Understanding that students come to class with a lot of knowledge of things other than English.

Students are put off when they are not doing well in a subject. Remember – success breeds success. Activities that allow them to use their outside knowledge can increase their confidence in class.

Try a general knowledge game like this:

Choose a letter of the alphabet and ask students to write the following beginning with that letter in English:

  • a country
  • a woman’s first name
  • a sport
  • a fruit or vegetable
  • a politician
  • a musician or composer
  • a part of the body
e.g. with the letter M = Malaysia, Mary, motor racing, mango, Margaret Thatcher, Mozart, mouth

It’s not always your knowledge of English that will help you win. If students work in pairs they can help and learn from each other.

Other methodology tips for teaching mixed-ability teens

Mixed-ability teens: Addressing all of the students

Mixed-ability teens: Managing mixed-level classes

Mixed-ability teens: Graded dictation

Mixed-ability teens: Managing different speeds and energy levels

Mixed-ability teens: Managing different learning styles

Mixed-ability teens: Problem-solving

Mixed-ability teens: Allowing students to work at their own level