A good TEFL teacher must realize that teaching English to adult and young learners has many differences. There is a strong need for them who can teach both adults and children. Nevertheless, when deciding which age group to teach, these differences must be examined to ensure that you identify the ideal fit for your expertise and teaching style.
Do children learn in a different way than adults? Both yes and no! While there are some parallels in how these two large groups learn, Language Link will focus on their differences in this essay. Understanding how children and adults learn can better equip you to promote your own teaching methods as a teacher, or your child’s development as a parent. Because the process by which people learn best defines the strategies and materials that should be applied in the classroom.
Distinctions in Classroom Style
Children learn English at public or private schools and frequently attend language schools in the evenings or on weekends. It results in a high need for English-speaking teachers. Adult classes are usually at night or on weekends, and their availability may be more restricted.
Here are a few more distinctions in classroom style to consider:
- Student-teacher ratio: Teaching adults often entails substantially smaller classrooms than teaching children. You should personalize the lessons, and teachers can get to know their learners better while teaching in small groups.
- Classroom activities: Children is really happy to learn languages via games, songs, artistic projects, and storytelling to keep involved. Therefore, teachers have the opportunity to infuse lots of energy and enthusiasm that is not as prevalent in adult classes.
- Rate of progress: Teachers are likely to witness enormous gains in ability as youngsters learn their original language. Most adult learners have defined goals for acquiring the English language. It allows them to see a direct consequence of their learning in their everyday life, even if it is not as swift.
Behavior and Discipline
Young learners are variable in their motivation and attitude, which causes difficulties for teachers. Leading a young-age group lesson necessitates patience and a more wide repertory.
Adult learners are more disciplined, self-sufficient, and organized than younger learners. They do not require as much attention from the teacher, thus the teacher must apply different strategies for each class of students. When working with young students, the instructor should take control of the majority of the class. This is a way to ensure that proper instructions are delivered at each level. Adult learners, on the other hand, are more likely to be able to figure things out for themselves and should be allowed greater latitude during the class.
Expectations and Achievements when teaching English to Adults
Another significant distinction between teaching young learners and teaching adults is the level of expectation put on teachers. Teachers must evaluate their own command of the English language as well as their ability to deal with problems.
- Topic relevance: When teaching older children, you should make content more personal. It can be related to practical life, making it simpler to generate interesting lesson plans.
- Grammar: Because concepts must be taught successfully to adult learners, teaching adults necessitates a considerably higher grasp of grammar. Beginner-level children’s lessons need just a general grasp of grammar, therefore teachers confront fewer grammatical demands throughout class.
- Pressure: Teachers are under more pressure while teaching older learners since their expectations are higher. Teachers must be able to develop a clear vision for their courses and produce outcomes.
Children do not have the same level of learning experience as adults. They will disinterest in how you do things since they don’t know any different. Children will willingly participate in any activity you have planned and will turn to you for guidance, as long as you are having fun while doing it.
Adults, on the other hand, will enter your classroom with preconceived notions about your teaching methods based on their prior learning experiences. They may be more comfortable with a different style of teaching than you seem to be. It means you need to spend some time gaining their confidence and assisting them in seeing the method.
Adult Learners’ Difficulties
Adult learners frequently arrive in class after working a long day, which means the teacher must find strategies to hold their attention. They may be more worried when asked to perform in front of the class, and some activities may make them feel uneasy. Finally, many adult learners arrive to the class having had prior language learning experience at school or university. It has given them their own perspective, beliefs, and ideas about what studying English should be like. Most young students lack such experience, making it simpler to lead in the teacher’s direction.
Teaching English to Adults are more motivated
The next distinction is between adult and young learners’ motivation. Adult learners are typically more motivated since they understand why they are learning the language. And, it is usually their own choice to study it. Young learners, on the other hand, often study English as part of a school program and have no choice in the matter. As a result, kids frequently fail to recognize the purpose of their studies and exhibit a lack of drive and passion during sessions.
These are some significant differences in teaching English to adults and children. Keep these factors in mind so that you can adjust your lectures to your learners’ needs and even decide what type of job to apply for.
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