TIP #2: THINK OF LEAD-INS LIKE CLICKBAIT
A good lead-in can create momentum for the rest of the lesson. To draw students in, I try to get trainees to think “journalistically” – what is something that will immediately arouse students’ curiosity or pique their interest?
I often start lessons with a series of questions for students to think about and discuss – it also helps the lesson to start in a conversational, informal way if there are late arrivals. The questions can be topical or even somewhat controversial, to help offset the rather anodyne nature of course books.
If the theme of the lesson is travel, for example, you could ask “When was the last time you were able to travel?” “Do you agree with the current travel restrictions?” “Where’s the first place you plan to go when restrictions are lifted?” There’s also an opportunity here to revise structures students have met before, and introduce some key lexis for the lesson.
Whether you use questions, visuals or other EdTech resources, your aim is to get the students talking – and to listen to them! It’s a low-pressure way to begin a lesson, and if it’s not an observed/timed CELTA-style lesson, these engaging lead-ins can last for an hour and turn into fluency tasks in their own right, taking the lesson in new directions.