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Hopelink Adult Education Tutor Support Hopelink/Adult Education Hopelink Adult Education Tutor Support

ESL Lesson Idea: Using Warm-Ups


Most ESL students are able to learn more quickly with better retention if they feel relaxed and at ease with their classmates. Warm-up activities help accomplish this by requiring students to practice a newly learned skill with others.


Choose the appropriate handout:

Broken Bone Time at Work Time for English
Countries* Time off Movies or Books
Transportation Rainy Days Where are you From?*
Relieve Stress Working with Others Seasons
*Large file; print at highest resolution.
  • Before using a warm-up, be sure to review it with the class to check whether students understand the vocabulary. Have lower-level classes recite the words or phrase aloud. Model the activity and set the rules for it.
  • Three approaches:
    • Form two lines with students facing each other. Each student asks a question of the person opposite. One of the lines shifts to the right one space so that process can be repeated with new partners.
    • Form two concentric circles with students facing each other. Partners ask and answer each other’s questions. One circle rotates so that students can repeat the process with new partners.
    • For a less structured approach, tell students to ask their question(s) of five or more people within a certain amount of time, eg. 5 people in 3 minutes. You might even want to teach the work “mingle.” This approach is more natural and more conversational.
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