Teaching skills for working with teens

Teaching skills for working with teens - Image by Mansour BethoneyTeaching English to teenagers can be frustrating and fulfilling in equal measure. They can be full of energy and ideas that add a real buzz to the class, but they can also be sullen, self-conscious, reluctant to work together and difficult to engage. However, if you approach lessons with teenagers with the right ideas, materials and tricks of the trade, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be a great success.

Here’s our list of indispensable teaching skills for working with teens:

***Do group project work***

Group projects come in all shapes and sizes and work well with teenagers. They increase motivation, promote learner autonomy, have clear, achievable objectives, involve all four language skills, and can be managed in a way that lets everyone in the group take on a role that’s best suited to them. They also make a welcome break from routine and can be run over several classes, with a section of each lesson allocated to them. You’ll find plenty of examples of project work here and here. Continue reading

4 great EFL role plays

English classes - Role playsGrammar exercises, vocabulary tests and pronunciation drills are all very well, but at some stage our learners are going to be out in the real world, calling upon the knowledge and skills they have learned in class to navigate a host of everyday situations, using English to explain, persuade, justify, cajole, describe, discuss and even argue. One of the most engaging ways to give learners the opportunity to practice such English is, of course, to have them act out real-life situations. Why not get your students really working with the language with these 4 great EFL role plays? Continue reading

6 easy word games for the English language classroom

6 easy word games for the English language classroomWord games are an engaging way not only to practice vocabulary and spelling in class but also to hone important language skills such as defining and describing. They’re fun, too, make ideal warmers and fillers, and generally don’t require much preparation – especially if you get the students involved in setting them up. Plus, many work well as competitions and can easily be adapted to suit different ages and levels. Here are 6 easy word games for the English language classroom. Why not give them a try?

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5 great activities for using movies in the EFL class

5 great activities for using movies in the EFL classPersuading students of the usefulness of watching English-language movies at home isn’t hard, but there are many things you can do to bring films into the classroom as well.

Here are 5 great activities for using movies in the EFL class.

  1. Half in half out

Choose a scene from a movie that you’d like to work on, preferably one with lots of movement and lots of dialogue. Divide the class into two groups, A and B. Send group A out while you show group B the scene with the volume muted. Then, bring group A back and send group B out. Play the scene again, but this time only let group A listen to the dialogue – don’t let them see the screen (if you have an IWB you can simply turn the screen off, if not just have the students face away). So you now have one group that have heard the scene and one that have seen it. Bring group B back, put students into A/B pairs and have them reconstruct as well as they can what they think was going on. Then show the full scene so they can see how close they were. Continue reading

7 easy warmers and fillers for the English language classroom

nice and nasty - 7 easy warmers and fillers for the English language classroomEvery lesson needs a warmer and there are few that go by that don’t have an odd five or ten minutes that need filling with something to keep your students on their toes or to give the class a change of pace.

We look at 7 easy warmers and fillers for the English language classroom.

Nice and nasty

This super-simple warmer is guaranteed to get your students chatting and is a great first day activity. Have students divide a sheet of paper into two columns, one they label ‘nice’, the other they label ‘nasty’. Tell them you’re going to read out a list of words, each of which they have to write in the column that expresses how they feel about it. Your list should include of a variety of people, places and things that are likely to divide opinion (for example, hip hop, spicy food, winter, Sunday evening, ironing, tattoos, English grammar, Michael Jackson, department stores). Once you have finished reading out the list and students have written the items down, they compare their answers in pairs to see how similar or how different their tastes are. Continue reading

2015 Pearson Advent Calendar

Pearson ELT Advent Calendar 2015Dear teacher,

We’re delighted to be able to tell you about our Pearson ELT 2015 Advent Calendar with a whole range of great ideas for this special time of the year.

From now on and right up to Christmas Eve there’s a special box to open up every day with a little Christmas-based surprise for you and your students, including things like:

  • Christmas songs for your teen and adult students.
  • Christmas crafts for the younger ones.
  • Reading texts for this special time of the year.
  • The origin of Christmas.
  • Activities, recipes, jokes, tongue-twisters and much more…

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Fun Halloween activities and materials for English classes

HalloweenDear teachers, we hope you are having a fantastic school year and that you and your pupils are enjoying working with Islands and Our discovery Island. One main celebration during this term is Halloween next week and many of you will be preparing special activities in your English classes now and over the next days for this.

We have prepared lots of fun Hallowe’en activities related to the characters in Islands and Our Discovery Island and materials that we are sure you’ll be interested in: Continue reading

5 poems for the English language classroom

all the world's a stageFrom puking babies to philosophical pigs, today we take a look at 5 poems for the English language classroom. Poems can be a great resource for both the teacher and the learner. Not only are they an ideal way to practise the stress and intonation patterns of the language, they also lend themselves to a whole range of accompanying activities, from predicting the content to discussing how they make the reader feel, or even, with younger learners, illustrating different scenes.

5 poems for the English language classroom:

With higher levels, you might want to introduce your learners to some lines by the most celebrated poet of all, William Shakespeare. Although his 400 year-old English can often be intimidating, especially as it was never written to be read on the page but rather heard in the theatre, there are still many accessible passages, even for English learners. Continue reading