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Teaching Teenagers


Teenagers can be especially difficult to motivate. They are moody and too cool for everything. That being said, they can be really fun and a treasure trove of information about your exotic new home. Like children, teenagers can also be motivated to behave and participate through a reward system, just make the actual reward or prize more age

Teenagers like singing songs just as much as children. Choose an English pop song, make sure the content and language is appropriate for class. We can easily make a lesson out of a pop song.

• Pop song gap fill. Give students a worksheet with words missing from the lyrics. Have students listen to the song and write the missing words. Songs can be chosen for vocabulary or for a grammar point. After doing the gap fill, students can practice singing the song.

• Clips of songs can be played for a listening activity. Students can listen to the clips and write what they hear. They can do this individually or in groups. Check the answers and choose one of the songs to learn and sing. Pay attention to pronunciation.

A little competition

Teenagers are highly competitive. They like games, just make sure that the game isn’t too childish. Teenagers like trivia and quiz games, which are good tools for reviewing past material. They like card games or games that involve some kind of strategy.

Teenagers like puzzles, as well. They enjoy figuring things out and being challenged. They like word scrambles, crossword puzzles, word finds, hidden messages, etc. The Spot the difference activity can be a challenging activity to use with teenagers.

A little ego

Teenagers like to talk about and share what they are interested in. They like what is cool and popular at that moment. If they are not interested in a topic or are bored, our lesson can flop. But, not to worry! We can tailor lessons for them to talk about their interests.

Design a Festival

Age: middle school and high school
Level: pre-intermediate to intermediate
Time: 50 minutes
Material: poster paper, markers, crayons, vocabulary flash cards


• To help students use their imaginations and design a fictitious festival
• To use functional language for inviting
• To develop students’ presentation skills


Warm-up: 5 minutes
In small groups discuss your favorite holiday. When is the holiday? What kinds of foods and activities go with the holiday? Are there any festivals or parties for this holiday?

Pre-teach vocabulary: 5 minutes
Using flash cards or powerpoint, teach the following words and expressions - title, date, time, place, poster or flier, theme, symbol, activities, attractions

Task: 40 minutes for design and presentation
(larger classes will need more time)
Goal: Students design a festival poster for a holiday or a special event, like a concert, and present it to the class
1. Students are given poster paper and markers. Tell them they have a set amount of time to make their posters. Remind them of the remaining time sporadically during the task.
2. Tell them that they need to include a title, date, time, place, and different activities on their posters.
3. Each poster should have a theme and use appropriate symbols.
4. Students then present their posters with the accompanying information to the class.

This can be done solely as a presentation lesson or it can be done as a competition.

Have fun and remember to talk about things they are interested in!