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teaching teenagers

Oxford English school

I teach at an Oxford English language learning school in Poland, in partnership with UniKids. Lessons are 45 minutes long and I teach 4 classes, twice a week. The lessons consist of different age groups: kids aged 9-11, tefl teaching teenagers aged 12-13, teenagers aged 15-17 and 17-18. This means that I have to prepare material for different levels. This blog will look at how I prepare TEFL material for a 45 minute class.

Teach English in Poland

TEFL teaching kids aged 9-11

  • I create flashcards which are shown at the start of the lesson to introduce the topic. The kids and I sit in a circle on a large rug in class and play circle games. Focusing on the flashcards; pronunciation, spelling, visual English.
  • Dobble! is a great game you can purchase and use in class for new vocabulary and thinking in English. Kids have to work in small groups and match up pictures. I then ask them to use more examples of grammar such as, superlatives, comparatives or making the picture word into a sentence. This can be challenging, but also brings another element to the game. If its a one-to-one with a kid I can play Dobble! by saying the word in Polish, since I’m learning too.


TEFL teaching teenagers aged 12-13

  • We don’t use a text book!
  • I prepare speaking activities each week where the students have to walk around the classroom reading questions to each other on a topic. We then join together as a whole class and review answers/ mistakes. This lasts for 10 minutes and is a warmer activity for the main lesson, group task. I set projects and tasks such as designing your own business, restaurant, country, flag, national holiday, new olympic sport, how to fight global warming, how to survive a zombie apocalypse, how to prepare your favourite dish, be a tour guide of a city, film review and design a class newspaper.

TEFL teaching teenagers aged 15-17 and 17-19

  • This class is focused on Matura preparation (the Matura exam is a compulsory exam after finishing secondary school abroad).
  • I share this class with another teacher, therefore, my responsibilities are to prepare the students for conversation and speaking activities.
  • Material includes learning new vocabulary which can be used in everyday life. Using students own experiences and creative thinking to build a sentence.
  • Topical debates,taboo discussions, current affairs and own opinions are a great tool to get the students talking more openly about things that effect them.
  • Sometimes I allow the students to take control and its my job to listen, make notes and act as the presenter.



  • The problem with not using a book means that I have to prepare new material and print a lot of it. At first I noticed that some classes wasted paper; having a reading task, then speaking and writing. So I scrapped the idea of printing out reading texts, instead one laminated copy is distributed so that each student can read aloud.
  • Using the white board for new vocabulary is a great tool in class. It can be a focus point for teenage levels and remind them what they learnt in class.
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