Warm-up Activities for Advanced Level Students

Warm-up Activities for Advanced Level Students

What’s warm-up in general? As Wiki states it’s a gradual increase in intensity in physical activity. As a person who has been doing sport all my life, I do support the idea that a warm-up stage is crucial both in sport and a language. We always compare languages and sport, hence we shouldn’t skip this important stage.

Warm-up ideas were discussed here. So, today I am going to share some points on how to create warm-up activities for Advanced students.

To remember, advanced students are demanding, quick at on-spot decisions, and need high engaging activities.


Starting your lesson, you begin a conversation or small talk depending on your student’s mood, activity, tune, and overall atmosphere. I usually start with the weather talk exchange, plunging slowly into morning/day/evening activity, results/plans or sharing recent news or news from my life pinpointing students’ ones.


While preparing my warm-up activities, I think of goals I set.

I tailor the activity or create a set of activities for all the students but use them differently taking into account students’ needs:

  1. Grammar suffers?

Create a mind-map and ask your students to share info with you, giving their life examples based on the patterns:

source: Visual Report Template Theme

You can also give them the constructions from the previous lesson to refresh prior knowledge:


source: Vimbox Notes

2. Wants to be up-to-date?

Use 1-minute news or One-Minute Read to let the conversation flow and help your students tune to the lesson (Intermediate-Advanced)

3. Lacks creativity?

source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/sliced-of-citrus-lemons-997725/

 Vocab recycling is my biggest concern, moreover, if we talk about advanced learners as it’s very challenging for them to move from one stage to another quickly, hence at the beginning of the lesson, I can use our slide What I can do to recycle words and boost creativity:

source: IELTS course, L#18 Aboriginal art, Advanced, Vimbox

If you don’t work for Skyeng and use other textbooks, they do also contain infoboxes with Wordlist that you can use. How? It depends what you plan to practice: ask your student

1) to create all types of questions with these words;
2) to make a funny/sad/silly short story based on the target vocabulary; 3) to give definitions to each word (usual/ sarcastic/ humorous);

It will serve as a nice warm-up, revision, and tuning-to-a-new-lesson activity.

  1. A bit of Poetry? (for poetic souls and not only, for those who aim at enriching their vocabulary in no time)

To enrich my students with beautiful and advanced vocabulary, I sometimes select some literary pieces:

  • limericks to have fun or PUN on words:)
  • tongue twisters to polish pronunciation
  • various poems to revise words on the topic and have a short philosophical discussion
  • quotes to warm up and lead in the topic
  1. Idioms and collocations?
source: https://www.ieltsbuddy.com/common-idioms.html

Give your advanced learner 5-6 idioms to ponder on or create a list and upload it for them to discuss. Idioms will enable their contextual guess.

  1. Categories?

Categories games are engaging. For example, if you study the Business English topic connected with Advertising, you can boost things:

source: Vimbox Notes

7. Task-oriented?

You can ask your IELTS/TOEFL/USE/MUSE-oriented student to comment on the exam structure just to recycle the skeleton of the exam:

source: https://ieltscanadatest.com/take-ielts/choice-of-two-tests/

Anyway, it doesn’t matter what you choose – I am sure it’ll be beneficial to your students.

What about your warm-up activities? Please share in the comments below.

Be inspired 🙂

Анастасия Губаренко

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