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Helpful Tips to Teaching English as a Second Language to Adult Learners

Helpful Tips to Teaching English as a Second Language to Adult Learners
Admin - Dec 04 2015

Teaching English to adult learners can be both challenging and rewarding. Adult learners bring to the classroom a lot of issues that a teacher must address before creating a successful learning environment. As a teacher for adult students, you must be prepared to understand the needs of your students and be flexible enough to alter lessons when they’re proving to be ineffective in the classroom. To help you in your lessons, here are some ideas and techniques to make your classroom more effective and interesting.


1. The cultural background of adult English students can play a huge role in learning. Adult students bring a lifetime worth of beliefs and even learning methods into the classroom which may vary from the culture they are learning in. Sometimes, students may act in ways that are acceptable in the student’s country of origin but may conflict with learning behaviour in their adopted country. You must be prepared to develop cultural skills and take into account each student’s country of origin to effectively teach English and foster an effective and positive classroom environment.

2. Adequate personal connection with each student is important and should be established before teaching any aspect of the language. Your students should want to communicate with you first before you can help them learn how to communicate in English. Learn your students’ names and ask them about their families. This will help foster a sense of community in the classroom.

3. Every adult learner that walks into the classroom, no matter their educational background, has his own individual knowledge regarding language. The teacher must be able to align the learning process for adult English language learners with daily life strengthens comprehension in English since students can associate their language knowledge and skills with the ability to function in the world. As a teacher, you need to develop lesson plans that will link daily activities that rely on the use of English to be accomplished.

4. Lessons should have attainable and measurable objectives. A specific objective will help adult students to understand their goals for learning during the lesson. This will also help you evaluate student performance and gauge if the lesson has sunk in with the students. Objectives also help students know if they have achieved the skills and knowledge needed to become successful. If there are unclear objectives for the students they maybe become frustrated and fall behind in the lesson.

5. Peer collaboration and team activities can spur language learning. Placing students in cooperative groups will give each student personal attention from their peers, a useful technique specially when providing focused personal attention to each student is difficult. This is also helpful when you need the students to be the focus of activities. Groups can create a community setting and help students learn from each other.

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