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What are adult students looking for in Taiwan?

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What are adult students looking for in Taiwan?

Postby Milkybar_Kid » 21 Jun 2012, 12:11

Hi,

I would like to get into teaching adults at some point in the future. However I understand that there are not many oportunities to teach adults so I am looking to pick up a few classes on the weekend just to get some experience. I am thinking of going to schools such as GVO, Wall Street, gjun etc.

I am currently reviewing all of the materials that I studied on my CELTA course however I have a nagging concern that this will not be relevant in Taiwan. From my reading on this forum and overall perception of Taiwanese students I beleive that most students will be in the "from jug to mug" mindset with regarding to teaching. Therefore am I not wasting my time a bit here? Is it not like studying the art of Ballet dancing in preparation for a street dancing competition?

Should I just give the students and laoban what they want? If they don't want to speak then don't make them. If they want a teacher to stand at the front and waffle on for 2 hours then so be it.

Obviously milage at each school will be different however if you have any insight it would be beneficial.

Thanks
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Re: What are adult students looking for in Taiwan?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 21 Jun 2012, 12:33

Adults really vary. Some have a definite goal they want to achieve. This is usually related to passing or attaining a particular level on an internationally recognised test so they can either study abroad or get a promotion. If you encounter any of those, it might be worth trying to poach them as privates. In particular, try to set up your own adult classes. Others are there under some vague notion of the above, but have virtually no ability to be motivated by themselves or others and are a complete nightmare. Others do it because their friends are doing it, or they're looking for a social outlet. They're not really likely to take things too seriously. Others genuinely are interested in learning English for its own sake. Poach those guys also. Everyone else, well, that depends upon how much you're willing to whore yourself out.
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Re: What are adult students looking for in Taiwan?

Postby tomthorne » 21 Jun 2012, 12:54

My advice would be to specialise in exam preparation. The problem with adult general English teaching is it's difficult to achieve focus and even the most enthusiastic teachers tend to have high student turnover - mainly because the existing methods don't really achieve much of a result and adults are able to vote with their feet. The SOP seems to be adult goes to a buxiban, fails to improve very much, so moves to another buxiban which uses the same teaching methods and the process begins again. Exam prep has clearly observable results and, usually, motivated students which will help maintain your sanity.
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Re: What are adult students looking for in Taiwan?

Postby housecat » 21 Jun 2012, 13:30

Some good advice. I always have started out any adult class by asking them what they want to get out of the class. Then, if there are any clear goals, I structure my lessons for them in a way that lays out for them that they are learning what they've asked to learn. The say it three times approach: tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you've just told them. I do that for all classes, actually, but for adults I make a big deal out of showing them what I'm doing.

Above all, you need to keep adults engaged. It may be even more important than with kids. This is because an adult is likely to get less out of a class in the firts place, especially if it's not a class with clear learning objectives or goals, like conversation classes usually are, and because adults are both bussy and in charge of their own actions. No one can force them to sit through a class if they don't feel like it.

They need to stay interested and stay engaged, or they'll find lots of other things to do.
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