What are your top 5 tips for teaching teenagers?
I've been teaching teenagers one-to-one for over 10 years. Teaching that way means you start becoming friends, even if you try to keep distance.
So my tips would be about teaching one-to-one:
1) Always ask "How are you?" before the lesson. And if the kid says that he or she is not fine, do not ignore it. Listen to him. There might be a problem he cannot share with anyone else. You are a teacher and a psychologist.
2) When relevant, always ask your pupil's opinion. Never criticize his opinion. Never give advice on irrelevant topics. You teach the language not your ideas.
3) Exercises I use as warm-ups are personal, but not too much: Which of the activities in the pictures do you do: in the afternoon? at school?
I have noticed that teens enjoy talking about themselves more than adults. In the sample task I never ask about what they do in the evening or at night, even if the teacher’s book suggests that.
4) There is always a psychological gap and a "generation gap" between the teacher and the pupil. Read books and articles to know more about your pupils’ preferences in learning styles. Google “understanding net-generation”.
5) When trying to break the ice, do not talk about your personal life too much. Listen carefully to your student and be encouraging. But remember your student is not your close friend.
By Anna Leshchenko