How to teach ESL to adults?

How to teach ESL to adults?

English teacher is a quite rewarding and interesting profession. Mostly, people take it up because of two possible reasons, either they can explain complicated things in the easiest way or they are fond of the language. Despite, English seems to have a clear structure and system, some people still struggle to learn it. Language acquisition takes some time, patience and much practice. That is why ESL tutors, who are interested in critical-thinking and logical approach, prefer to work with grown-ups.

It is believed that adults shoulder responsibility for the result of their efforts. As for teachers, it is easier to keep focus on needs and progress, rather than entertaining. Don't get me wrong, lessons always must be riveting and absorbing, but when you teach adults, you don't need to make students study in comparison with children.

People start learning foreign languages when they have important goals to pursue. And if you feel you can help to reach them, go for it.

There are the most popular reasons why adults turn to English learning:

  • job promotion;
  • moving in a foreign country;
  • international business relationship;
  • studying or working abroad.

As long as you are qualified to help to solve any of this problem, you should teach grown-ups. Let's think of what you need to start.


How to start teaching English to adults?

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Intend resolutely

As you understand students' needs, you should decide what you are a master of. It is really difficult to be good at everything. So, a lot of tutors make their choice, what things they can do better than others. It will help you find a niche in the market and attract only motivated students. Even if you are not ready to be self-employed, you will get much more respect from language schools as long as you are focused on one thing in ESL teaching.

You can be high-qualified professional to teach:

  • American or British accent and pronunciation;
  • international exam preparation;
  • interview preparation;
  • English for specific purposes;
  • Business English;
  • General English.

When you found your feature, it is a high time you chose where you would like to work.

Online teaching gives a bunch of advantages in terms of comfort. You can save time on commuting to work and have a work-life balance setting your work hours. However, sociable people can find it boring and depressing, as you have no chance to communicate with coworkers and be in the spotlight.

On the contrary, working overseas may be an excellent experience in your life. You can make foreign friends, get familiar with other culture and see the world. That's a great chance for people who get itchy-feet.

As soon as you make a decision in terms of a workplace, start searching job and checking employers' requirements to know how to fit the bill. Requirements may change from school to school, however there are the most important.

Common requirements to English teachers:

  • fluent English speaking;
  • a bachelor's degree in any major;
  • work experience;
  • international certification.

Don't worry if you don't fit in, there is always a way to become an attractive candidate. Professional development will help you not only to enhance your teaching and language skills, but also to start filling a role.

What's the difference between teaching to adults and kids?

Teaching children and grown-ups are based on different ideas. The first obvious difference is a goal pursuing. Most of the kids have no intention to master English but their parents will. Even if some children have inspiration to take a new activity up, they need a constant support and encouragement from a teacher. That is why, teaching process is focused on entertainment rather than learning.

On the bright side, kids acquire new information so fast that they don't need to use a logical approach in studying. They rely on feelings and images rather than memory. They have no structure of grammar tenses, they repeat after you. Also, they are not afraid of making mistakes, they can speak up without hesitation.

However, it is hard to keep kids' attention for a long time. That is why ESL teachers turn to a bunch of games to diversify a lesson and make children interested.

There are some ways of teaching kids:

  • total physical response;
  • loud and funny songs;
  • bright and popular cartoons;
  • flashcards;
  • online games and quizzes.

It doesn't mean that lessons for adults are boring and dull. They just need other things to engage with the language with enthusiasm. In this case, we just replace trivial songs and cartoons with short YouTube videos relate to students' interests. People with a clear purpose want to measure the result of every lesson. So, before you finish a class, make learners reflect on things they have learned today.

It is an illusion that grown-ups don't like playing games, they do. But any game must be prepared with a certain purpose, whether it is a vocabulary revision or grammar one. As soon as people reach Pre-Intermediate level we teach them how to discuss different topics, how to react on complaints and complements. It is one of the most important skill that they will implement in the real life.

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