Five Trends for the Teenage Classroom

Steven Happel

Teaching is hard. Teaching teens is harder. All too often, ESL students, particularly teenagers, find course material irrelevant, or worse, monotonous and unworthy of their attention. This is doubly true in Asia where course books often neglect local and regional topics of interest with the aim of introducing students to ‘Western’ culture. We, as teachers, compete with Facebook news feeds, Instagram and Twitter for their attention. If our lessons aren’t as stimulating as what they can find on their phone, we face an uphill battle in engaging their attention and holding it. This presentation will look at the importance of staying relevant by adapting lessons to fit not just what teenagers are interested in, but how they both connect and relate to the world.