(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2eRXFYS)
Let’s take a quick look at the ‘average’ ESL learner today:
AGE: Under 25
GENDER: 60% Male 40% female
REASONS FOR LEARNING: Education
When you look at this demographic you can easily say that the average ESL student around the world is a young thinking person. Period.
This them leads to the next point. During this period of their life they may find themselves:
- Seeking their position/place in the world
- Seeking a life partner
- Seeking what is new and different
- Seeking out their ‘social tribe’
All these things require whoever is teaching them to embrace the concept of togetherness because whether you like it or not, you as a teacher are helping that young person make that leap from child to adult. This involves a lot of socializing and if done carefully can lead to some very fruitful outcomes, to finding the person of their dreams to finding the job of their dreams.
The other interesting point is that English is all about communication, and without communication there is very little social interaction. It is….social interaction, therefore all classes for students of this nature simply have to be social. Once they are social, the course can begin. If a teacher is making everyone to stand and speak alone without any interaction with others, the whole learning experience will fail.
The ultimate thing to understand is that though English is about communication and being able to communicate to others in that language, the question is, …what are they going to ask, reply or say?
All the issues, questions, debates and laughs that this group will have be all based on the togetherness of the group they are in or seek to be in.
The power of ESL classes is not so much the language that is taught but the vehicles they are selling to the people.
Just like Toyota doesn’t sell cars, they sell transportation, English Language teachers don’t sell English they sell communication, and to a very important group in society at that.
What do you think?