G’day everyone. Welcome to Teen English. My name’s Isobel. I’m British and these days I live in Queensland, Australia . My kids are Aussie teenagers, born in Cairns.
1. Who are the teenagers?
The teens in these videos are ordinary Australians aged 13-19 who live in in Queensland. They’ve all agreed to be shown, and we have permission from the under-18’s parents. None of them are actors, although a few have been in school plays – you are seeing the real person! Please understand that we need to take their privacy seriously, just as you would take care of your own students’ privacy – which is why, for example, we use nicknames for them, and don’t show details of their homes.
Viewers can send friendly messages via their teacher by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. What’s the story behind Teen English?
If you are a teenager in Istanbul or Columbo, in Penang or Sfax, perhaps your parents learned English from me. If you are an English teacher who studied the CELTA in Cairns, Prague, Sharjah or Cheltenham, maybe I was one of your trainers. In other words, I’ve been teaching English and training new English teachers for a very long time in a lot of different places!
Although Teen English is a new business, taking our first steps in October 2020, the idea came a few years ago. I was teaching Japanese teenagers on a study visit to Australia, focusing on listening & speaking practice. I looked online for some short, interesting video clips to build a lesson around. But I just couldn’t find what I needed. It all seemed too dated, too childish, too difficult or too long – also too American or British. Eventually I used my mobile phone to record my neighbour’s son (13) interviewing my daughter (16). It wasn’t the best quality but it worked! After the lesson, some students told me they were pleased they could understand “real Aussie kids” who weren’t trained actors.
So that’s what gave me the idea of creating video-based lesson plans for (teachers of) teenagers who are learning English. I was busy, though, teaching and looking after my own teenagers, until Covid-19 changed everything. When international students stopped being allowed into Australia, suddenly I had time to plan and set up Teen English!
Teachers and parents, I hope these lessons will make your life easier as you teach English to your lovely teenagers. Students, I hope they help you to speak and listen to English with confidence. I hope all of you enjoy seeing our beautiful part of the world, Tropical North Queensland, in the background. Thanks so much for visiting our site and trying our materials. I really look forward to getting your comments and feedback.
Cairns, Queensland Jan 2021