Able to recognize when the situation needs external aid
- Unfortunately, you may encounter situations where your learner
is in an abusive or unhealthy situation. Although you are not
legally bound to report it, it would be unethical not to help a learner in
that situation. Contact trained professionals to assist your learner.
"While I might be the expert in this
language at this place and time, the learner is the expert in his or her
life. If I am going to figure out how this particular learner learns, I
had better listen more than I speak, and watch more than I
B: The Learner
Who are our learners?
There is no
"typical ESL learner." Learners can vary in age
(from 16 to 90) and will come from a variety of different ethnic
and socio-economic backgrounds. Your learner may have a lot of formal education
or very little. She may be fully literate in many languages or may have
only a basic knowledge of reading and writing in her first language.
Characteristics of the Adult ESL Learner
- are creative and adaptable.
- have a great range of life experiences.
- experience stress in their new surroundings.
- are highly motivated but may be apprehensive about learning English.
- learn best when the information is linked to something
they already know.
- want practical lessons that are relevant to their own goals and needs.
- like to learn things they will use immediately.
- may have uneven learning: learners will not progress in a uniform
manner; they may have
- have a multitude of outside responsibilities (family, home, job).
4 Virginia Sauvé, Voices and Visions:
An Introduction to Teaching ESL (Don Mills, Ontario:
Oxford University Press Canada, 2000), p. 7. By permission of Oxford
University Press Canada.