Professional Development

How to motivate teenage learners

Sarah Longfield

This week, we’re looking at how one of our online professional development courses can help you when teaching teenage learners. This ties in with one of the principles for teachers’ professional development: N for Needs-based.

INSPIRE: the principles supporting your professional development

The word INSPIRE explains our teacher development principles.

The ‘N’ in INSPIRE = Needs-based. This means that your professional development (for example, if you take an online training course), is based around your genuine needs as a teacher, and those of your educational institution. The end result should be a positive impact on your students’ learning.

Example activities: Sequencing activities when planning lessons

Below are two ways you can think about sequencing classroom activities, taken from our Motivating Teenage Learners online course.

Sequencing activities is an important consideration when you’re planning a lesson. It is usually better to introduce new language or look at a new text at the beginning of the lesson, rather than at the end. This is also when learners expect new information to be presented.

When considering the sequence of activities, it can be helpful to work backwards. So, begin with what you want your teenage learners to have achieved by the end of the lesson and then think, ‘What do they need to do, to be able to do this?’

This is important because if your learners don’t have the necessary language or vocabulary, for example, they won’t be able to complete the task successfully.

Preparing for your lesson – activity 1:

Preparing for your lesson – activity 2:


How do I study the Motivating Teenage Learners online course?

There are three steps to studying one of our online professional development courses:

  • Step 1: either purchase an online course yourself from our online store, or your institution can give you a course activation code.



You can find a list of online courses and full instructions on how to register, on our website.

  • Step 3: Once you’ve registered and logged in, you can either join an online ‘class’ or select ‘self-study’ mode.


For the Motivating Teenage Learners online course: if you decide that self-study mode is the right option for you:

  • On the My Learning screen, simply select the Self-study tab
  • Select Content next to Motivating Teenage Learners Self-study.

Next week

We’ll look at Teaching Vocabulary and Pronunciation, which is related to the ‘S for Sustained’ principle in INSPIRE.


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