This is a common and relevant question often asked among people who are interested in taking up the course but is confused how beneficial this will be for them. TEFL as it stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language is an option that can be explored by any educator, entrepreneur, and freelancer or aspiring students thinking to start off a career in the teacher-trainer domain at the global level. As trainers they can address both the adult learners as well as the young learners.
But then again to give it a clear insight as how that can actually be possible, let’s explore by referring what you will learn, how you are going to learn through the TEFL course.
Identifying the parameter or commonality or differences between adult and young learners –
First, we need to understand as trainers and teachers the perspective or mind-set, psychic level and the individual needs of the learners while addressing either the adult or the young learners. Usually, the difference between the young and the adult lies in the mental growth maturity level which automatically impact their individual outlook relating to their learning and developmental processes.
For instance, adult learners are mostly pre-skilled and have fair knowledge about a particular topic, however, in respect to language learning they may be familiar or unfamiliar with the words, sentences or pronunciation skills.
With young learners, this is not the case, they are like mud, and you as a trainer or educator need to develop them so that they are able to understand what you are telling them. Moreover, they lack the maturity level and thus would require you to add some fun learning, mostly relating to their playing pattern.
Similarity – Again, the activities isn’t a whole lot different, because as part of the modern day learning, teachers must use the latest teaching strategies to engage the attention span of learners.
Second, another area of difference is in terms of the classroom style, and ambience. Usually, children have a fixed learning ambience and are not pre-occupied with other activities as the adult. They need to attend school regularly as a part of their development and learning phase.
On the other hand, adult learners have to take care of the household activities, work premises and are mostly trying to understand and absorb both the professional advantages of a TEFL course.
Similarity – Even though we are speaking about the adult seeking upgradation in a particular language for their existing work benefits, at the same time, we need to understand that the future potential of understanding, explaining and practicing the same is happening with the children as well. That’s why the course looks quite similar and relevant to meet the children and adult people ‘future work-ready’.
Example – TEFL course opened a scope for Maritime Trainees in Thailand who would be travelling to countries where English is the choice of expression. As part of their technical education, certified trainers who are able to handle the college or high level students (mostly the adults) in making effective communication.(Read more about the case at Why TEFL English Is Important To Teach Maritime Indonesian Tyros?). This is a vital tool since they need to understand English as part of their professional communication system (at the written and verbal levels).
Now, in order to reduce the chances of miscommunication or error in the clarity of business transactions or processes, the technical departments as well as organisations are counting on the students who have maintained or have undergone a decent level of TEFL understanding. As a result, this is increasing the demand of ESL trainers who can cater to the future as well as immediate need.
How the ESL trainers would address the class?
Well, so far we have realised that TEFL is not just for the young or adult learners but for both. Trainers who are legally hired based on their TEFL certification under an accredited course program are well aware of the specific needs of both segments of people. Accordingly, lesson plans are strategised based on that, use of learning activities are identified based on the simple to complex modes of learning.
Say, as part of your corporate training program, where you are entitled to work as a corporate trainer, you need to stay well equipped on the basic business orientation process. Client needs assessment which is strongly addressed under the personalised TEFL course meant for the business segment, corporate professionals or entrepreneurs is learnt and addressed by trainers. To understand the technical aspects refer to the Client Needs Analysis – Central to Teaching Business English.
Similarly, when you are trying to make the young learners understand the mathematical explanation using English as your medium, why don’t you add some spice? Chatty Maths: A Way To Explain Your Numerical Learning for the Young Learners enable the teacher to cater towards fulfilling the goal of effective learning and prepare as future professional. Moreover, all the mannerisms of interactive, engaging learning are also well understood.