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Teaching English to Mature Learners

Course Dates 2016 Tuition fees 2016
24.07.2016-06.08.2016 10 x £77.50*

Who is the course suitable for?

  • Non-native teachers engaged in planning and/or delivering ELT programmes to mature learners (learners aged over 45)
  • Participants should have a minimum language level corresponding to B2 in the Common European Framework **Please note this course is not suitable for primary or secondary school teachers**

Course aims

  • To update your methodology, management and practical teaching techniques and skills
  • To examine and reflect on your own approaches and attitudes to teaching and learning
  • To become more aware of what you and others do in the classroom
  • To discuss and share ideas, problems, methods and techniques with peers from other parts of the world
  • To give participants the opportunity to review a range of recent materials that are relevant to their own teaching contexts

Course programme


All participants are required to fill in a Pre-Course questionnaire. It is very important that this is returned at the earliest opportunity as the course is pre-planned based on this. The course content is outlined and discussed on the first morning, and is then adapted as appropriate.


Participants will experience a variety of teaching techniques, materials, devices and procedures designed to help learners who are over 45 acquire language. The course will look at memory and the importance of memorisation techniques and recycling when teaching this group of learners. It also examines strategies for teaching learners who may have been out of education for several years and ways of increasing their confidence and motivation.


The process of reflecting on your own classroom experience and being exposed to a wide range of teaching techniques, as both teachers and learners, will help you to be a more knowledgeable and creative classroom practitioner.

Description of training content

This course offers 20 hours of teaching methodology (Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 13:30) in a maximum group size of 12.

Week 1

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
09:00-11:00 Introductions and establishing course priorities. Observation and reflection diary. Teaching and learning: – An overview of teaching practices and beliefs. – Adapting teaching practices to the specific needs of the older learner. Speaking 1: – What constitutes a good speaking class? – Establishing the communicative needs of older adult learners. – Making speaking classes relevant to the needs and interests of learners aged 45 and above. Vocabulary 1: – Techniques for presentation of lexis to learners over 45. – Helping older learners to effectively record and recall new language. Teaching resources: – What constitutes a good resource? Evaluating materials and exploiting them to their full potential. – Developing and sourcing material relevant to the needs and interests of adults aged 45 and over. – Adapting existing materials for the older learner.


11:30-13:30 Teaching and learning: – Learner styles. – The learning process in adults aged 45+. – Overcoming obstacles that older learners may face. – Challenging preconceptions older learners may have about the learning process and learner roles. – Building confidence in the learner and their abilities. Pronunciation: – ELF or RP? Establishing learner needs and analysis of pronunciation issues common to older learners. – Using the phonemic chart. – Practical ideas for dealing with pronunciation challenges that adults aged 45+ may face. – Integrating pronunciation into lessons. Speaking 2: – Practical ideas for use in class with older adults. – Analysis and evaluation of sample material and activities. Vocabulary 2: – Practical ideas for use in class with learners aged 45+. – Ideas and methods for recycling vocabulary Technology: – Improving the accessibility of technology to older learners. – Practical ideas for using technology with people with lower-level IT skills. – Using the Internet with older learners – evaluating websites – Recommended activities and websites for use with older adults . Mid-session evaluation

Week 2

09:00-11:00 Grammar 1: – Analysing and evaluating techniques for presenting and grammar to older adults. – Examination of the use and role of L1 in the language classroom. Listening : – Techniques for improving listening skills. – Dealing with listening problems common in learners aged 45+. – Practical ideas and suggestions for using listening tasks in class. Classroom Management 1: – Effective classroom management for learners who may have returned to the learning environment after a prolonged absence. Reading: – Strategies for effective reading in adults aged 45+. – Analysis of and ways of dealing with problems frequently occurring with older readers. Writing: – Methods and structures for developing written proficiency in older learners. Mentoring and reflection: Receiving and giving effective feedback from students and colleagues.


11:30-13:30 Grammar 2: – Analysis and evaluation of practice techniques and tasks for older learners of English. – Practical ideas for use in class with adults aged 45+. Teaching unplugged: – Using the learner as a resource. – Overcoming the resistance that older learners may feel towards unfamiliar teaching methods. – Encouraging and supporting older learners who are out of their ‘comfort-zone’. Classroom Management 2: – Managing the physical environment effectively. – Typical classroom problems and problems specific to the needs of older learners. Reading and Writing: – Analysis of the use and impact of authentic materials for learning. – Selecting relevant material and tasks for learners over the age of 45. Closing session: Observation and reflection diaries. Sharing resources, evaluation, reflection and feedback.

* The course can be paid in up to 10 installments as long as the course is fully paid 1 month prior to its start date.