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August 2005 ESL Expert Questions and Answers

August 30, 2005

Thanks for visiting the Question and Answer section of ESL Expert. Please feel free to leave your questions on hiring practices, staff development, industry trends or any other subjects here. Every month I'll answer the best questions from the previous weeks.



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  1. Irene Says:

    Most of the students in my school are adults between 18 and 50 years old.
    As they are learning English for working reasons i.e: they do not usually like the language or even coming to classes, they get easily disappointed after a period of learning.
    We have already planned different activities and class dynamics to make them more enthusiastic about learning and making headway in the language. We have even taken on some native teachers of English in order to implement weekly conversation classes but the problem remains there.
    We have been thinking about implementing other kind of courses or workshops but when asked they did not show any interest. Any suggestions? Thank you very much.

  1. jessica, ILS Nottingham Says:

    It's a common problem isn't it! Could you try...
    the students work on a project in English that will help them at work. For students who haven't started working yet, the project could be as simple as 'Getting a Job': reading job ads, writing a cv in English, practising interviews. If possible, do all this for real. If you can afford it, offer students their money back if they don't get a job!
    For students in work, they could do some research on English use and English knowledge, or research their company and their competitors etc. I'm sure you can come up with better, more exciting projects!

    The way to go about it would be to decide on your goal (e.g. get a job) then work backwards - firstly through all the steps the students will need to take to achieve the goal, and then secondly identify the English students will need to complete each step. You'll then need to think about how to teach the English they need, and how to support them as they complete each step.
    Sounds pretty exciting to me!
    Good luck!

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