Adapting your Curriculum for the Teenage Student

July and August are months in which many English language programs run summer camps for international teenagers. These programs are both educational and fun. Here are some tips for creating or adapting a curriculum to keep your teenage students engaged.

  1. Use Video Based Lessons. Videos are a great tool for motivating teenage students. Just make sure the videos are related to teenage interests. Use movie trailers, music videos, short interviews with cultural icons, or ‘how to’ videos. All of these are available on YouTube or similar video streaming sites. Three to five minutes is an optimum video length for teenage learners. It is also good to allow your students to choose the videos they want to see. Don't just have students watch the video. Make sure they watch it for a reason. After watching the video they can complete a quiz, hold a discussion, give a presentation, write a summary or create their own video.
  2. Use "Real" Realia. It’s easy to forget how effective the use of realia can be in motivating learners, especially teenagers. Don’t just bring in random things related to the course materials, though. Make sure whatever you use has real meaning. Bring in real maps, photographs, brochures, gadgets, food and objects.
  3. Make Reading Age Appropriate. If you want your teenage students to be excited about reading, you have to make sure you choose material that will grab their interest. All of the major English language teaching publishers such as Pearson, Oxford and Cambridge have a wide range of level and age appropriate readers available. There are also publishers who specialize in graded readers, such as GrassRoots Press and Black Cat Readers. The readers have accompanying online support and quizzes.
  4. Use Games. There are many options for games in your English language classes, from board games that you adapt for English language learners, to online games and specialized English language learning games. The easiest way to find games is to search on Google.

Adapted from: http://www.teachthemenglish.com/2015/11/03/8-guaranteed-ways-to-enhance-teenage-learner-motivation-in-the-language-class/