Language instructors used to working with younger students almost always find it necessary to adjust their teaching style, and even their lesson plans, to suit the unique needs of adult ESL learners. We’ve gathered some useful tips for developing effective ESL courses for adult learners. Please share your own advice in the comments below.
Help them meet their goals: Most adult learners are less motivated by grades and more motivated by their plans for how they will use their language skills. To help participants get what they want out of class, involve class participants in sharing and setting their learning goals. You can also base class time on activities that are practical, have a clear purpose, and relate directly to their everyday lives. Do your adult learners want to learn English for career opportunities? Try holding mock interviews in class as a way to practice speaking skills.
Use age-appropriate content: It’s important to keep learning materials and discussion topics pertinent to adult participants so they feel they can contribute to the conversation and be more engaged. Higher education solutions from Rosetta Stone make it easy for teachers to personalize their lesson plans based on their distinct group of learners. It also offers relevant, authentic materials such as current news articles and videos from EuroNews and Associated Press as well as lessons in both everyday and business language that can be either used during class or assigned for independent learning.
Accommodate their schedules: Adult learners often lead very busy lives. Some language instructors use blended learning to make it easier for adult students to fit language learning into their demanding schedules. Following this method, students learn fundamental vocabulary and grammar at their convenience. Using online solutions such as those from Rosetta Stone allows instructors to easily incorporate on-demand lessons that include video, audio, and speech-recognition technology, real-time feedback, and even live conversation sessions. More time in class can then be devoted to personalized assistance from the instructor.
What techniques do you use to tailor your ESL classes for adult learners?