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02/04/2018 - 12:00
Teaching a language to adults is so much more than vocabulary and grammar, speaking and reading. To be successful, it helps to get into the minds of our students and know something about their motivation, character, needs, past language learning experiences, learning styles and even position in society. Why should we do this and how?
Freelance teacher and translator
Helen is a freelance translator and teacher of English to adults in Belgium. Following a degree in Language and Linguistic Science in the UK (and a few years as a consultant in international taxation, just for fun), Helen moved to Belgium and has been teaching since 2010. She was one of the very first members of BELTA!
Language learners are all different and I feel it helps us as language teachers to consider these differences in the way we teach. Knowing how our students think and react is the key to success.
I hope my workshop will encourage teachers to view their students as thinking people, not just as learners, and to adapt teaching methods to their characters, circumstances and needs.
Adults come to our English lessons with baggage. They have past experiences, other languages (or not), likes and dislikes, different characters and varying degrees of confidence and motivation, all of which may affect their ability and willingness to learn successfully. How can we as teachers manage all these differences and unlock the potential in each of our students?
My presentation will focus on the various psychological tools we have to be able to get the very best out of our language learners. These tools co-exist alongside the English language teaching tools that we have already learned (how to explain and practise the present perfect tense, how best to structure a listening comprehension, and so on) and are of prime importance if we are to teach English successfully to adults, either in a class or alone.
During the workshop, we shall discuss the possible issues we may face from a psychological perspective before breaking into groups to consider a number of interesting real-life case studies. How would we approach each different situation in the most appropriate way, always with a view to maximising learning?
The workshop is aimed principally at teachers of adults or one-to-one support teachers of adolescents.