Section 1 – Learners and Teachers and the Teaching and Learning Context
Teaching and learning contexts
Types of contexts
1. In what context will you be doing the CELTA course?
I am doing the CELTA course as part of a multilingual group, some of who have non-English speaking backgrounds. There are twelve people in total, who are separated into two smaller groups of six each. The course delivery is one full day and one evening at college, with preparation and extra study required to take place outside of these times.
2. Do you know what context you will be teaching in after you finish the course?
Upon successful completion of the CELTA course, I intend to travel overseas and teach monolingual groups and individuals, in open and closed groups.
The learners’ cultural, linguistic, and educational backgrounds
Think about why you decided to teach adults
I have decided to teach adults because I feel they are more committed to the learning, and take responsibility for their attendance at lessons, completing tasks which are set for completion within the class and also at home. I feel that although they may have little or no English, they will have extensive life experiences that will aid their comprehension, and will have self-confidence borne of these experiences that will aid their learning.
Think about what you, as an adult, bring to this learning situation
I have a wealth of life experiences, which I will bring with me to enhance the learning environment, from my time as a specialist police worker, to my international work in challenging injustice. I am an experienced trainer, and am confident in teaching controversial and sensitive topics such as forced marriage, honour violence, domestic violence and mental health. I have a quick sense of humour, and am able to use this to lighten the atmosphere, should it become necessary, as well as building a rapport with students. I feel I have a calm manner, I am approachable, and am able to deal with challenges in a pragmatic and efficient manner. I have good problem solving skills, excellent communication skills, and a passion and dedication to empower the individuals I come into contact with in a teaching and learning environment.
3. What characterises adult learners
Adult learners can engage with abstract thoughts, and although the teacher may use activities such as games and songs if appropriate, such activities do not need to be relied upon.
Adult learners have a whole range of life experiences to draw upon.
Adult learners have expectations about the learning process, and they already have their own set patterns of learning.
Adults tend to be more disciplined than other age groups, and are often prepared to struggle on despite boredom.
Adult learners come with a rich range of experiences, which allow the teacher to use a wide range of activities with them.
Adult learners tend to have a clear understanding of why they are learning, and what they want to get out of it.
Although there are many positives associated with adult learners, there are a number of characteristics which have a down side, for instance
Adult learners can be critical of teaching methods. They may be predisposed to a particular style, which may make them uncomfortable with new or unfamiliar teaching patterns.
They may have experienced failure or criticism at school, which makes them anxious and under-confident about learning a language.
Many older adults worry that their intellectual powers may be diminishing with age.
Finding out about learners
What would you want to find out about a group of learners that you had to teach so that you could plan your lesson?...
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