Steven Happel has been teaching English professionally for more than 15 years. His experience varies from tutoring foreign exchange students in the United States to the ESL classrooms of Vietnam. He has worked at VUS as a teacher for the last ten years, later becoming head teacher and then academic advisor. He specialises in both curriculum design and teacher training, running in-house workshops for professional development. Steven received his B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Latin from the University of Minnesota where he graduated with honors. He later obtained teaching certificates in TEFL and TESOL and is currently obtaining a Masters in Applied Educational Leadership and Management through the University of London.


Five Trends for the Teenage Classroom
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.