Teenagers as learners
Here are some recommendations for your teenagers’ students and twelve tips to keep in mind.
Teaching teenagers isn’t easy because, well, being a teenager isn’t easy. Justthink back to your adolescence when you were going through all those changes, changes in your body and in your mind: habits and opinions, tastes in clothes and music, relationships with parents andteachers. In Self, Booker Prize winning author Yann Martel writes about growing up as “a new universe where notions such as success and failure, will and sloth, appearance and reality, freedom andresponsibility, the public and the private, the moral and the immoral, the mental and the physical, replace the simpler guiding notion of fun.”
Of course, it’s dangerous and difficult to generalize aboutadolescence from individual to individual, and from culture to culture; levels of maturity can differ significantly from culture to culture and in individuals within the same culture. But if you haveaccepted the challenge of teaching teenagers, then you are the teacher of a group of young, impressionable people and will need to try to be flexible and patient with each individual. And you will need toremember that in the classroom, the group dynamic is often as important as pedagogical content and activities will carry benefits other than linguistic content.
Below are twelve (because aftertwelve the teens begin…) things to keep in mind to help you answer the challenge of teaching teenagers in the English classroom.
Twelve Things to Keep in Mind when Teaching Teenagers
• It seems that allteenagers are interested in pop songs, so exploit that interest by bringing music – and the feelings that can be expressed through songs – into the classroom.
• Teenagers (perhaps especially thecurrent need-to-know generation) like to be seen as cool and up-to-date, so bring in topics of current interest from IT, sport, entertainment and media, and English-speaking cultures that is…