What Every Teacher of Adult ESL Students Needs to Know
Teaching adults has its own set of challenges and rewards for the ESL teacher.
Adults have more experience on which to draw, are usually less hindered by shyness, and often have a real need when it comes to language learning, but they do learn language differently than children do. These articles will help those ESL teachers whose classes are the above eighteen variety and will give you some hints on how to teach specifically to adults.
Do you ever wonder if you are giving your adult students the best English education that you can? When your students are the ones who sign the checks teachers may feel more pressured to make sure classes are perfect from start to finish. To help you move toward that goal, you should know these traits that adult learners have and how you can be a better teacher because of them.
The foundation of any successful English as a second language class is communication, and when your students are all adults you may have an easier time getting them involved in discussions. Try these tips to get your adult students talking and then enjoy hearing your students use the language they have worked so hard to develop!
When your students are responsible for getting themselves to class every day on time, you may find that attendance can easily become an issue. This article gives practical tips for handing adult students who may need to improve their attendance in class without offence.
Having adult students in the classroom is one thing, sending them out to do homework can be something entirely different. This article will give you practical tips on how to assign homework to your adult students that will engage and motivate them.
Teaching adults is not the same as teaching children. Each group has very different strengths and struggles. If you wish you were more familiar with the differences between adult and child learners, this article will get you started.
For those who teach adults in a language classroom, you know that your students’ needs and preferences are very different from those of a child. This article looks at the special needs that adult learners have and what measures the ESL teacher should take to meet those needs.
The older your students are, the more their home culture is likely to influence their beliefs and perspective on the world. Because of that ingrained culture, adult students are more likely to have struggles with cross-cultural conflicts. These simple steps will help you and your students learn to appreciate each other for your differences rather than argue about who is right or wrong.
Nothing is more useful in an ESL classroom than communication, and when you are teaching with controversial topics everyone in class will want to share his or her opinions. With adults, you have the freedom to use topics that may not be appropriate choices for children, and these topics are sure to get your class talking. Here are some ideas that you can use in class and how to use them so everyone gets a chance to express his or her opinion.
Everyone is an expert at something, and that is never truer when your ESL class is composed of adults. Their life experience, whether it was in their home country or in their host country, has given them wisdom and a unique perspective. Make the most of what your students have to offer and help them feel like they have something to share with this unit on making the most of your students’ knowledge. You and your class may learn things you would never have expected from your students!
Teaching adult ESL can be a challenge, but it also comes with great rewards.
Use the space below to let us know why you love teaching adults and what great ideas you have used in class. We would love to hear from you!
Susan likes to enjoy every day to its fullest whether she is freelance writing, teaching homeschoolers, or developing her special talent of instigation. When she is not imagining sand castles or catching others off balance, she cooks, sings, reads and takes walks in the sunshine. She earned an M.A. from the University of Delaware in Linguistics and an M.A. from Trinity School for Ministry in Youth Ministry. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her wonderful husband and her three cheepy cockatiels.
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