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Harry Palmer

What To Do With Teenage Girls?

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i've been teaching at a small school for the past two months and am having immense trouble with one class in particular, wonder if anyone's had a similar experience & can offer some advice?

it's a small class with four girls (15-16 year olds) who don't enjoy coming... other than talking to each at the start of the lesson, they have little interest in me, and apparantly zero interest in learning english. typically they arrive late, are extremely slow to settle, spending most of their time yelling at each other across the room and doing their best to avoid eye contact with me. when asked a question they take the usual route by saying absolutely nothing or occassionally answering in their native language. one of the girls however is so introverted she NEVER makes any eye contact and i have NEVER (no exaggeration) heard her voice, she does not even speak to the other girls...

i've definitely started to take a cynical approach to them myself and see little point in planning fun and varied classes since no matter what i have them doing it's usually heads on the desk complaining about something...

if they won't make any effort i find it hard to justify investing time in their learning when other students are enthusiastic and involved...

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I used to teach here when I first arrived in Thailand and had the same problems. I quit after two years, due to being unable to throw a cheater out of my class and the fact that I spent more on gasoline than I made. But, I did meet many nice people and now have contacts throughout government and everywhere I go within my province.

I suggest the following:

Give points for speaking in Thai. Do not allow it once they enter the classroom. So many points and they have to bring a food dish to the next class or something along those lines.

Build up the introvert, she will certainly be an ally later.

Find the natural leader and use her to gain the control of the class.

Do a pop quiz when all is out of control.

Give them some free time at the end of the class when you can concentrate on the students that care.

Make them tell you about their dream boyfriend in English.

Train them to speak on the cellular phone in English. It is something that comes naturally to a Thai girl.

Make them translate their favoraite songs into English.

Just a few thoughts. Good luck.

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Sorry, Harry- you're the boy who cried wolf. Until we hear a consistent story from you I'm not posting serious replies to your threads.

"Steven" :o

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Sorry, Harry- you're the boy who cried wolf. Until we hear a consistent story from you I'm not posting serious replies to your threads.

"Steven" :o

no worries steve, it's your prerogative... if you are unable to suggest ways of practicably dealing with a not uncommon situation, we won't think of any the less of you.

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Give em my telephone number.

They'll be speaking English in no time but I bet it's not the English you want them to learn. Hehe.:o

On a more serious note.

1. Agree with find the ringleader...isolate and intimidate, don't try to be his/her friend. Teenagers are pack animals. You want to be the Alpha Male/Female in the classroom!!!

2. In all probablility the ringleader is the one that turns up the latest which is his/her way of saying "i can do what I want" to the others and exhibiting her power over you to the others.

Start the class when you have an odd number of people (You make up the even numbers). Make those that turn up late wait until you have finished that particular excercise with those that came earlier before they can participate. If you've got the courage, make them go and sit at YOUR desk away from the others so they cannot participate. Then when you have finished the excercise you can tell them to be seated in thier proper place. WARNING......That is punishment enough, don't let that detract from giving them attention after.

3. Similar vein to 2. Why not have a lesson (or series of lessons) where you talk about excuses for being late and they are expected to give you a new excuse every time they are late (why they were late, what they will do next time to make sure they were not etc.) Start off by giving them the bolt standard ones like my dog ate my motorcycle (or whatever....3 or 4 will make sure they do not see the fait accomplis in 5 lessons time) :D

4. Topics to do with mobile phones and money are always a winner. Get 1/2 to be retailers of mobiles, the other to be customers. Get them to get the best price for their mobile if they were to try and sell it. (Make sure they know they don't have to hand it over!!!)

Ditto with gold chains and bracelets (they can all identify with gold...its in their programming).

5. Introverts are much harder. Thai teachers ignore them because they are too difficult. In all probablility she /he is far more advanced than the others and does not want to show the rest of the class up.

When doing a group activity (as mentioned above) walk amongst them, and take over the roll as seller or buyer for a few groups. Make sure the introvert is the last one so you can spend more time 1 on 1.

This method is also good for the ringleader as well as you have already isolated them and you can start the intimidation. :D

Sound like you've got your work cut-out as you have the entire spectrum of difficult personality types in just 4 pupils.

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Good post, Som... may I also suggest a carrot reward system playing simple English games when they have successfully accomplished part of their lesson without too much bad attitude.

Harry, you're much funnier when you're being pompous and indignant after lying your head off in an OP than when you try to be funny :o

"Steven"

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Sorry guys, not a teacher but remember reading a post that made me laugh!!

Try using "INSA' ANGELS" The video camera trick!!!!

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Group work, project based learning.... works here... Accept the working together situation.. have teams complete for point or grades.. that will engauge them.

Go do.. :o

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