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Learning Modes- What are the differences and similarities between teaching young learners and adults? Autumn Wood TEFL 120 hour course Summative Task January 19, 2020 While the thought of teaching adults can be daunting when compared to that of teaching young learners, one should consider a number of things. The first being that while it can be easier for younger students to pick up a new language, adult students are often more motivated. Why ? They are usually paying for their own lessons. It is not uncommon that an adult student wants to learn english in order to be able to fulfill a personal goal. Examples of this can be a desire to strengthen relationships, have better opportunities at work, or even move to an english speaking country. (Unit 019: Teaching Special Groups.) But HOW do you teach adults and kids? What methods will be successful? Can we educate them in the same way? A three year old and a 25 year old may both have an A1 level of english, but they probably will not be using all the same methods to learn the language. The grammar - translation method is a method that can be used by older students who can read and write in their own language, they then make comparisons between words in their language, and words in the english language. Children who cannot read and write cannot use this method. Children are more susceptible to learning english in a more natural way. Learning at a young age makes you associate words with what they mean. Not with what other word means something similar in their own mother tongue. The communicative language teaching method would be better for those who mainly just need exposure to a language, opportunities to listen to it, and speak it. Another approach that is good for children but not adults is the lexical approach. This approach is based on learning phrases in English as the building blocks for learning a language, rather than learning through grammar and structure. (Unit 3: Theories, Methods and Techniques) As mentioned before, kids are able to do this because they look at a word and what it means rather than what word they already know that is closest to what it means in their native tongue. Adults who have been speaking their native tongue, and are hard rooted in that need more rules and structure, and so the grammar - translation method works better. Methods that I believe work for both adults and kids include audio- lingualism, presentation, practice and production, and task based learning. Presentation, practice and production has less to do with age and more to do with your english level. If the students language level is low this method is more likely to work for you. Like the former method, audio lingualism focuses on drills and repetition which is why it is better for low level speakers. (Unit 3: Theories, Methods and Techniques) Task based learning is good for all levels of adults or students, because we just focus on fulfilling the task and do not get overly serious about corrections. The straight arrow method works on both adults and kids. Elicit, study, activate is a way to get any of the above methods put into practice. (Unit 3: Theories, Methods and Techniques) Through this method we can use visuals , do listening practice, speaking exercises, and a variety of other learning methods, both as a group and on your own. This method gives us the ability to use a combination of the different methods listed above, and more, this makes learning more likely. All ages benefit first and foremost from a basic structure. Whether you are a kid or an adult you will start from the bottom up with basics like “Hi, how are you” , “thank you” , “he”, “she”, “I”. In the A1 and A2 levels you will be using much more visuals, and gestures, rather than just a verbal description of what you are going to do. You can tell the class you want them to say their names out loud in turns, but if they have a low level of english it is much better to point to yourself and say your name and then point to the other students. This is the DEGO method. Which stands for demonstrate, elicit, give out. (Unit 020: Troubleshooting.) Kids have a tendency to lack motivation for learning english much more than adults do. This is because kids do not always choose to go into an english class. They are more likely than not forced into the class by a school or their parents. A lack of motivation in kids can lead to a variety of disruptions caused by mainly boredom. (Unit 019: Teaching Special Groups.) For this reason you must strive to make lessons relevant, and interesting. Giving kids an article about the production of soap is really not going to go over well with them. However, if you show them a clip from a show they like and then ask them questions, they will be more fascinated. Of course the same can be said for adults. Perhaps for the adult students you can use a local news story, or if the class is business oriented choose an article from Forbes. While you may have to adjust some details to make material relevant to each specific class, the fact still remains that lessons must be interesting. The teacher must be a motivator, the content must be good, and students must practice if they want to get better. The more immersed anyone at any level is in a language the more likely they are to get better at it. But who you teach affects the vocabulary you teach, the methods and activities you use, the readings you assign, and pretty much the subject matter of everything else in the classroom . Works Cited 1)International TEFL and TESOL Training. “Unit 019: Teaching Special Groups.” ITTT 120 Hour Course, ITTT 003 Copyright, 2011. 2)International TEFL and TESOL Training. “Unit 3: Theories, Methods and Techniques.” ITTT 120 Hour Course, ITTT 003 Copyright, 2011. 3)International TEFL and TESOL Training. “Unit 020: Troubleshooting.” ITTT 120 Hour Course, ITTT 003 Copyright, 2011.