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ESL forum > Ask for help > Teen motivation    

Teen motivation


Teen motivation
Hello everybody!!!
The headteacher of the school where I work  has asked me to participate of the next school training talking about how to motivate teenagers in our English classes. I īd like to receive some suggestions theory and mainly practice on this subject.
Thanks in addvance,

16 Dec 2010      


Hi Bia,
Yeah, I struggle with that.  Especially that 12-15 age group.  Recently I experimented with a TPR model that was designed for teaching TPR to adults.  But, I used it with students aged 10-15 and went through the model faster than they recommended for adults.  I found the model here in this article:
According to the article, itīs intended for adults who are true beginners, but I found it really useful with kids in Japan from ages 10-15.  So, Iīve adapted it for my classrooms.
Itīs a low intensity way to get people responding to English in a quick way.
So here is my process below.  I didnīt stick very closely to the model, but I used it as a starting point.  Hereīs what I did...
My process:
1. For the first lesson I tried this method, I introduced, "Point to the--" and I chose three familiar objects in class that they already knew the vocabulary for (clock, fan, tv). 
  - From this point I followed the basic model described in the article.  It worked really well,
and it had the students intrigued
   - The key points: students were not allowed to speak and are expected only to start listening to and recognizing natural English; and it īs just pointing. 
         -  Anyone can do it, and it doesn īt require doing anything uncomfortable.
         - When you mix up the actions, it becomes like a game.
         - Everybody must succeed (or be given the full opportunity to succeed), so it really binds the class together
2. The second lesson I introduced: "Clap once", "Clap twice", "Clap three times".  They enjoyed making some noise, and it was a good gradual step up from simply pointing at something.
3. The third lesson I introduced "Look at the clock", "Look at the roof", "Look back". 
   - They started moving more of their body, and they thought it was funny to look back.
4. I introduced something more physical.  "Touch the floor", "Touch the desk", "Touch the sky". 
   - On the last point I tried to do something funny like twinkle my fingers and make a funny noise.  It was hit or miss with classes, but it was usually good.
5.  By this point students started to get bored with new commands. 
   - The article suggested getting adults to speak only after something like 10 hours of instructions. 
   - But it seemed like a good time to get them to repeat, and as according to the article, focusing on mimicking natural English as best as possible.
   - It worked for the time-being on getting them more involved, because now they really wanted to speak natural English
6.  From this point forward the students were more comfortable to get involved in activities that required movement.  I mixed the TPR with:
   -  charades games
   -  gesture-based activities
   -  using commands (especially in activities with each other, like telling one another to "Dance!" or "Walk around the classroom"
   -  teaching adverbs (e.g. Stand up quickly, slowly, crazily, strangely, excitedly, happily, etc.)
   -  speed race activities that focus on responding naturally to commands without translation
To be honest, I just wanted to share this with someone.  I have no idea if it is applicable to other classrooms, but it solved a lot of the problems I was having with teens. Namely things like fear of trying or shyness.  It really helped.
Anywho, that īs all!

17 Dec 2010     

Saudi Arabia

You can motivate teenagers by teaching them interesting topics relating to their interests.

17 Dec 2010