When we decide to teach adults, the awareness, as well as comprehension of whom we teach and what
we learn, is essential here.
1) Adults do not want to waste the time.
Some adults take language courses because of a job requirement while others have their particular
goal to attain (such as a language exam or a professional interview). Adults expect direct,
practical benefit. All of them will raise the similar questions
• What for,
• Who (is my teacher?),
• What else could I achieve instead?
• Is the time well spent?
All lessons must have a definite outcome, perhaps even a practical takeaway. It is necessary to
define specific profits at the end of the lesson and associate the benefits to the individual
2) Adults are reflective learners; they think about
• what is challenging or where I require more support
• different learning strategies and self-evaluation
• maintaining a sense of responsibility for learning and achieving goals
3) Motivation is varied, and flexibility is crucial.
Teachers have to be flexible and ready for different approaches, wide-ranging content or even
unconventional paths to lead to the same goal.
Creating a context for meaningful learning is one of the tasks.
4) Mature students feel the need for direct benefit as well as valuable language skills.
Learners are looking for a solution to an exact problem at hand, immediately.
• The fundamental question is: “What should I do to get this to work?”
• Mature learners usually want to accomplish a particular task, or at least, see a noticeable
benefit for the future.
• Adults want to use language for a real-world reason.
5) The different abilities of adult learners are evident.
Child and Adult Learning Characteristics
- Rely on others to decide what is important to be learned.Accept the information being presented at face value.
Expect what they are learning to be useful in their long-term future.
Have little or no experience upon which to draw, are relatively “blank slates.”
- Decide for themselves what is important to be learned.
Need to validate the information based on their beliefs and values.
- Expect what they are learning to be immediately useful.
- Have substantial experience upon which to draw.
- May have fixed viewpoints.
- They may have a recognized life context that determines their learning.
The adult learners need a greater sense of cooperation between the student and
teacher as they go on through the educational process (Zmeyov, 1998). Furthermore, experienced
individuals may bring supplementary skills such as a higher level of maturity and a different
understanding of world matters and geopolitics than traditional students (Byman, 2007).
Personally, I am against using grammar boards, linguistic terms and other abstractions in language
teaching. However, if they can help the mature student why do not explain the grammar rules?