Teaching English to Adults
Teaching English to adults has a few differences
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The biggest difference is that it is usually possible to use a wider
range of texts and subject matter with adults than with younger
But there are also other considerations. There are some
misconceptions about teaching adults, too.
Teaching English to Adults: True or False?
Read the following facts and decide if you think they are true or
false. The answers are below the questions.
- It is safe to use any subject matter when you
are teaching adults.
- Adults can concentrate for longer than younger
- Adults don't learn as fast as children do.
- Adults are more motivated to learn than
- You shouldn't play games with adults as they
like to be serious.
What did you think?
look at the answers:
You need to be sensitive to the background of your students.
For example, if you are teaching refugees from a war zone, the subject
of family may be very sensitive as they may have left loved ones
Also, unless you know your group well, it is unwise to use subject
matter relating to topics such as religion or politics.
is sometimes true, but not always.
It is certainly important, even when teaching adults, to vary the tasks
during your class.
Even adults are not usually able to concentrate fully for more than 30
minutes on one task without losing concentration.
- This is sometimes true, although everybody learns at a different
speed, so it is important to be aware that some students
may learn faster than others.
usually have more of a reason to learn English, so this
can be true.
But children, even if they are learning English because they "have to,"
can also be very motivated if they are enjoying their lessons.
Everyone has a preferred style of learning and some people do prefer to
learn by doing exercises, reading a book, and serious conversation.
But it is always a good idea to inject a little fun into the lessons to
make them less monotonous, and educational games are a good way to do
Other suggestions for teaching English to adults
- Get to know your students.
The better you know them, the better you will be able to provide interesting,
- Make the resources you use relevant to your
For example, if the majority of them are looking for a job, use job
advertisements, applications and interviews in a lesson.
- Have your students tell you subjects they want
to cover in the lessons.
If students are involved with lesson planning, they are usually more
motivated to learn.
- Vary the location as well as the activities if
Lessons outside, in a coffee shop, or in a shopping mall or library can
be useful and interesting for adult learners.
Teaching English to adults can be really rewarding and it can also be
fun. It doesn't have to be boring at all.