Category Archives: In the Lesson: Adults

How to teach adults to speak English

The Hardest Kinds of Lessons

1.1-boredYou’d think that sitting around talking would be the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not.  Whether you’re teaching adults, teenagers, or little kids, there will come a time when you’ll wonder where your life went wrong.

The one-on-one tween:

This kid is failing English at school and his parents are punishing him with private tutoring once a week.  The parents are lovely people who paid the course fee without complaint, and everyone wants to see the kid’s grades improve.  Except the kid.  He doesn’t give two flicks about English or you or your brilliant activities.  He won’t open his mouth to save his life. Continue reading


Tips for correcting students during the lesson

People are sensitive and easily discouraged, so when a teacher hears a mistake and corrects the student immediately, it could serve to annoy or embarrass the student.  Here are two ways to minimize damage to fragile egos:

1.  Delayed correction

Introduce a speaking activity, have a bit of discussion, and hand out the role cards to the participants.  Tell them to read their role card, and give them a minute to write some notes or think of what to say.  Signal for them to start talking when they look ready. Continue reading