3 Ways to Convince Your Teenager to Study English

If you have a teenager, you know how difficult it can be to keep them motivated. Even getting them out of bed in the morning can be a challenge!

So, how can you convince your teen to study English? While you may know that English will help their future, they may not share your enthusiasm.

Today, we'll show you three easy ways to get your teenager interested in learning English.

1. Help your teen feel good about their English skills

For your teen, learning English may not have been a positive experience so far. There are many possible reasons for this. For example:

  • They may not doing well in their English classes at school, which could cause them to believe that they are not good at English or make them feel stressed about it in general.
  • They may have got in trouble for bad grades in their English classes in the past.
  • They may see English as a chore you ask them to do instead of something fun.

The more negative feelings a child has towards English, the less interested they will be in learning it. So, to motivate your teen to learn English, you should first help them feel good about it. Here are some ways you can do this.

  • Help your teen with their English homework: Helping your teen with their English lessons can help them realize that English is not as difficult as they thought and boost their confidence. It's also an opportunity for you to do something together, which will make it feel more like a shared activity than a chore. If you don't feel you have the English skills to help them alone, consider hiring a tutor to help them if possible. Another option is to see if they can help you with your English - it may not help them with the lesson but it might improve their confidence.
  • Compliment their English: Help your teen realize that they are good at English – or at least some part of it. For example, if they think they are bad at pronunciation, try to point out the words they can pronounce correctly, or another area of English that they are better at, such as grammar. Or tell them how much better their English is than yours!
  • Celebrate small victories: If their grades in English class improve by even a little or if they simply start putting more effort into it, congratulate them and let them know how proud you are of them.

2. Help your teen realize that English is useful

When a teenager feels that something is useful or valuable, they will be more motivated to do it. So, as a parent, you can show your child how English could be useful to them.

One way to do this is to connect English to their interests. For example:

  • If they're interested in sports, you can introduce them to English sports news or listen to English commentary while watching a game.
  • If they're interested in fashion, you can buy them English fashion magazines.
  • If they're interested in video games, you can show them livestreams of English-speaking gamers, or let them play a game with English subtitles turned on as part of their English study.

Another way to do this is to connect English to their motivations. For example, if their dream is to make a lot of money, you can encourage them to look into how English would help them get well-paid jobs in the future, or if they're interested in a specific industry, how English may give them an advantage in that area.

Luckily, many teens already have interests and motivations related to English. Some want to travel abroad, some love English pop songs and some follow English-speaking Youtubers. In this case, show them how learning English would help them get more out of those interests.

Just keep in mind that your child may have interests and motivations that are very different from yours. So make sure you see things from their perspective and avoid forcing your will on them, since this is likely to backfire.

3. Give your child choices

If your child now realizes the value of English and agrees to study it, let them do it on their terms.

For example, let's say your child starts taking an English class but doesn't like the teacher because they are too strict. In that case, don't force them to continue the class. Instead, ask the school if your child can take classes with another teacher.

You can also ask if they have any friends who might be interested in learning English. If they do, you and the other parents can find a way for them to learn or practice English together.

There are lots of different ways of learning and practicing English - so give your teenager the time and space to try out different things and find something that they actually enjoy. Getting frustrated with them for giving up something they didn't end up enjoying will just make them less likely to try something new.

Whatever the case, make sure to give your child as much choice as your budget allows. When teenagers are given freedom, they feel more motivated. It may just take them some time to find the right option for them, which is perfectly normal. They are teenagers after all!

Bonus tip: Find a tutor who is also a teenager

It's no secret that teenagers prefer to spend time with their peers. So, if you can find your child a tutor who is also a teenager, it may make it easier for them to relate to the tutor and maybe even help them enjoy learning English.

At Engoo, you can actually find English tutors who are teenagers too! Simply go to our tutor page and select "18-19" in the Age field.

You can even find tutors in this age group who share your child's interests by typing their interest (e.g. "gaming," "anime," "dancing") in the search field.

In general, our tutors are also very encouraging people, so they can definitely help your teenager feel good about their English. Learn more about us here.