Warm-Up Activities In Teaching Foreign Languages At University: Expectations And Reality
The article studies the role of warm-ups during foreign language classes at the tertiary level and the factors that influence teachers’ decisions regarding this lesson stage. While it is generally acknowledged that warm-ups constitute an essential part of any lesson and cater for teachers’ and students’ needs, university context often makes teachers refrain from this stage. The aim of the paper is to outline the reasons for skipping the initial state of the lesson and assess the grounds for these reasons, as well as to give some practical recommendations. The research is based on the 2019 survey of teachers of the Higher School of Economics – St.Petersburg and identifies some negative scenarios that induce teachers to skip warm-ups. They are connected with reluctance to spend classroom time on warm-ups, fear of students’ negative reaction to a non-academic task, necessity to invest time in designing activities, and insufficiency of recommendations concerning warm-ups. However, the students’ answers reveal their positive attitude to warm-ups and show that teachers’ concerns are futile. The responses of those teachers who regularly conduct warm-ups demonstrate that the setbacks can be easily overcome if teachers are offered initial training and support. The benefits of warm-ups definitely outweigh the predicted (anticipated, involved, associated) drawbacks and this stage should not be neglected in adult classroom.