Teaching ESL to adults is much different from teaching ESL to first and second grade students. Frequently, teachers trained in elementary education can use many of their ESL skills in teaching adults. However, there are major differences that are outlined below.
LIFE EXPERIENCE -- Adults bring to the classroom setting a lifetime of experience that should be mutually shared. Sharing experiences makes the content of the class practical and relevant to daily living. This ensures that the content of your instruction includes life-coping skills and it stimulates the motivation of the adult students.
MOTIVATION -- Adult students for the most part are highly motivated. They attend class of their own free choice usually at some personal and financial sacrifice. Occasional absences are due more to family obligations rather than a lack of motivation.
IMMEDIATE GOALS -- Adult students usually have very specific and immediate goals. They are not looking forward to some long range academic achievement; rather they need English today to get a job tomorrow.
SELF CONCEPT -- Many adult learners are afraid to return to school for a variety of reasons. They lack the uninhibited enthusiasm of small children. The undereducated adults, in particular, are convinced that they cannot learn or are too old to learn.
What kind of students attend adult ESL Classes?
Why do people enroll in the ESL classes?
How can students be motivated so that they want to keep coming to class?