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Ways to Begin Your English Class

Updated on March 20, 2013

There are numerous ways that ESL/EFL teachers can choose to start their lessons. Here are ten methods to help you begin your class.

Greeting the pupils.

Greeting the pupils serves to build a rapport. It gets the pupils geared up to interact with you and speak English. It also helps to fill in time, while you are waiting for everybody to become settled.

Playing a game

Playing a game or warmer is a great way to begin a lesson. It causes the pupils to loosened up and brings enjoyment to the entire class. It gets the pupils involved and doing something interesting. It can help with confidence building, and it can also be used to introduce the lesson. Remember games are not supposed to be used merely for the sake of it. Seek to tailor your game to what you are about to teach. It produces a great lead-in and is entertaining for everybody. Check out the games page link below.

Talking to the pupils

Talking to your pupils helps to establish their self-confidence to communicate in English as well as help you learn more about the pupils and what they are interested in. This in-turn assistances you to make more interesting lessons for them. In addition, it helps with rapport and increases topic growth.

Fulfilling a required role

A mandatory role is some kind of admin responsibility that is called for by the school or university. Generally, this will comprise of something like checking attendance. This doesn't necessarily have to come at the beginning of class. You could check attendance throughout the lesson by asking questions to the pupils then checking their name.

Doing a warm-up activity

This helps to produce a lead-in to the lesson. It is normally a short activity based on what the pupils are going to study. It helps pupils understand what they are about to learn in an indirect way. This assists to draw out any knowledge the pupils already hold about the topic. There are a lot of warm-up activities in the resources link below.

Previewing the lesson

This gets the pupils thinking of what they are going to study. It lets the pupils know what to anticipate in the lesson you are about to teach. It can also center the pupil's attention on the subject matter.

Looking back at former lessons

You can find pupils easily forget what they did in the former lesson, and so it is always worth looking back what they have studied before. This helps the pupils recollect the information and language they need. If pupils have not applied the language, you have taught them, it is easily forgotten. So regular revisiting of subject matter is a valuable tool.


Brainstorming is very simple to do. In essence, you draw out everything the pupils know about a subject. Try to join ideas or content collectively to give the pupils a platform to work from.

Using a picture

A picture paints a thousand words. Pictures are important for producing interest in the issue about to be learned. Pictures assist to introduce subject matter. Pupils get to establish their opinions and ideas, and it helps support meaning.

Class discussion

This can be used for higher-level students. You pose questions to the pupils about the issue being analyzed in order to bring forth discussion and consideration. This helps pupils to focus and helps to draw out language. This gets the pupils to entertain what they know about the subject and what they would like to know.


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    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Ths is a great thing to know! I give credit to those who teach many ESL students at one time. It may be a challenge at times and things are sure to be confused together during a lesson, but with hardwork and determination it can all pay off. I have worked with some ESL students before.


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