Teach English in WudantalA Linchang - Tongliao Shi

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With age in a student audience comes a complexity of teaching methods, approaches, and learning levels that affect one’s ability to retain knowledge and information within learning the English language. I will distinguish between the factors that have effects on young learners in contrast to adults. Adults are considered students who are eighteen years or older, generally. But, within the category of young learners are three other sub-categories. The first sub-category is perhaps one of the most difficult would be the post-puberty/early teen learner who is usually thirteen years or older; this group often contains students who may be unmotivated or self-conscious when it comes to learning English. The second group is pre-pubescent, or eight to twelve years of age. This group is often very receptive to the language including its sounds, grammar, and new words. Lastly, very young learners around the age of seven are becoming a very common age group for TEFL. Though their attention spans are fairly short, they have not yet fully learned the aspects of the native language are are easy to teach using more engaging/fun activities such as drawing or games. Because adult learners usually have more autonomy and learning experience, there seem to be more outlying factors that have an impact on their learning abilities when it comes to retaining English. Some of these factors include their motivations, nervousness, language awareness, life experience, and behavior. Adult learners usually have greater attention spans and have less behavior problems as well as more self-awareness that could lead to nervousness about learning a new language. Their motivations will also differ greater from the younger learners. Some adult learners may be attending a class for interpersonal reasons or for business related reasons for job opportunity. Younger learners still face issues with some of these aspects, but to a different degree. What differs the most is how these aspects are addressed in the learning process. While nervousness may be addressed through role playing and discussion of a variety of topics with adults, it may be addressed through games or more simplified topics with young learners. The content/context of discussion and teaching methods will differ. While there are a variety of differences when it comes to teaching methods between young learners and adults, there are also some commonalities. Some of these similarities will lie in how to assist the age groups in retaining information and content more efficiently. One way to do this is before an activity or watching a video, for example, students could be pre-taught vocabulary that they may consider to be difficult. Another similarity would be the creation of interest in both young and adult learners in order to keep them engaged throughout the lesson. What will differ, though, is the content of how they’re being engaged. A topic that is interesting will keep students engaged, but, what a class of young learners find to be interesting will differ from that of a class of adults. This is important to keep in mind when creating lesson plans and activities. It is important to assess in any class what level the students are at. This can be done through assessment tests and other means. It is important to know what level a learner is at and to not confuse age with speaking levels. Adult learners, though older, do not necessarily have a more advanced English speaking capabilities. It is important to know when you have a class of beginners or a class of students who may be taking a course for reasons that may be business or work motivated rather than to learn English for the skill. Even within beginning level students, there are a variety of categories that can affect how a student is able to learn and how they should be taught. Being aware of the level of experience of English speaking a student has as well as acknowledging and assessing student age groups is vital to their educational processes.