2019
A brilliant warmer gets your TEFL lesson off to a great start, involving every student and putting them in the right frame of mind to learn English.
Here are five fantastic warmers that every TEFL teacher should know. Best of all, you can use these activities with all levels and ages – all you need to do is adapt the language to fit to your class.
This is a great warmer which uses a fun, fast-moving game to recap on vocabulary.
Pro tip: Customise the warmer to the TEFL class, by telling students to focus on a particular topic (e.g. colours or what they did last week).
Perfect for: A TEFL class scheduled straight after lunch, when you need to shake students out of that post-eating slump.
This is a really simple warmer that helps TEFL students to start talking to each other.
Pro tip: Adapt the task to the age and level of the students by choosing a suitable task. For example, you could give a class of five-year-olds a fairly visual task, such as lining up in height order but give an intermediate class a task that requires them to discuss their answers – such as lining up in order of how many countries each has visited.
Perfect for: Revising a topic you looked at in the last lesson in a fun and interactive way.
This warmer is a great way to wake up a sluggish class and to recap on vocabulary from a previous lesson. It’s based on the children’s game ‘Simon says…’ but you can adapt the challenges to the age and level of the class.
Pro tip: Give the warmer an extra layer of excitement by increasing the difficulty or language of each task – or by saying the last person to do each action is out. Students who are already out will enjoy watching their classmates trying to carry out the task and spotting who should be out next!
Perfect for: A TEFL class at the start of the day or straight after lunch where you want to get students moving.
This is a fantastic warmer for practising adjectives – and has the added bonus of giving you a refresher on your students’ names. If you’ve got a large TEFL class, split it up into smaller groups working beside each other to make sure the activity quickly engages everyone.
Pro tip: If you’re short on space, you can do this warmer with students sitting at their desks. Trying to catch a beanbag while swivelling round in a chair can add an extra sense of fun!
Perfect for: Your first or second TEFL lesson with a group of students, when you’re trying to get the hang of everyone’s names – and want them to relax and speak out loud.
This is a great warmer for students to let loose their creative side. If you’ve got a small class (less than eight TEFL students) you can do this altogether. Otherwise, split the class into pairs or groups of three to four students.
Pro tip: Get students to vote on each of the facts. It means everyone is involved – and will get even more laughter if the statement everyone has voted to be the lie turns out to be true!
Perfect for: TEFL classes where you want to encourage students to talk and get to know each other better.
Make up your own TEFL warmers
Once you’ve got the hang of tried and tested warmers, why not make up some of your own? As long as you follow these simple rules, you can be as creative as you want!
A brilliant warmer…
We’d love to hear about your best warmers – and if you’ve ever had any unexpected outcomes!