Sussex Director of Studies Teacher Training

Top Tips for Young
Learner Teachers

Martin Sketchley
LTC Eastbourne
21 June 2016

Today’s Aims

Classroom Management: classroom layout, student
motivation and maintaining student interest

Material to Use

Motivating Teenagers: Games & Activities

Ten Ways to Introduce Lessons

Online Resources for Teachers of Adolescent Learners

Any Questions

Classroom Management

Classroom Management: Layout
Discuss the following questions with the person next to you:
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
6.

How are students organised in your class? Do you allow them to sit
next to someone they choose?
Have you always used the default room arrangement (i.e. the
horseshoe)?
Are you worried that changing the classroom layout could have
unexpected knock-on effects, such as how the teacher is listened to or
how you are perceived by students?
What classroom layouts have you attempted before?
Explain your thoughts with particular layouts being more conducive
for particular tasks.
When do you think it is the best time to organise your classroom
layout?

Classroom Layout: Specific Activities
“I’d like to organise my room differently - to make
some familiar activities more exciting.”

Do you arrange your layout according to a particular task?

What layouts can you think that are best suited for debates
or discussions, conversational tasks, planning projects,
meetings, role plays as well as mingling?

What dangers exist if the classroom layout remains
unchanged?

Dangers of Unchanged Layouts

If the classroom layout remains unchanged, there is a
danger that this will cause:



a feeling of sameness;
boredom;
lack of commitment from students; and
one activity blending to the next.

This could potentially cause issues related to student
motivation, behaviour and learning.

Different Classroom Layouts
Match the pictures to the descriptions of classroom layouts
with a partner. You have 5 minutes.

Keeping the Noise to a Minimum
Here are some ideas to help you when rearranging furniture in
the classroom to change the layout:
i. Learners agree to do all the rearrangement completely silently by
picking up furniture, rather than dragging or pulling.
ii. Get volunteers to take a role. For example, “Juan, make sure all chairs
are placed by the wall neatly” or “Alice, you need to monitor and make sure
that everyone is quiet.”
iii. Move all learners to the side of the classroom while you choose a few
to help move furniture.
iv. Stage all rearrangements bit by bit: 1. Pick up your chair, 2. Bring your
chair over here, 3. Go back to your table, 4. Push your table to the side of the
room, …

Pairing Students: Discussion

Discuss the following with a partner:

1. How do you organise students into pairs or small groups in class?
2. Do you allow students to sit wherever they wish? Why or why
not?
3. What risks can you anticipate when pairing up students together?
4. Why do we move students around in the classroom?

Five Ideas to Pair Students
There are various ideas for arranging students to be
grouped together such as: by alphabetical order, age, recent
test scores or gender. We will look at some more creative
ideas for putting students together in pairs or small groups.

Reaching New Heights

Binomial Pairs

Vocabulary Pairing

Sentence Halves

Random Names

Motivation in the Classroom
Discuss the following questions with a partner next to you.
You have five minutes.
1.

How would you normally motivate learners to participate in class?

2.

What different forms of motivation are you aware of?

3.

How do you normally interest students in the lesson?

4.

In what respect do you think feedback relates to motivation?

5.

How would you ensure that you establish and maintain
appropriate behaviour in class?

6.

How do you normally deal with regular yet small disruptions in
class?

Student Motivation
“A less able student who is highly motivated can achieve
greater success than the more intelligent student who is not well
motivated.” (Reece & Walker, 2002)

STUDENT
MOTIVATION

INTRINSIC

EXTRINSIC

Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation looks at motivation which has no
apparent reward. These could include:

Interest: a natural interest in the subject being taught.

Need: the need for achievement, affiliation or dominance.

Attitude: those who are keen to speak in English will achieve
more than those that are less happy to communicate.

Aspirations: students who pass a course to undertake a
chosen profession will encourage motivation.

Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation looks at motivation which is
encouraged by external stimuli or activities. These could
include:

Verbal praise: positive feedback is important for all learners.

Test results: respectable results encourage interest and
motivation.

Curiosity: the natural interest or curiosity of a student could
enhance motivation and can be a powerful tool.

Unexpected: Introducing a topic or activity in an unexpected
or unpredictable way can generate immediate interest with
students.

Extrinsic Motivation

Use familiar material: students learning with newly
introduced and unfamiliar material causes difficulty. Use
familiar material to encourage interest and motivation.

Interesting contexts: students learn better when acquiring
language in a familiar context but then applying it in an
unfamiliar situation, e.g. ‘a day in the life of an astronaut’.

Games: learners of English respond positively to games
especially when it reinforces vocabulary and a language point.

Role play: as with games, role plays encourage learners to
experiment with functional language in a controlled setting
thereby encouraging confidence and motivation.

