A good tutor should have many features, but it is important to note that in contrast to teaching children and adolescents, other competences are considered more desirable in teaching adults. It turns out that there are many of them. What are they and why? You will find out in this article!
The most important features of a good teacher of adult learners
Most people would probably say that the most important features are professionalism and appropriate qualifications. These features are fundamental, yet they generally describe a teacher who has a certain set of skills. An effective English lesson is primarily a lesson planned from A to Z. It is a concrete plan to be implemented, which is practical. This aspect is very important especially for adult learners because if they see that something is useless, they will certainly lose their motivation to learn and maybe even give it up. The teaching plan for adult English language learners should be based on specific methods and ways of their implementation. A good teacher of adult learners does not, for example, plan to listen to random material or to have a general discussion, but works on carefully selected materials. This reveals the teachers’ competence in organizing their own work and planning skills.
The importance of having Plan B … and Plan C
Furthermore, a good teacher should always indicate the purpose of each exercise, but also take into account possible modifications that need to be made when a particular language learner encounters difficulties in following the plan of a certain scenario. The teacher has to foresee all this and therefore has to have a plan B and even C! The teacher has many methods to choose from and even more ways to implement them. The real competence, however, is to be able to use them wisely. That is why one more feature will be necessary, and that’s creativity!
What should English language lessons for adult learners look like?
Such lessons should be well-prepared, creative, but most of all, adapted to the needs and abilities of the learners. A basic element of planning and preparing lessons are ready-made teaching aids, e.g. ESL worksheets. If they have been skillfully selected to suit the needs of the lesson, they will be attractive lesson material. Creative teaching methods will prevent the routine during lessons that could slow down the learning progress of adult learners. Thanks to an innovative approach to teaching, it is possible to build engagement that will result in effective teaching of adult learners.
Practical approach and creativity!
The previously mentioned practical approach does not exclude creativity; on the contrary, it is often combined with it! An example of this is working with authentic materials, such as YouTube videos, Netflix series, magazines, newspapers, etc. This is not only a great way to practice practical skills, but also an ideal way to use creative teaching methods. These can be translations of text passages, writing down interesting vocabulary or demonstrating useful grammatical structures.
Passion for teaching
Apart from qualifications, the ability to use methods, creativity and certain character traits, a real passion for teaching is essential! A tutor who gives off a lot of positive energy and loves their job has a positive influence on learners. A good tutor must also be able to motivate others. Why? A very common reason for learners’ failure is a lack of motivation. It even obscures the language skills and the hard work put into mastering the material during and after lessons.
Motivate your students!
A good tutor must be able to react to a decrease in motivation and keep it at the right level all the time. This is another characteristic of a good tutor, which is the ability to observe. It is not only about monitoring progress, but also about observing which causes the most problems for the learners. Teaching adult learners is often similar to coaching, because learners in this age group need advice and guidance in order to work effectively and positively evaluate their learning process. To sum up, a good tutor is endowed with various skills and qualities, so it will not be an exaggeration to call them a jack of all trades!