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Key Takeaways from ESL Talk Podcast on Teaching Adult Learners

January 17, 2022

Have you heard about the ESL Talk podcast? As described on their Apple Podcast page, ESL Talk is “a podcast for English teachers by English teachers.” In each episode, the hosts and their guests discuss various teaching topics, methods, and approaches specifically pertaining to ESL teachers. Here are some key takeaways from their episode on teaching adult learners.

Define rules, expectations, and objectives

Whether you’re teaching online or in a physical classroom, it’s important to establish the rules, expectations, and objectives.

To ensure everyone is on the same page, be honest with your students and involve them in the process of setting rules, expectations, and goals for the class. You may wish to use our My Language Goals and Goal-Setting – Can Do Assessment Tools to not only learn about your students’ goals but to also help your students set realistic and achievable goals.

Tailor lessons to adult learners’ needs and interests

When compared to young learners, adult learners typically have different goals and motivations. Whether their goal is travel-related, work-related, school-related, or something entirely different, it’s important to have a flexible approach when teaching adult learners.

Find out why they are interested in learning English and tailor your lessons to fit their needs and interests.

Lessons should be meaningful and relevant for your students. They should relate back to their goals. For example, if your students are learning English for a travel-related reason, you may want to use lessons from our Travel English section. Likewise, if your students are learning English for a work-related reason, you may want to use lessons from our Functional Business section.

Ultimately, it’s important to provide your adult learners with lessons that they will connect with and find value in.

Empower adult learners to use English

Empower your adult learners by encouraging them to speak in English as much as possible in the classroom. Make sure they know that their English doesn’t have to be perfect and that it’s okay if they make mistakes. It’s just important to try and start getting familiar with the language. Check out this blog post to learn more about effective speaking strategies.

Teachers, do you have any tips for teaching adult learners? Let us know in the comments below!

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