TEFL Methodology: Warm-up Activities

Why use warm-ups?

  • Ss can “turn on their English brain
  • Ss settle into the class and leave the outside-world outside
  • warm-ups create and encourage group dynamics
  • warm-ups provide a break without a real break in the lesson
  • warm-ups provide non-threatening physical body contact, which improves atmosphere
  • warm-ups may serve as a disguised way of checking attendance
  • warm-ups are a way of painless revision
  • Ss enjoy warm-ups, which boosts motivation
  • warm-ups may help involve language skills that are not going to be part of the lesson
  • warm-ups allow to experiment with a range of language forms
  • warm-ups are a good way to allow latecomers enter without disturbing
  • T may find time to get ready to the class
  • warm-ups may have the function of pair/group forming activities
  • warm-ups may have the function of organizing the seating arrangement











Example warm-up activities:

Any short activity, possibly involving movement, may serve as a warm-up, for example:

  • mad libs
  • spot the difference
  • match words with pictures
  • guessing games
  • “writing” on partner’s back





When is it best to use a warm-up activity?

It’s great to start a warm-up at the beginnin{mospagebreak}{mospagebreak}{mospagebreak}{mospagebreak}g of a lesson.

You can also use it during the lesson (to change the mood, pace or subject of the lesson).



Bartram, M. and Walton, R. 1991. Correction. Mistake Management. Language Teaching Publications: 1991.

Brumfit, C. 1994. Communicative Methodology in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Byrne, D. 1990. Teaching Oral Skills. Harlow: Longman.

Byrne, D. 1990b. Teaching Writing  Skills. Harlow: Longman.

Harmer, J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching.  Harlow:  Longman.

Ur, P. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.





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