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Teaching teens – Setting the tone

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Teenage students studying on short language courses have many different expectations of their study experience will be like. So do their parents. There are a number of small, yet effective, things which you can do in the lessons and which can help to make all the difference to the students’ experience.


* Learn and use your students’ first names (and remind students to use them as well). It is the most basic form of respect we can show each other.  Name badges can be helpful in the first lessons but they can disappear once everyone knows each others’ names.


* Make sure students know and use your name too! They have to take in a lot of new information in the first days and it’s a good idea to write your name in the top left corner of the board at the beginning of the lessons to remind your students.


* Students love learning and using new words. Keep a vocabulary column on the right-hand side of the board to record new words and relevant vocabulary for activities in your lesson. Why not add phonemic symbols for sounds which students may find tricky or confusing or indicate word stress patterns in a more visual way? You will soon notice that your students copy the words on the board into their exercise books.


* Close the lesson by spending a few minutes on having students reflect on what they have learned in the lesson.


* Most importantly, be their friendly, professional and supportive English teacher. An encouraging smile at the right time goes a long way.


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