TEFL trainer suggestions for warmers

Teaching how to do warmers is in many ways the most important secret to success in TEFL training. Trainees who master warmers have got a lot of the battle won!

Before talking about and explaining a series of warmers to get you started, remember these 5 basic elements to a warmer (see article 5 and 6):

It must recycle.

It should involve activity and movement.

T should start simple and become more challenging.

It should ideally involve student-student physical contact.

It should lay the ground for, and link in to, the body of the lesson.


These 5 points can be summarised by the acronym ‘RASCL’: Recycle, Active, Start simple, Contact, Link in (Cambridge Dictionary definition of ‘rascal’, even though we are missing an ‘A’, is ‘a person who you dissaprove of, but you still like’). This is appropriate since many of the best warmers require an element of temerity on the part of the teacher, and the student’s reactions are often ‘We are really grateful for this TEFL teaching approach, but it does take me outside my comfort zone!’.

Warmer 1: Chinese whispers.

Put 2 teams in 2 rows. The teacher whispers an utterance to the first 2 students in the row. These then pass on the sentence to the next student in their row, and so on. The last student in the row runs up to the T and repeats the sentence out loud. If correct, they get a point. If incorrect, they get sent back and the first student has the utterance whispered to them again.

Teacher trainer notes: If the utterances are not getting through, have all the students come to hear the whispered utterance except the last student. All the students then congregate around the last student to get them to correctly reproduce the utterance.

TEFL / TESOL considerations: This warmer complies with RASCL and is perfect for speaking practice. If you want to add a written element, have the last student write the utterance on the whiteboard instead of repeating it out loud.



Tags: TEFL course, warmers, teacher training
Posted on May 8th, 2017


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