I have decided to set up a scheme for my teenage (FCE and CAE) students that I have called "Email in English". Basically, I want to have the students open a new email account, separate from their normal email, in which they will use only English. The idea is for me to send them homework assignments by email and for them to be able to share things they like with each other.
Homework is something that all teenagers hate, they get far too much of it from school, and they don't really have much time to spend on doing English homework from their language academy. Also, most of the homework I tend to set for these exam prep groups are writing pieces to practice for the writing part of the exam, and grammar or vocabulary exercises that we haven't had time to finish in class. Most of the time it impossible to get every piece of homework from every student, or even if they do it, they may have spent 5 minutes before the class scribbling it on a piece of paper.
My idea, then, is to make homework more fun and relevant to their interests. I will be able to send them things that I have received - jokes, powerpoint presentations, videos on Youtube, interesting articles etc. With the use of Youtube, this means that I can set listening tasks as well as just reading or writing.
Another plus is that email accounts such as Gmail include a live chat. No program is needed to be installed, you can just chat directly from your email. I hope that my students will try to chat to each other, and possibly me, in English. This should improve their ability to think in English, and make it easier when speaking, as well as being a fun way to use English in their free time.