Speaking lesson ideas/plans for teenage classes?

newbie101

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Jan 11, 2022
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hello friends,
I have been given six weeks' speaking/conversation classes to teach in a local school of two age groups, 16 and 17 year olds.
I would hope to get 6 different lesson plans and repeat the lesson to every class for one week, then move on to the second lesson plan for the all classes for the second week, and so on.
The schools are science-oriented schools here in Italy, so they prepare student for higher study in these fields, or work.
The lessons aren't expected to have a science bias though.
I'm looking for lesson plans or ideas which won't be too young for such age groups- that the material is not childish or condescending.
I believe they are of mixed English ability, from Upper A2 to B2. Around 20- 25 Ss.
All ideas appreciatively considered.
Thank you.
 

Skrej

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May 11, 2015
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I'd suggest picking some current topics from pop-culture, since they're teenagers. Favorite musician/band/movie/tv show, etc. Anything to personalize the discussion topic. Since they're focusing on science-related studies and entering the professional workforce, perhaps some discussion topics around some of the various fields they're studying, or why one field interests them more than another. "Geography rules, biology drools!" :D

If it's a opinion-based topic, cover, review, or teach (depending on what they already know) some grammar topics like how to state an opinion or belief, phrases they can use to express agreement/disagreement, as well as likes/dislikes. Make sure you offer them multiple ways to say each of those, and then require them to not only use them in their discussions, but encourage them to use some variety.

You have a lot of options as to how to have them speak. They can work in pairs or small groups, or two people can speak while the entire class listens.

You'll want to model how such a discussion might go first. I'd probably scaffold by modeling it yourself, then have a few pairs try it with everyone listening, then eventually break them up into pairs/small groups.

Aside from the opinions, you'll probably want to have some lessons about things like asking questions, clarifying information, and other routine social interactions, such as making reservations, buying and selling services and goods, giving/receiving directions, etc. Depending on their English ability, they may need something as basic as how to ask questions in the classroom (of the instructor), or indicate that they don't understand, ask questions of the instructor, etc.

At some point when you feel they're ready for it, you'll probably want to introduce some English idioms, and possibly some common English slang. Slang often requires a related lesson about register and when it's appropriate to use slang, although that of course varies by culture.

Even though you're not required to have science-based lessons, I'd still probably recommend developing a lesson or two about having more technical, professional discussions. Perhaps some more academic vocabulary, or technical jargon used in their various fields (and maybe group them by subject interest for corresponding practice). Again, that may not be feasible based on their level of English proficiency.

Just some thoughts on how I might approach it.
 

newbie101

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Thanks v much for your generous reply. Lot's of good ideas there. Grazie mille!
 

emsr2d2

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Thanks very much for your generous reply. There are Lot's lots of good ideas there. Grazie mille!

Note my changes above. We encourage everyone, learners and teachers alike, to write full words and complete sentences on the forum. As a native speaker (and teacher), many learners on the forum will assume everything you write is correct so just make sure you review your posts before actually submitting them to avoid things like that errant apostrophe! :sneaky:
 

newbie101

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Thanks for the feedback on the English.

Since my original post I have been supplied with several categories which I am expected to design lessons around. Until I received these I was thinking of the pop culture ideas.
Brexit/E.U.
English as a Lingua Franca
Varieties of English
The UK/US press
General Business English or another ESP
Universities abroad
Working abroad and in the E.U.
Literature- examples from a genre i.e. short stories
Literature - a single lesson on a topic/author the teacher is keen on.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Brexit might be a bit tired- even in the UK, people seem a bit sick of it.
 
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