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									                                                         Teaching Teenagers

                                                        It’s all about “THEM”

                                                                     Facilitator: D. Deubelbeiss

It isn’t easy teaching teenagers! Our students are “digital” learners and must be taught as such.
This workshop will present many ideas for helping English language teachers teach teens in their
own classrooms.

Part 1:      The Teenage Learner
             What are the qualities of the teenage learner? How should we teach so to maximize
             their learning potential?.

Part 2:      Activities to motivate teens
             examples of activities to use in the classroom will be show. These will
             include power points / slideshows / karaoke players / videos / “chatterbots” / audio
             books /stories / quizzes / games.

Part 3:      Using video in the classroom
             tips on how to properly use video in the classroom will be give.
             Guidelines for using video will be demonstrated and some examples of the best
             videos for use in the classroom will be shown. Brainstorm a lesson activity using a
             popular video.

All the workshop links / instructions can be found through the SETI Teacher’s website. Click – “SEEC” Or see the websites/links in the appendix.
                   What words would you use to describe the teenaged learner?
Keep notes here!
                                     TEACHING TEENAGERS ENGLISH

                                                by Gary Anderson
Teaching teenagers isn't easy because, well, being a teenager isn't easy. Just think back to your adolescence
when you were going through all those changes, changes in your body and in your mind: habits and opinions,
tastes in clothes and music, relationships with parents and teachers. In Self, Booker Prize winning author Yann
Martel writes about growing up as “a new universe where notions such as success and failure, will and sloth,
appearance and reality, freedom and responsibility, the public and the private, the moral and the immoral, the
mental and the physical, replace the simpler guiding notion of fun.”

Of course, it's dangerous and difficult to generalize about adolescence from individual to individual, and from
culture to culture; levels of maturity can differ significantly from culture to culture and in individuals within
the same culture. But if you have accepted the challenge of teaching teenagers, then you are the teacher of a
group of young, impressionable people and will need to try to be flexible and patient with each individual. And
you will need to remember that in the classroom, the group dynamic is often as important as pedagogical
content and activities will carry benefits other than linguistic content.

Below are twelve (because after twelve the teens begin…) things to keep in mind to help you answer the
challenge of teaching teenagers in the English classroom.

Twelve Things to Keep in Mind when Teaching Teenagers
        It seems that all teenagers are interested in pop songs, so exploit that interest by bringing music – and the feelings
         that can be expressed through songs – into the classroom.

        Teenagers (perhaps especially the current need-to-know generation) like to be seen as cool and up-to-date, so
         bring in topics of current interest from IT, sport, entertainment and media, and English-speaking cultures that is
         personally relevant to your learners.

        Teenagers are discovering (often with difficulty) a different relationship with others and group work allows
         individuals to interact with different classmates in a less stressful, collaborative atmosphere.

        Teenagers are starting to define their proper personalities (sometimes it seems they have multiple personalities!)
         and role-play activities can allow them to try to express different feelings behind non-threatening, face-saving

        Part of growing up is taking responsibility for one's acts and, in school, for one's learning, so a measure of learner
         autonomy and individual choice can be helpful for teenagers.

        It's amazing how some teenagers will have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of a particular field, so let
         individual students bring their outside interests and knowledge into the classroom through cross-curricular work.

        Variety – including surprise and humor – is the spice of classroom life (perhaps particularly with teenagers and
         their infamous short attention span), so try out different warmers, starters and fillers to change the pace and
         enliven the organization of your lessons.
        Teenagers are discovering their (often awkward) bodies so use movement by giving students an opportunity to
         move around during class.

        Teaching in secondary school often means teaching multi-level classes, but effective classroom management can
         help even with very large classes.

        Use of the mother tongue can not only steer a whole class activity away from misunderstanding, confrontation
         and potential discipline problems (always a risk with teenagers), but also help avoid pressure on an individual by
         removing the impression that one person is being tested and put on the spot.

        Games can provide not only purposeful contexts in which to use language but they also stimulate interaction,
         provide competition and are fun – as long as rules are clear and clearly followed by all participants.

        Project work offers each individual a chance to use their individual talent to do something personally meaningful
         and motivating with the language they are learning – and the resulting posters and other visuals can be displayed
         around the classroom (just as teenagers decorate their rooms at home).


What do you have to keep in mind when teaching teenagers?

Look at Gary Anderson’s suggestions and rank them. Top 6 and Bottom 6 (for your teenagers).

Suggest two more.


1.    ________________________________                         1. ________________________________

2.    ________________________________                         2. ________________________________

3.    ________________________________                         3. ________________________________

4.    ________________________________                         4. ________________________________

5.    ________________________________                         5. ________________________________

6.    ________________________________                         6. ________________________________

**________________________________                                               **

 from: English in Mind

SKILL                                                  Notes












Video in the Classroom

Using short videos in the classroom really helps students learn through authentic language and
contextualized instruction. However, before showing videos in class, you should be careful.

Let’s review some guidelines for using video in the classroom.
                                 Tips for Using Video in the Classroom

1.   Keep it short!    Attention span drops off after 3-5 min. So if you have a longer video
      Break it up into short chunks.

2.   Turn off the sound! Video, like pictures, is a great prompt for language production
       (Comprehensible Output).

3.   Make it available!    Video should be reviewable by the students. Post it up on your
      on or the school’s website. Don’t have one? Make a wiki!

