9 Warmers for the TEFL Classroom
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Warmers for the TEFL Classroom – No matter how excited you are to be in the English as a Foreign Language classroom, it is your students who need to be enthusiastic in order for your lessons to be successful. So it is vital that you make sure your students are interested and engaged in your lessons. This should be done from the moment your students walk in the classroom, which means a good warmer is essential for your lessons.
Why are warmers so important?
Your EFL lesson might be straight after lunch, at the end of the day, or even in the evening after a full day of work, so your learners may be tired or distracted. They may be thinking about work or the lesson they have just come from or how they would rather be having a nap, so it’s up to you to help them leave their lives at the door, switch on their English brain and focus on their lesson.
A warmer has the ability to do all these things, provided it is appropriate and relevant. Warmers can be used in a number of ways:
- to acclimatize learners to English
- to refresh and energise students
- to relax students and make them feel comfortable
- to lead in to the topic of the lesson
- to revise previous lessons
Not surprisingly, we need to use a warmer at the beginning of every lesson. It doesn’t have to be more than a few minutes, and you can always do more than one, but it is necessary to have some kind of activity which will accomplish one of the above aims.
Read more: Revision Activities for the EFL Classroom
Remember that a warmer should be engaging and communicative, meaning that it should be an activity which involves the learners speaking to each other, not to the teacher. It should be interesting and fun, and can even involve movement or a game. Most warmers are flexible in that they can be used for any age and level, though you might need to adapt them to your particular learning situation.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are ten of our favourite warmers you can use in the EFL classroom.
Two truths and a lie
The students must write down three statements about themselves. Two statements must be true and one must be false. Do a demonstration so that the students understand that the false statement shouldn’t be too obviously false. The students then mingle and tell each other their statements and they must try to guess which is the false statement.
Find someone who
This is a very popular activity which works as a practice activity as well as a warmer. You will need to prepare a few statements which begin with Find someone who. For example, Find someone who can speak more than two languages; Find someone who has a sibling; Find someone who likes ice cream. Organise the class so that the students have different statements. They need to mingle and ask the appropriate questions to find out the people who satisfy the statement. This is a great activity because you can tailor it to any particular language structure you want to revise or topic you want to talk about.
Arrange the students in groups so that one person is sitting with their back to the whiteboard but facing their group members. Write a word on the board. The students facing the board must describe the word and the student in the hot seat must guess what the word is. The first group to guess the word correctly wins a point. The groups then change seats so that a new student is in the hot seat. For more advanced classes you can write phrases or even whole sentences.
Make a line
This warmer involves the learners lining up according to different criteria. For example, the teacher says Line up from youngest to oldest, or Line up from who woke up the earliest this morning to who woke up the latest. As you can see, you can use virtually any reason for them to line up, as long as whatever you choose means that they have to communicate with each other in order to complete the task. You can use more than one instruction so the warmer can extend for as long as you need it to.
The beanbag game
Make sure you have a few beanbags (or balls) available. Put your students into groups of five or six; each group must stand in a circle. Choose a topic, such as food, or cars, or a letter, or a word class, such as adjective. One student throws a bean bag to another student. As they throw they must say the name of the person they are throwing the beanbag too and a word relating to that category. For example, Steve, pizza. Steve then catches the bean bag and throws it to another student and says their name and another word related to the topic. For example, Lucy, apple. To make it harder introduce another bean bag into each group so they are juggling two at the same time. This will make them have to think more quickly.
Choose a few words which are familiar to your students, usually which relate to a topic which has recently been discussed in class. Write them on the board but scramble the letters. For example, happiness could be ssipnphae. Put the students into pairs or teams. They must unscramble all the words on the board as quickly as possible.
Write the names of celebrities on pieces of paper. Give a paper to each student but they are not allowed to look at it. They must hold the paper to the forehead so the other students can see the name written on it. They need to ask their classmates questions to find out who they are, but they can only ask yes/no questions. For example, Am I a woman? Am I a singer? Do I live in England? They continue asking questions until they can identify themselves.
Talk to me
This is a very easy, no-prep warmer. All you have to do is write a few questions on the board relating to whatever topic you are about to discuss in the lesson. For example, if you are talking about travelling, your questions could be When did you last go on holiday? Where did you go? What is your favourite holiday destination? Do you prefer to travel by yourself or with family or with friends? The students must ask each other the questions and discuss their answers.
For this warmer you need to be able to arrange your students so they are sitting or standing in a circle. One student stands in the middle of the circle and calls out an identifying characteristic and if a student has that characteristic they need to change seats with someone else who does too. For example, Change places if you are wearing red or Change places if you have brown hair. However, the student in the middle must try and steal a seat from someone in the circle. The student who then doesn’t have a seat must be in the middle. Even though a warmer only needs to be a few minutes long, they are a very important part of your lesson. Don’t forget to consider your warmer when you are planning your lessons, as a warmer can make or break your lesson!
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- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- 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.