Games & Activities for Young Learners

Games & Activities: Discussion
Discuss the following questions with your partner. You
have five minutes.
1. How often do you play games in the classroom?
2. Do you think young learners should play more games than adult
learners? Why or why not?
3. Do you have any favourite games?
4. What was the last game that you used in your classroom?
5. Do you have particular games for particular parts of the lesson?
6. What do you think are the benefits of games in class?

Ten Games/Activities for Teenagers
We shall look at ten popular games/activities which could
be used for lessons and when best to use them in class.

Noughts & Crosses

Where were the 1988 Olympic
Games held?
Seoul

What country does the dish
‘Mousakka’ come from?
Greece

Who played the bass guitar for The
Beatles?
Paul McCartney

Make a grammatically correct sentence
with: “I look forward / go on holiday”
I’m looking forward to going on holiday.

In the human body what is the
hallux?
Big toe

What nationality is the actor Sean
Connery?
Scottish (British)

Complete the following sentence
with the missing preposition:
“I’m afraid … spiders.”
of

Who is this character
from ‘The Simpsons’?
Montgomery Burns

What is the capital of New Zealand?
Wellington

A to Z Race

Team Apple

Team Banana

Call My Bluff

Call My Bluff
1. I have lived in 6 countries.
2. I was on Wacaday when I was young.
3. I am 36 years old.
37
England
Cyprus
Germany
France
South Korea
Romania

Pass The Paper

Pass the paper. When the music stops –
whoever has the paper must finish the
sentence….
SPEAK UP AND SPEAK CLEARLY!

Pass the Paper!

FINISH IT OFF!

France is
famous for
………….

Pass the Paper!

FINISH IT OFF!

I’m a very
…………….
person.

Pass the Paper!

FINISH IT OFF!

My favorite
……………….
is …………..

Pass the Paper!

FINISH IT OFF!

I’ve never
been to
…………………

Pass the Paper!

FINISH IT OFF!

This morning I
…………………..

Pass the Paper!

FINISH IT OFF!

I hope to
…………………
one day.

Pass the Paper!

FINISH IT OFF!

I wish I had
…………………

Pass the Paper!

FINISH IT OFF!

English is
Important because
…………

Pictionary

Snowball Writing
LET’S TRY IT OUT!!!

Sentence Hangman

Pelmanism

Chinese Whispers

Twenty Questions

Ten Ways to Start a Lesson

1. Star Wars Scrolling

http://www.starwars.com/games-apps/star-wars-crawl-creator

2. Tell a Story

3. Musical Guess the Topic
What’s the link?

4. Picture Association

What’s the topic?

5. Me and My Partner: Questions
Topic: Hobbies & Interests

6. Slow Reveal

7. Guess the Word
L
S

A
N

E

T
P

8. Dingbats
2

E=MC

What’s the topic today?
Smartphones!

9. Find Someone Who …
Topic: Fears

10. Line by Line Reveal

Topic: Castles

Materials for Adolescent Learners

Materials for Adolescent Learners
Discuss the following questions with your partner. You
have five minutes.
1. What method of teaching is more conducive with adolescent
learners?
2. What favourite activities do you use when teaching young
learners?
3. How do you plan your day when teaching young learners?
4. What differences do you think exist between adolescent and adult
learners?
5. Which photocopiable resources do you know which are aimed for
adolescent learners?

Photocopiable Resources
I would recommend the following photocopiable resources
for teachers of adolescent English learners:

ISBN: 9780521721554

ISBN: 9780521716338

ISBN: 9780521668050

ISBN: 9781900702282

Suggested Curriculum
I would recommend a curriculum which follows an engaging
daily theme or topic such as:
• Movies
• Sports
• Television
• Technology
• Music
• Travel
Look at the Contents of any photocopiable book and you will
see a list of themes and topics.

Resources for Adolescent Teachers

Further Reading (Online)

www.teachingenglish.org.uk/teaching-teens

www.onestopenglish.com/teenagers/

www.eltexperiences.com/2014/12/13/
how-to-teach-english-to-young-learners/
vickyloras.wordpress.com/tag/young-learners/

Final Tips for Teaching Adolescent
Learners
Tip Number 1: Develop strong rapport straight away (learn names, let them
choose their own music while doing a reading or writing activity, speak to them
as a person and put them on the same level of you).
Tip Number 2: Plan lessons based on their interests. Talk to them about what
they enjoy: the things that they like to talk about, music they like, their hobbies,
etc. Let them do things that they enjoy.
Tip Number 3: Be empathetic. Don’t tell them off in front of their peers, instead
show your disapproval by drawing a sad face on the board or creating a quick
sign such as “Great Spanish!” and stare at them with little emotion and then
smile when they recognise your presence.
Tip Number 4: Be yourself as a person and do not act as a teacher. You are there
to work with your students and guide them.

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