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ESL forum > Games, activities and teaching ideas > TEACHING ADULTS    




Hi everybody, What do you usually teach to adults? I am also going to start teaching adults (30-50 years old) but the problem is that Iīve never taught adults! so I am quite lost. It is a course that has been organized by the council in my town and I have to prepare all the material because there are no books, no Cds, anything. Moreover, it is the first time they learn English, this means they donīt know a word in English so this is more diffucult for me because I cannot use a film or CD programme as starter as some of you pointed out.

Can you help me with teaching ideas, worksheets, games, etc?? I hope you can.
Thanks a lot

9 Sep 2009      

Hong Kong

I wouldn īt assume they know no English.  They may have seen some movies or listened to some English songs.  Maybe that īs a good place to start. See if any of them know any English songs then explain the words to them.  You should start with greetings, introductions, basic vocab etc.  GL

9 Sep 2009     


hi there!
I think you should start teaching them  basic grammar and vocabulary (greetings,say their names, describe their jobs, age, simple present, nationalities, food etc) so that you can make sure they all are at the same level. As regards the material, in this amazing site you will find everything you need! worsheets, lesson plans, texts, games.. just take your time and search for the proper material. Something that really works with my ss are pieces of news (tv or newspapers), they love dealing with this kind of material, but maybe you should try this when they feel more comfortable with the use of the language
 I have some material that may help you organizing your first class, if you īre interested send me a pm with your e mail address and I īll e mail it to you
good luck!!

9 Sep 2009     


I had a course like that (by the Council too) last May and June. The students were adult women with no knowledge of English, so I was supposed to start from the beginning.
What I did was: on the first day I started by teaching them the alphabet (because one of the things I used  a lot was playing hangman with them so as to review vocabulary and make them speak a little bit since they had no level at all). I also taught them the greetings and how to introduce themselves (you know, all those basic things).
Them, I mainly devoted the first lessons to vocabulary, as it seems much nicer and lighter than grammar. I used some of the worksheets with lots of pictures, from this site. I tried to make something "funny". First I introduced vocabulary , for instance: body parts, and then, they did exercises on it. We saw body parts, animals, food, transports, clothes and things like that. After the first lessons I started introducing grammar (verb to be - to have, pronouns, this-these-that-those, plurals and some other basic things). In the middle of all this, as I said before, I tried to use many games, especially games to review vocabulary (hangman, bingo .....).
If you think I could help you more, write me and Iīll explain you more.

9 Sep 2009     

United States

I pretty much followed the same course as mjpa with my true beginner adult classes.  I do tend to bring in pronouns pretty early too though.   But like spagman says, they may be false beginners.  If that īs the case you can start working verbs and basic grammar a bit sooner.

9 Sep 2009     


I only teach adults. For beginners I usually work with "The New Cambridge English Course" - Michael Swan, Cambridge University Press. The book īs topics are written for adults, the exercises are quite handy in all kinds of conversation, there are cds available and I like the way the grammar is presented. If your students already know a bit of English, you can do 2 lessons in one hour. If they don īt know anything at all, only one. I sound like a commercial, but the books are affordable and really practical for adults. Furthermore the topics might inspire you to make some of own exercises.
They inspired me. 
Hope this was of any help.
Buenas noches,

9 Sep 2009     

Kate (kkcat)
Russian Federation

As soon as you get an idea of their real level, I īd recommend to get a book and then vary it with worksheets, songs and games, but I think that a book can help you out a lot. I like New Headway Beginner, Oxford university press. Since you say you canīt use books, just have a book for yourself only and take ideas and the sequence of topics from it.

9 Sep 2009     


Thank you very much for all your ideas I think they are quite good advices... thanks a lot

10 Sep 2009