Make a Strong Start:
Engage students’ attention at the very start of the lesson. Start with a quick fire
  • vocab quiz
  • fact check (based on the previous lesson’s reading or listening text)
  • grammar drill
Get students used to the fact that you expect them to be alert and ready to work fast as soon as the lesson begins. This motivates students and keeps the energy level high.
Keep it Personal:
Give students the opportunity to personalise language. Questions like:

  • What’s your favourite …?
  • Why do you like / dislike …?
  • What’s your experience of …?
help to engage students and make them feel valued. And always take the time to listen and respond to their answers!

Stay Positive:

Pay attention to the language that you use when you correct students’ mistakes. Praise the effort that they have made to suggest an answer and point out any positive elements as well as highlighting the mistakes. Use phrases like:

Good idea, but …

You’ve used some great (vocabulary, ideas, phrases), now you need to focus on (accuracy, spelling, punctuation).

Nearly there!
Keep it Relevant

Use real life material – texts, photos, video clips, songs, social media posts – that students can relate to. Encourage students to start making their own collection of favourite real life examples of English and set aside ten minutes once a week for students to share what they have found. This helps to demonstrate that learning English is relevant, important and interesting.

Offer Choice:

Teens are developing as individuals and often feel frustrated at the need to follow rules. Where possible, let your students choose:

  • how to present their work (a labelled diagram, a graph, an essay, a presentation)
  • whether to work individually or in groups
  • whether to work on something at home or in the classroom
Use Projects:

Projects are a great way to allow your students some independence and encourage them to develop their reading and writing skills. They can also offer the opportunity for students to involve their family or wider community in their learning experience. For example, a project on the environment could include:
  • finding out about local environmental work
  • surveying the family about their recycling habits
  • writing a quiz about environmental issues and sharing it with friends and classmates

Be Sensitive

Adolescence can be a challenging time for many young people. Be sensitive to the fact that some of your students may have personal issues that are affecting their learning experience.

If you are intending to cover a potentially difficult topic like body image or domestic problems, warn students in advance and give them the opportunity to talk to you privately before or after the lesson about any emotional concerns they might have.
Finish Memorably

At the end of the lesson, set students a challenge that they have to complete in order to earn their ‘Exit Pass’. For example ask students to make up a sentence using two words from the lesson, or say one new thing that they learnt.

Don't go, there's more!

Enjoyed these teaching tips?

Kath recorded another series of tips for us too! You can find them on our YouTube channel here  >> YouTube

 In Focus     YouTube

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