Why do people enroll in the ESL classes?
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Adult learners attend ESL classes because they choose to, not because they have to. If the class fails to satisfy the need that has motivated them to come, they will simply stop coming. Some of the major motivating forces for the students in your class are the following:
One thing in general to remember about adult students is that they are much more likely than younger students to come with specific purposes for their learning. They are more likely to know what they want to learn and why they want to learn it.
- Survival -- They realize that learning English is essential to satisfy their most basic physical and social needs. They must speak it in order to get food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, as well as to participate in social and political institutions.
- Job Enhancement -- In many instances they need to be able to speak English in order to get a job. Sometimes they have a job but need better English skills in order to keep the job or to advance in their employment.
- Education -- Many students attend ESL classes in order to complete their GED or, in some cases, to attend college.
- Social Interaction -- Some students attend ESL classes for social reasons. They enjoy meeting and getting to know new people, and the ESL class is a place where they can fulfill those needs.