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ESL forum > Ask for help > any ideas for teens?    

any ideas for teens?


any ideas for teens?

Hi everybody!

I īve got a problem and I don īt know what to do. I teach teenagers (16-19 y.o.) and one of the groups is particularly difficult. They just don īt care, they aren īt interested at all! I tried to work with short films, songs, youtube videos, roleplay (which was a disaster), etc. They don īt pay attention to me and the other teachers (no matter the subject) complain about the same thing, too. Can you help me and give me some advice how to handle this situation? Maybe some games? I tried some (classics: taboo, back to back, etc) but maybe you can suggest something new? I just don īt know what to do anymore... Thanks!

28 Apr 2010      


Hi! I have had the same problem for years in my school: my students didn īt care about neither english nor the other subjects, they were also very violent to each other, it was very difficoult to teach them... I must say impossible! I tried games but they went even wilder!
So I decided that before teaching them english I had to teach them good manners! I tried to keep them calm trying to listen to their problems, and I found out that most of them  came from very difficoult families, so the foult for their behaviour was interely theirs! So I tried to let them trust me and I proposed only very easy english wss like colours by number and especially wordsearches and crosswords: they were very fond of them. When they learned to keep seated talking to each other in a civil manner I proposed more challenging exercises. I hope that my experience can help you, in any case don īt get disheartened!
Being a good teacher isn īt easy...

28 Apr 2010     


Hi! Last year I had a similar group. Their behaviour was all right but they were completely unmotivated. It was very dificult to liven the class up. Maybe treating them like children would help. Try silly games. Give them points for whatever they do. The person who gets the least may be ask to clean the classroom or get extra homework. If you perfer rewards, you can give a chocolate bar to the best student. My friend who had the same problem found out that everything connected to "Twilight" works well.
I hope the group will be nicer to you.
Take care :)

28 Apr 2010     


Hi! :)
It must be hard. I feel really sorry for you.
I believe it īs important, even necessary, to try and find the reason for their behaviour.
You could, for example, ask the group the questions Why do you hate English? Why don īt you want to learn it? Ask them to think it over, write down their answers (in Polish) and hand them in to you. Once you īve read them, you can talk to them, show understanding, discuss the problem and try to make some sort of a deal, reach a compromise.
I only hope they īre mature enough to do that...
Good luck!!! Don īt give up!

28 Apr 2010     

maria da rosa

It īs a question of cradle education ( ?) and much liberty.I really had a class like yours last year.They were almost advanced students.Well at the end of the semester they were better and It was a very good thing for me.
I just started to follow the school īs rules as time of arriving, and when was necessary I spoke to them the way that I felt and asked them to think why they were there because I was not there to lose my time as them too.
To sum up, be sincere.Expose your arguments when necessary and call their attention!Show them limits,they really need!
For other hand, be friendlly as much as you can when they respect your time to speak,and praise when they deserve!
This is my experience,I hope be helpful!

29 Apr 2010     


Thank you all for advice. My problem is also, that I teach in France and I am Polish myself. I speak French, not as well as they do but I am able to talk to them. Games don īt work but I īll try to make them write why they hate English and try to figure out something on the basis of their answers.Again, Thanks a lot guys!I really appreciate it!

29 Apr 2010     


I hate to admit it but I bribe my students. If someone is working well I give them a sweet. If someone answers particularly well they get a sweet. It īs a small thing to do but I find they respond to it.
Silence is a good tool. Say nothing and just wait for the noise to die down. It īs hard at first but they will respond. No one likes silence!
I have signs which say "Shush ī and "be quiet". I just hold them up and wait for silence. I refuse to continue with a noisy class and I will not talk to people who are not listening. Again it works.
Keep the games as a reward at the end of the lesson... īvinegar ī first, īhoney ī next!
My intial classes when I first started teaching numbered 40 plus children. I had to develop some techniques.

29 Apr 2010