Opening Routines for Language Classes

Last week I asked language teachers on Twitter if they recommend any routines for starting class on the right foot.

Language teachers: what's your favorite routine to start class? Why does it work so well?

I got dozens of great replies from teachers of many different languages at many different levels. If you want to read them all, which I do highly recommend, you can find the original tweet and all the replies here.

(I should also mention however, that I set my Twitter account up to delete all of my tweets after a year. So, I am also including screenshots of most of these routines, see below, in case you want to track any of them down more than a year from now.)

In addition to all of these amazing replies (thanks, Twitter!), there are a few websites and other resources that I recommend for anyone interested in routines to get class started.

Megan and Kara have several blog posts about different ideas for classroom routines, many of which would be great openers. You can find their blog posts here.

Rebecca Alder shares easily implemented, low-investment routines that anyone can start using right away. Check out the blog post here.

Carolina is an elementary teacher and has compiled a list of ideas appropriate for that age level and easy enough to implement. Have a look at her post at this link!

Elena Shivdko contributed this concise blog post to the TESOL blog. Useful and a quick read!

When I have a question about language teaching, one of my go-to resources is the #langchat summaries on the Calico website. This chat was about classroom management, and includes so much useful information about routines. Worth reading more than once!

Maris Hawkins recommended starting with input based on a blog post by Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell. This post is about a lot more than routines, but I think reading it may have an impact on your routines and how you think of them!

While this book is not written FOR language teachers, it full of great principles that language teachers can use when designing their own routine starters. I highly recommend it! James Lang has also written a series of columns in the Chronicle of Higher Education called Small Changes in Teaching that you might be interested in.


I’m excited to share this list of resources with my methods students. Are there any others you think I should add?


Language teachers: what's your favorite routine to start class? Why does it work so well?




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