Teaching pre-teens and teens can be more than difficult. Regardless their language level, students at this age are learning so much personally and academically, that they can be under huge pressure.
Usually, our young students have overflowing energy and are enthusiastic about the proposed activities at school. If our students happen to be adults, they will be concentrated in achieving the language milestones while providing and nurturing the class with their already acquired skills. Nevertheless, if your students are teens, this may vary completely, because even when most of them are bright and smart, they tend not to take much participation in some activities and, in some cases, even keep staring at you without an answer.
A teenager does not want to be treated like a child. Besides, teens’ attention spans are lengthening as a result of intellectual maturation; therefore, they want to have less control and more independence.
Who are our “Tweens”?
They are the youngsters of approximately 10 to 12 years of age. They are also called “pre-teenagers”: i.e. they are too old to be a child, but too young to be called teenagers.
They usually attend 5th, 6th and 7th grades Primary School.
Have you ever felt frustrated by their lack of interest?
We know that they need support, encouragement and a controlled learning environment that will help them reach their goals so that they can feel fulfilled.
In this unit we will share some strategies that should get your teens a bit more motivated.
So how can we motivate tweens and teens?
When we think about a class of tweens and teenagers it includes students with different ranges of level of physical, emotional and cognitive abilities. Even their development may vary, for example, girls outrace boys in their physical development.
In general, teens show a genuine desire to learn when the classroom environment is appropriate. However, tweens and teens’ behaviour is difficult to predict and in some cases there are certain factors and conditions which may generate disgust in them as they need to feel accepted by their group of friends and classmates, and this may influence the classroom. For example: teens would not want their peers to think they are too smart or even not clever enough when the teacher asks them something out loud.
It is very common for teens to feel extremely uncomfortable or shy when asked to express themselves in front of a class or when the teacher shows excessive knowledge on a topic the teens do not possess. Therefore, it is recommended that the teacher acknowledges the areas where teens seem to know more and use these to foster a sound relationship of mutual understanding and respect.
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