ESL Warm Up Questions- Student Generated!

ESL warm-up

ESL Warm-Ups Questions

One of the things I find with in English classes is that most of the burden is on the teacher. The teacher is the person who keeps the conversation going. She is the one who asks questions. She’s also the one who decides what to study and how. Whenever possible, I like to take this burden off myself and try to go as student centred as is feasibly possible.

An interesting question is an excellent ESL warm-up to begin your classes with. They help ease the students back into using English in a fun, engaging way. This warm-up activity puts the emphasize where it should be-back on your students and gets them to talk to each other, instead of you.

Check out this ESL Warm Up questions activity.

Only 1 Question ESL Warm Up Questions

Skills: Listening/speaking

Materials Required: Pen, paper

Students have to think of one single question about a certain topic. For example, if you’re studying about holidays, they could use any of the following:

“What’s your least favourite holiday?”

“What did you do last _____?”

“What do you think about Valentine’s Day?”

There are many possibilities but I usually make a couple rules that it must be interesting and also that it can’t be a yes/no question. Once students have done this, they ask at least 10 people their question and quickly record their answers with 1 or 2 words. After the time is up, they tabulate the answers and can quickly report to a small group what they found out about the topic. You can ask each small group to share the most interesting thing they learned with the entire class.

Variation: If you have a big class, you can put students into pairs. They choose one single question together as a pair. Then, when they talk to other people, one person can be the “talker” and the other one can jot down notes. It makes things go more smoothly this way.

Quick Tip: It’s helpful if you circulate around the room as students are making their questions. This way, you can prevent too many people from using the same one.

Procedure for Making these ESL Warm Up Questions:

Give students a topic and have each student make one interesting question about it. Give them examples of boring questions.

Each student talks to 10+ students, using the same question. They quickly write down answers with 1-2 words.

Students tabulate the results and report the results to a small group of 4-6 people (or the entire class if fewer than 10 students).

ESL warm up questions-it really is possible for students to make their own!

Like this ESL Warm-Up Activity?

If you liked this activity where the students are making ESL warm up questions, then you’re going to love this book: 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Teenagers and Adults. There are enough fun, engaging and interesting ESL warm ups to see you through an entire semester.

Help ease your students back into using English by starting with a fun ESL warm-up. You’ll find that the rest of the lesson will go much more smoothly.

The book is available on Amazon in both print and electronic formats. The cheaper e-version can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app. Check out the book for yourself on Amazon:

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