10 Easy Peasy Warmers for the EFL Classroom
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There is a saying, Start as you mean to go on. It is usually used when we start a new job or exercise regime, to make sure you start with the attitude and motivation that you want to carry through the whole project. But it can just as easily refer to the beginning of an English as a Foreign Language lesson.
We know the importance of having good rapport with our students in order to create an environment in the classroom conducive to learning. We understand we should get to know our students on a personal level – as individuals who have lives outside the English classroom – so that we can develop this rapport. This knowledge helps us plan appropriate activities for our lessons.
An activity which is very important in our lessons is the lead-in. Many teachers plan warmers as well as lead-ins – one to wake up the students and introduce them to English and the other to introduce the topic – and this can work fine, but the warmer and the lead-in can be one and the same thing.
Ideally, at the beginning of the lesson, we want to make sure our learners are settled in the classroom and their English brains turned on. However, we also want to introduce them to the topic of the lesson, not only in terms of the subject matter but language related to it as well.
Here are ten easy peasy warmers for the EFL classroom that will do just that.
Ask a Question
Questions are a great way to start a class. The only way you need to prep for them is to think of appropriate questions. Plus, they are versatile in that you can write them on the board, project them, or dictate them to the students. All you need to do is come up with a few open-ended discussion questions related to the topic. The students can then discuss them in pairs or groups and after a few minutes, you can get feedback as a class.
Ask a Question II
A spin on the usual teacher-questions is to give the students time to come up with their own questions. For example, you tell the class the topic of the lesson is holidays and ask them to think of five questions they would like to ask their partners about their holidays. Be sure to give them a few example questions to help them come up with ideas, and also to monitor to make sure all the questions are grammatically correct before they ask them.
Back to the Board
It’s always a nice change to start a class with a game (rather than ending with one) and this one works well to introduce topic-related language. Put the students into groups and arrange them so that one student is sitting with their back to the board. The teacher writes a word on the board and the other students in each group must describe or explain the word to the student with their back to the board. The point of the game is to guess the word the fastest. Once someone has correctly guessed the word, the students change seats to give another student a turn. Just remember not to give them words that are too difficult – this is just a warmer!
Read more: 5 Games for Adult Learners of English
Brainstorms are quick and easy. Write a word on the board, either the subject of the lesson or a word related to it. Ask the students if they know any words, terms or sayings related to it. Encourage them to call out the answers. There are no right or wrong answers so accept any and all answers.
Another option is, instead of calling out the answers, in pairs or groups the students write down as many words, terms, or phrases in a minute. When the minute is up, get feedback from the groups to find out what they wrote down. If more than one group has the same word, they must cross it off their list. In the end, groups count how many unique words they were able to think of.
Similar to brainstorms, mind maps require students to think of words or phrases related to the topic and draw a mind map to record them. A mind map is a colourful connection of words that shows the relationships between them. It can include words but also pictures – students can use anything which will help them remember the language. This is a nice activity for pairs to brainstorm words together but create their own individual mind maps.
Write down five or so words on the board. Ask the students to rank them in a specific way. For example, if the topic is food, write down five foods on the board and ask them to rank them from their favourite to their least favourite. They can do this individually and then compare their answers in groups and as a class.
Images are always a great conversation starter. Think of a few famous people who relate to the topic at hand and source images of them. Either print them out to stick on the board or project them. Ask the students to discuss in pairs or groups who they think the people are and how they might be connected. In other words, if the topic is global warming or the environment you could choose Leonardo di Caprio and Greta Thurnberg. This works so well because many times we know people’s names but we couldn’t recognize them if we saw them.
Similarly, you can show a quick video clip. Don’t introduce the clip in any way (because this is just the lead-in, not a major part of the lesson), and ask the students afterward to discuss what they think the topic of the lesson is.
Read more: Using Video in Your TEFL Class
Come up with a few general knowledge questions related to the topic. Put the students into groups and use the questions for a quiz. If you find that the students are struggling with the questions, give them a few multiple-choice questions to help them. Even if the students don’t get the questions right, doing the quiz will make them discuss the topic naturally.
Draw Me a Picture
Write the topic of the lesson on the board. The students must draw a picture of whatever comes to mind when they think of the topic. If you want, you can play music while they are doing this. After a few minutes, the students can share their pictures with their partners or groups and explain how they relate to the topic.
Remember: even though the warmer is the first thing you’ll do in the lesson, it should be the last thing you plan. So instead of fretting over which warmer you’ll use, you can use one of these ten easy peasy warmers for the classroom which will have your students awake, engaged, and ready for your lesson!
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- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.