<b>Forum for teachers teaching adult education </b>
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
I think it is important to recognize that in teaching ESL, each age level has its own characteristics. As a future ESL teacher, I understand that teaching at the adult level is very different than teaching in elementary or secondary ones. Adults have the ability to think abstractly, have longer attention spans, and many adult students have specific reasons and motivations as to why they want to learn the English language. Adult learners are more confident in themselves than younger students and are more likely to communicate any issues they are having. Having had no experience with adult ELL's besides with my parents, I would like to know what the biggest challenges are with teaching ESL at the adult age level? How does this compare to other age levels?
I think the largest challenge in teaching adult ELLs is that their affective filters are very high and, in a way, they can be more sensitive to correction and exactness of the English language than other age groups. This might extend their "quiet period" and possibly trigger them to say "I can't" more often. Another challenge is that adults are focused more on the grammar, and with the English language, there are exceptions to almost every rule! This can be daunting for the teacher, so brush up on the major grammatical rules because adult ELLs will ask questions relating to grammar more often than not. Those are the two largest challenges I can think of, but I would keep in mind that as long as the classroom atmosphere is welcoming, these challenges won't be as severe as we are lead to believe.