I have an FCE class of teenagers who come to me straight after eating their lunch and as you can imagine they’re not too energised. I swear one of them was fighting to keep his eyes open last lesson. So I was on the hunt for some energising warmers to get this group going and what should pop up on my facebook newsfeed but a simple little idea in this British Council video.
If you don’t have time to watch it, then I’ll summarise it here for you: tell the students the topic of the lesson and get them to time their partner talking on the topic for one minute.
Bonuses of this warmer:
- It gets them focused on the topic
- It activates their schemata
- The students’ attention is on themselves and not the teacher, so they are obliged to contribute and participate
- They can express their opinion of the topic right away
- It gives the students some autonomy
- The teacher can set up the next activity while they’re doing it and/or listen for language points that need work
I tried it on the aforementioned class yesterday, having modelled it myself first. We were doing a writing class so I had them talk about writing letters. They did it more enthusiastically than I expected and it had a beneficial effect on the whole lesson. I think it helped having them time each other rather than relying on me to say start and stop, and I hope that giving them responsibility for that little activity can help them shake off the feeling that they can take their post-prandial doze during class.
I also used this warmer with my adult FCE class. They don’t come to me straight after eating, but they can be a little timid with regards to speaking in class, and this warmer did the trick with them too. Thank you, Dale Whitlock!