4.   Make your own! Students will produce more language and be much more excited
      about learning English if you produce your own class videos.

5.   Always preview the video beforehand!!!! In it’s entirety. You never know what it
       surprise might be there.

A)    MUSIC – Text to Speech

Karaoke in the classroom is great! It is simple to use and students will enjoy the songs and with
text to support learning, they will learn pronunciation and phonemic awareness. Let’s see a
couple of examples of how you can use it in class with a microphone!

ABC – Michael Jackson: Choral group singing.

              Walking on Sunshine – Last one standing.      A great listening game!
News articles – Namdaemun burns. Cloze gap exercise.

Mixtube lyric list    /   Karaoke in the classroom         /   Karaoke videos



Students love games and they are an excellent way to review. Even better if students make the
games they play in class (put that on their shoulders!). Games can be Arcade online games /
powerpoints or quiz generators.

20 questions /       Akinator       /   Guess the Google       /   Geography    /   Free Rice

BAAM      /    TOP 5          /   The Price is Right   /   Not like the Other /

Fling the Teacher         /         Mystudiyo     /        ESLVideo /           Jeopardy

C) Pictures, Visuals and Powerpoints

Pictures are so powerful in contextualizing learning and helping students learn language. There
are many ways to use picture slideshows or grammar / vocabulary powerpoints in the classroom.
Let’s look at a few. /    Wordle      /   Tarheel Reader     /    English Everywhere   / Visual Slideshows

D) Community and Web 2.0

Students these days learn through peer interaction and it is the teacher’s job to nurture and build
the right learning environment or community so this can happen. Web 2.0 applications allow
teachers to build a community online for their classroom or school. Students can blog, chat, share
videos, do assignments, get grades and teacher feedback – all in one place, one Learning
Management System (LMS). Teachers can also connect their students online with other classes
around the world. Here are some great ways:           /    Wikispaces         /            Project Peace /       Voicethread /

E) Self-study

The role of the teacher is changing dramatically. Technology enables students to have access to
lots of language, real English. It is the teacher’s job not so much to teach but to provide students
with the right environment and access to this content. Here are a few places your students can
study in powerful ways and take control of their own learning! Get using the language lab at
your school or at least educate your students about all the wonderful ways they can learn online!

Talk with Alice /     English Tutor      /   Mingoville     /     Click ‘N Learn /       Voxopop
1. WATCH THE SONG/VIDEO – “Mr. Morton”

 - as you watch, write 7 things that Mr. Morton did.

2. How could you take this “engaging” start and make a lesson out
of it? (for any level of teenaged learner).
                   Lessons and Classroom Activities

Look at the subjects below. Chose one and give an example for a classroom. Mark an X
over the box. The next in the group chooses another. Let’s share the BEST suggestions!

                                     CORRECTING                  A MULTI MEDIA
        A STORY                       STUDENTS                      ACTIVITY

        POSTIVE                       ROLE PLAY
    REINFORCEMENT                     DIALOGUE                   SONG / SINGING

                                                                   DO AND SAY
      A CLASS RULE                ARTS AND CRAFTS               (TOTAL PHYSICAL

       FLASHCARD                   YOUR FAVORITE                     WRITING
        ACTIVITY                    LESSON IDEA                      EXERCISE

        WARM UP                      EXIT / ENTRY                   AMAZING
        ACTIVITY                       ROUTINE                   INTERNET SITE

      A LANGUAGE                  PRONOUNCIATION                  VOCABULARY
         GAME                                                      PRACTICE
         Do you think you can be a 21st century teacher?

               Recommended Websites for Teaching English

1) EFL Classroom 2.0
- Lots of resources, games, discussion and tips to use technology in the classroom
Make your own school site at !

2) - BreakingNewsEnglish
- for higher level students or teaching teachers. Articles with exercises and

3) - MES English
- flashcards, worksheets for young learners

4) - Bogglesworld
- lesson plans, activities, for young learners and M.S. / H.S.

5) - SETI Teachers
- materials for helping to teach the Korean teachers in your school.

6),en/ - Mingoville
- online learning suite for young learners. Free, great for practice

7)       Click N Learn
- online learning suite for older students. Free. Great practice.

8) - A list of MANY sites, all categorized
and saved by fellow English teachers. A treasure chest!
9) -- Voicethread
       Create an account, put up a picture and send your students there to practice
speaking and to record messages. Really great for oral speaking practice.

10) - Voxopop
    Much like Voicethread but no picture. Only a series of recordings. Ask a
question and your students can go there to reply and speak in English. Make your
own class group.

11) - PB Works
     Create a free wiki for your class and students to edit and share ideas

12) – Writeboard
       A class writeboard allows all students to work on a class document, add and
edit and see the changes. Teacher friendly!

13) – Pageflakes
         Quickly make a page for your class that updates all the rss feeds you want
of all the content around the world wide web that your students need.

14) - Quizlet
         Quizlet allows you to make wordlists which your students can use for
practice and also quiz themselves…

15) – Tar Heel Reader
           Make books with pictures. The site has a voice which will read them!
Also download them as powerpoint and use in class directly!

16) – ESL Video
     Students or teachers can make quizzes using Youtube videos!

17) – Real English
     Watch videos with subtitles, for all levels. Unique and practical.

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