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Tips For Teaching TEFL to Adolescents & Teens


Ideas for teaching TEFL to teens.

No matter where in the world a teacher is instructing adolescents and teenagers, this age group has many common threads connecting them across the globe. They get bored easily, do no appreciate condescension, and desire dynamic content that is relevant to their life at that moment in time as well as help them prepare for a hopeful future.

  • Build a comfortable rapport. By communicating a personal interest in your students that is genuine, a positive connection can be made. If your students believe in you it is less likely they will be difficult to manage.
  • Be responsive to their interests. Sample the classroom and see what is important to them. Use this information to help select lesson plans that will be stimulating and capture their interest.
  • Create options. Adolescents and teenagers often bristle at the lack of control they have in their lives. Offer options that students can choose from so they feel an element of control when it comes to assignments, tasks or projects.
  • Mix things up with variety. Adolescents and teenagers get bored very easily. Surprise students from time to time. For example, on a beautiful idea take the classroom outside.  Visit a library to let students select a book and recite passages in class.
  • Be challenging. Don’t be afraid to employ a bit of competition to motivate students to raise the bar and take on a more difficult task.
  • Take advantage of pop culture and its appeal to adolescents and teenagers.
  • Use current events that are headline news to spur interest. Adolescents and teenagers do not stay young forever. Much of what happens in business and politics has far reaching affects and is relevant to young people. Often they have more of an interest than adults realize.
  • Allow freedom of expression. The youthful years are full of pent up emotions desiring sweet release. Allow students to express themselves in practical, useful ways through song, art, poetry, etc.
  • Dive in to storytelling. Although they are not children anymore, no one truly outgrows the love of a good story. Begin a story and allow students to pick up where it is left off to practice language skills.
  • Play games. Everyone loves to play games. Board games that are perfectly appropriate for a youthful ESL classroom: Apples to Apples, Stop the Bus, Scrabble, and What If.