Motivating Adult Learners

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

And some practice:

Taking into account these characteristics, an EFL teacher of adults could do the following in order to enhance learner’s experience and motivate them:

The classroom environment needs to be one of adultness, both physically and psychologically.

Create a learning environment guided by values of mutual respect, collaboration, supportiveness and openness, but don’t forget fun.

As oftentimes adults learners already come with expectations and preconceptions about language learning, they need to actively participate in their own learning.

Ask them to assist in diagnosing their learning needs; ask them to plan and implement learning activities, and inform them on the theoretical justification for specific classroom activities.

Draw on your student’s background knowledge and life-experience gained from work or home; it validates a lifetime of learning and it provides a base on which to build new knowledge.

Ask them to reflect and evaluate their own learning. Use a learning contract as a tool for assisting adults to exercise self-direction.

Make the value of what they are learning clear, and explain how it relates to their learning goals. 

Use task-based activities to satisfy their need for immediate application and problem-centered learning.


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