To become a successful teacher of English to adults requires some special understanding of the class you manage. The main thing is that adults are not big children, their way of perceiving and evaluating the session, the teacher and the world in general plays a big part in the process of studying.
Factors that must be considered include:
LIFE EXPERIENCE – When coming to the class, adults bring with themselves much life experience, which is very different from student to student, but which must necessarily be shared. Exchanging life experience and connecting it to the material taught or discussed at class makes the material more relevant to life, thus, more understandable and practically valuable.
It is also vital to make sure there is a wide range of different activities that will reach all the age groups (which may vary from teens to older generations). Since the interests and world perception of your students will be very different, a nice activity will be to group them correspondingly for some discussions or other group activities.
MOTIVATION – Adult students make a conscious choice of their own to come to the class because they have some aim for which the knowledge of English may be crucial. Having sacrificed their time and money, adults are usually highly motivated. Among the reasons, the adults have come to the class, there may be such as:
- necessity to know English to enter some institution of higher education;
- need to learn English to get a promotion at a job;
- the requirement to learn English set by the employer or hiring organization;
- personal initiative to learn English just for the sake of it or for personal communication with native speakers.
Of course, there may be other reasons to want to learn English, and the best way to keep your students motivated throughout the course is to help them learn the aspects of the language which are close to their motives.