Warm-ups as Strategic Tools

What is the first thing you the ESL teacher does when you start your class? How do your students react to that? How do you feel when doing it?

An introduction

I have attended language classes of several types, covering both my native language and the foreign languages I speak. One thing sets some classes apart from the majority of them: warm ups.

It seems to be something basic, but many ESL teachers tend to underestimate the powerful effect of a good and proper warm-up on a class and on its group.


A reasonable warm-up may be of good use to:

  • Engage students;
  • Switch languages;
  • Align expectations;
  • Input language;
  • Contextualize;
  • Provide students with a friendly and open-door environment;
  • be a fun moment to the class.

This article is meant to detail how warm-ups can help achieve these goals. It will also provide some examples for ESL teachers to use.

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