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A look inside the teenage brain: Motivating teenage english language learners

Alan Davis

Teenagers are going through a number of tremendous changes very rapidly – physical, emotional and mental. These changes can have both positive and negative effects on how and what they learn, their attitudes toward learning and their behavior in and out of class. Teenagers sometimes seem to change from one moment to the next. They can be highly emotional, irrational and rebellious one day, and fully engaged the next. Motivating teenage learners can be difficult and developing insights into the changes occurring in their brains can be useful in designing tasks and activities. In this workshop, teachers will examine some typical teenage attitudes and behaviors in light of these biological factors, and evaluate their current responses to behavioral issues. It will examine how to create an environment that addresses the needs of this special group of learners and introduce some techniques and tools that can be used to create classes that are motivating and meaningful.