I'm a 40 year old single mum of a 6 year old girl and I regularly host international students. It's mostly fine and they are mostly actually very sweet but Im always wondering if I'm doing it right and how other people do it? I've had no contact with teenagers since I was a teenager and ive NO IDEA what to talk to them about other than the most banal small talk about their families etc. They are polite and answer me but never initiate conversation or questions back to me etc. It's all a bit exhausting and after a few days I just give up and let them get on with it really as I get the feeling they would prefer to just be left alone?! They normally come in pairs so they have each other's company.
We used to do this and I used to ask them lots of questions initially in the first few days and then let them guide the way. Some of them liked to chat a lot and spend a little time with us and some just wanted to be polite then disappear with friends. I felt it was easier on us because we got a lot of teenage boys who were happy to play xbox with my 2 ds. Therefore it felt like we had made an effort iyswim. Most of them had an awful lot of money and we're out every night, going shopping and eating out so weren't much interested in us! I also used to try to show I cared about them by making cakes for them, etc if the language barrier was too much. Good luck!
Ah good I'm glad it's not just me then! I never know how much of a good 'host' I'm being as they are surely here to practice their English but they don't seem to... maybe they just don't care?! Probably not. I didn't as a teenager....
I usually ask small talk type questions too, with the ones who have better English skills i find the conversation is more two sided. Like you say they often come with a friend and would rather chat in their room than hang around the kitchen.
Do you get feedback from your school? Mine allows the students to score me on room/food quality/cleanliness and opportunity to practice English. I usually score 5/5 for everything and 4/5 for speaking which is good enough for me!