Teach English in Nanhui Xincheng Zhen [Nanhui New City; incl. Shengang Jiedao, Luchaogang Zhen] - Shanghai Shi

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young learners vs Adult LearnersMy research will be based on my personal experience as a teacher. I have encountered different types of students. There are young learners and adult learners, and teaching these two groups taught me a lot of how to deal with my students in order to be an effective teacher. In my years of teaching experience, teaching a group of young learners is actually rewarding when you hear them say something in english. It is fun but at the same time, would require so much energy. Most teachers of young learners devote more time in preparing lessons for them. Preparing materials such as pictures, so that the students can visualize what the teacher is talking about in class. Young learners are quick to adapt what they see in pictures together with pronunciation rather than pronunciation alone. I myself have noticed that young learners can pick something up easily from english cartoons, for the reason that the visualization doesn?t look dull in their eyes. It is colorful and speaks in the pace that is quite childlike. I also have seen children who are really trying their best to speak and explain things in english through mimes if they cannot say something which is somehow good because it means that they understand what the words being taught to them. I have noticed that most young learners are very enthusiastic and keen to learn the language. Their pronunciation pick up is better than those of adult learners. Their eagerness and curiosity made them adapt to the language easier. Although it is a different case for adult learners, I have taught businessmen, they are smart but I found it a little difficult to teach them because they want to learn in their own way and sometimes are very impatient to learn the basic grammar and phonics. In this case, I think it is because they are adults and successful businessmen and it made them think that they don?t need the basic but just to jump to where they want to learn, that is the reason why most adults have difficulty in pronunciation. They are not as eager and as curious as young learners. I do believe that a basic and good english foundation is essential to become familiar and fluent with the language. Next, most young learners don?t have wide attention span as to those of adult learners, so often; the teachers need to prepare some activities or games to keep the class active and lively at all times. This is needed, most especially for young learners because once they get bored the rate of learning the language decreases. Kids learn through activities they do, and how often they use the new words which class games or activities could provide. Whereas in adult learners, they can concentrate on learning for one hour if they choose to and of course it is also good if there is an ice breaker activity too. But there are times that adult learners are usually embarrassed to do class activity, because they are afraid to make mistakes in front of their classmates. Most young learners are not afraid to say that they don?t understand the meaning, their honesty is very helpful. In this case, few adults would, but most I think would be very shy to admit that they don?t understand what the teacher is telling them. This kind of behavior is important in determining if they truly understand the lesson and for their improvement. One thing that most young learners don?t have at an early age is motivation. Most of them are studying english because their parents want them to. As for adult learners, I noticed that they are more motivated to learn the language compared to young learners. As I have seen from my students in the past, they were eager to learn and would try hard to speak the language, although some don?t. Some reasons were that they were so embarrassed to commit mistakes especially here in South East Asia, where most people are typically so embarrassed or shy to commit mistakes in speaking the language. Whilst, for other adult learners who are confident to speak, they are the ones usually improve a lot faster than those who don?t speak at all. The good thing in teaching adult is that you don?t need to scold them to stay quiet and listen to you which are the opposite of the young learners where you have to control them in the classroom. Some beginner adult learners are eager and motivated and the advance adult learners expect so much from the teachers and they usually frown when they don?t like the topic being taught to them even if it?s helpful for their progress. In terms of grammar, adult learners quickly absorbed and understand them compare to the young learners, because of many factors such as; they have too many subjects to study in school, the lack of experience in the world as adults would have. In my own conclusion, I think that teaching young learners and adult learners varies a lot, but both are rewarding in their own way. I think both needs different approach in their study process and both need patience as well coming from the teacher. There are many factors out there that differs teaching adult and young learners, but one thing I know, they are both walking toward a certain goal, and that is to learn english as their second language.