Mark’s Blog - What's Happening Now


Teaching teenagers can be the best and can be the worst.

I have a few groups of teenagers that I teach at my English conversation school in Japan. They show up for class at 7:00pm for an hour. They are almost always tired and not motivated to study.

Here in Japan, junior high school students are extremely busy. They are at school all day and attend their school 7 days a week because of school activity clubs.

My challenge is to get them to participate and have fun speaking English. I use the whiteboard a lot to demonstrate to them patterns and vocabulary. I also require them to write on the board. This gets them up and out of their seat.

We watch YouTube and do worksheets that I have made for the videos. In the worksheets, there are always pair work activities and discussion topics. It’s important that they feel a sense of community and accomplishment that they can speak English together. Pair work activities and discussion foster this feeling. They also enjoy YouTube because it gives them another way to learn.

For all of us who teach teenagers, good luck!