Tingk. IVF/NIM 2009041068
Teaching English for Adult Learners
Adult learners are learners who have maturity in physically, mentally, sexology, thought, and age. Usually, their learning environment is more formal and systematical.
Whereas the characteristics of adult learners are:
- They are autonomous learners. They have maturity. Therefore, don’t we treat them as children. We have to be careful and consider the suitable method, speech or action.
- They have abstract thought and can handle its rule or concept. We can describe anything without showing the real object.
- Their concentrations are longer, although with uninterested materials. They can be respect what we are presenting about, although they are not interested in or our way is so boring. But, we have to be careful because they are critical.
- They often feel frustation because of their age. Most of them assume that they can’t catch the material easily. We as teacher have to give advise that it is something ordinary and we can make it better step by step.
- Adults tend to be discipline because they are motivated individual that have a clear reason to learn.
- They lack of time because of their career, study or family business. Therefore, we have to be focus and short in giving task.
Some of appropriate methodologies to teach them are:
- Learning by doing: because of their clear reason to learn, they expect to be able in mastering the skill that they want. Orient the content toward direct application rather than theory. Therefore, we need practising something from the theory that we’ve ever delivered. E.g: Making a business letter, curriculum vitae, etc.
- Discussion: This method is suitable for the teachers to elaborate their opinions or wide experiences.
- Using media: This way will be interesting and make easier for adults to understand material. We can use video, tape recorder, etc.
- Group works: It will be useful for adult learners to share each other. Beacuse of their limitation time, group works will help them in order to decrease their responsible and duty. They also can be free in telling opinion and searching another refferences.
Malcolm Knowles, a pioneer in the study of adult learning, observed that adults learn best when:
1. They understand why something is important to know or do.
2. They have the freedom to learn in their own way.
3. Learning is experiental.
4. The time is right for them to learn.
5. The process is positive and encouraging.
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*21 November 2012