Teach English in TAnggou Zhen - Lianyungang Shi

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Adults and young learners, or children, are very different from one other. Children at a stage in life in which they actively work to understand the world around them, whereas adults are at a stable intellectual level. One of the important challenges in effective education is understanding the differences between adults and children and developing an education strategy that plays to children’s needs and strengths. Some of the prominent differences between adults and children are their types of stimuli for learning and the difficulties adults and children have in learning. Adults and children have very different styles of effective stimuli. When comparing children and adults, it is important to note that children are in a period of substantial brain development and growth. They therefore need constant stimulation and interaction with their peers and the teacher. Children crave a stimulating, varied environment that gives them opportunities to learn through play. When it comes to planning an English lesson for children, it is important to include activities which engage their senses and allow them to use their imagination. English should be presented to children as a language that comes to life, through the use of games, simple stories, and visual props such as realia and pictures. Studying English shouldn’t even feel like studying to children. High exposure, along with fun activities that exercise the foundations of English should be used by the teacher to make learning English feel as real and natural to children as learning their native language. Learning English as a second language during childhood will encourage strong mental connections between their native language and English. Similarly, adults learning English need engagement as well, but are less averse to studying. However, adults learning English may take more time to learn than children due to stress and other commitments in life including work and family. Instructors need to take this into consideration, and provide adults with opportunities to review and practice what they have learned in each lesson. One of the other major differences between adults and children are the types of challenges they encounter while learning. The brain of an adult is still developing, but it is developing at a much lower rate than a child’s brain. Additionally, adults have a far more established view of the world than children and have experiences which could be helpful or detrimental to learning a new language. Adults also have a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and can predict what will challenge them during the language learning process. However, a major obstacle adults have to learning English that children generally don’t struggle with includes mental baggage (lack of confidence, lack of motivation or self-direction, holding yourself to unrealistically high standards, etc). An instructor teaching English to adults will need to monitor the mood of the classroom, and help adults feel relaxed and ready to make mistakes to learn English. In most cases, adults learning English in a classroom have already taken the initiative and time to be there, and want to learn. In many cases, adults are in an English class to study for a test, or to improve a specific skill needed for their job. Unlike children, adults can independently learn English, but still need direction and assistance from instructors. Children, on the other hand, learn a new language using trial and error. Simply because they have not judged themselves- they may not know what they would struggle with yet! Therefore, when a child struggles during class, it is important for instructors to continuously encourage and support them. Children need praise and encouragement to get them through their first difficult experience with a new language. To an adult, one challenge may seem insignificant, but to a child that new challenge is groundbreaking. The primary differences in education for adults as compared to the education of children appear in the types of stimuli required and the types of challenges. It is very important as instructors to engage their students, children and adults, with these strategies and obstacles in mind. Young or old, education is a crucial part of everyday life, and making it a simpler process is one of the key responsibilities of any effective instructor.