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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
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      • Poland
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      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2014
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    #1

    Exclamation Tired students (adults) - how to engage them?

    Dear Fellow Teachers,

    I've just registered here to seek your help - it means I'm getting desperate... For the last couple of months I've been teaching a group of adults who come to the class having just finished their 8 hours of office work. The problem is they're always extremely tired - to the point that they can't focus at all and I need to ask them the same question twice or three times, they also tend to lie down on their desks and get fits of uncontrollable yawning They have no energy whatsoever and as a result refuse to take part in classes and keep asking: "Can we go home earlier today?" At first I thought they were simply bored, so I tried to make our classes more engaging - the things I've tried so far include:


    • Making classes more varied - changing types of activities often - first some listening, then some grammar, then some speaking, than some reading, then watching, then vocabulary, etc.
    • Using multimedia - Youtube clips, songs, pictures, fragments of talk shows, popular films/series or up-to-date news, memes, cartoons - you name it!
    • More speaking - pair work, group work, role play, telling stories ...
    • Preparing lesson material on the basis of their interests and hobbies.
    • Cutting down on using paper (less reading, less "book time" - I've noticed they tend to fall asleep more often when there's some paper in front of them).
    • Having a heart-to-heart discussion with them and asking them what their expectations are (and they said that they didn't want to change anything!!! )


    OK, so... What else can I do? I feel so lost and helpless that I even called a methodology specialist and asked her for help. She said I should try to make my students more competitive by using some kind of competitions and buy prizes for them, i.e. bookmarks or bars of chocolate - tried that, didn't work - they just sat there and said they were too tired to play games.

    So, basically, my question comes down to that - how to make my tired students more energetic?

    You're my last hope. HELP!
    Last edited by Bzzz; 08-Apr-2014 at 12:11. Reason: Grammar mistakes!

    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #2

    Re: Tired students (adults) - how to engage them?

    How important is English to them? Have you tried to negotiate anything with them? Would it be possible to agree to a shorter lesson time in return for greater engagement from them?

    • Member Info
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      • Polish
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    #3

    Re: Tired students (adults) - how to engage them?

    They say English is important to them - to be exact - they said they would like to be more fluent. The classes aren't obligatory and the fact that they chose to learn shows some motivation. But on the other hand... At the beginning we had a tiny problem. At first they were to have the classes in the morning (before work) but they refused to wake up an hour earlier to come to English classes - so there we go - maybe it is a question of motivation and not the question of being too tired. Probably it's both.

    What do you mean by negotiating? Can you really negotiate engagement? Shorter lesson time is impossible as the classes are already short (60 minutes).

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    #4

    Re: Tired students (adults) - how to engage them?

    If they're lying down on their desks, I thought there might be some room for negotiation. I haven't come across a situation like this- I have had the odd sleepy student, but I haven't had an entire class to deal with.
    Last edited by Tdol; 09-Apr-2014 at 02:08. Reason: typo

  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
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      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #5

    Re: Tired students (adults) - how to engage them?

    I think it's impossible to make more energetic a group of tired people who come to classes after work , no matter how hard you try. What about weekend, perhaps they can make it on a Saturday morning?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

    • Member Info
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    #6

    Re: Tired students (adults) - how to engage them?

    Have you tried ratifying their personal lives into the classroom discourse? In tandem with group discussions, you could try writing and literacy activities. Start off with journals, diaries, and so on.

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