How to teach adult students? Experience of Polish teachers

Is the difference between teaching adults and children?
As the Polish teachers this is the question we hear quite often. The answer is big YES, but what we need to remember is to never kill an inner child in an adult. What does it mean for a teacher who gives Polish classes for foreigners?

First of all

Have fun! If your students have fun during the Polish course, there is bigger possibility they’ll love the language (even if it’s Polish 😉 ).

But… how to have fun?

Bring the games to the lessons, funny and interesting materials, don’t kill the students motivation with a tons of grammar every time. Of course grammar is super important, especially in Polish language, but it can’t be all lesson about that!

Secondly

Don’t be too serious. Remember, your students are human beings, who have lots of work, everyday chores, lots on their minds and very often are super tired. They have bosses, deadlines and lot of different things which cause stress. They don’t need another person who stress them out.

Thirdly

Conversation! When we teach we try to initiate Polish conversation even on the lowest level. It’s important to start talking during the first lessons. Even if your student is doing million mistakes while speaking is important to start. Don’t correct every mistake he/ she makes, because he/ she will be ‚locked for’ speaking forever (or for a very long time)! Every sentence said is the big success at the beginning! And they’ll feel like a children having their first sentences built.
(Btw. Poles love foreigners speaking Polish even if they sounds incorrect!

Fourth and last

Motivation! Adults have different attitude to learning language than a children. Also a motivation is different. If you are Polish teacher ask about the reasons they want to study Polish language. You can’t teach the same way person who want to get Polish language certificate, stay in Poland forever and work using the Polish language and the person who is going to stay in Poland for only 2-3 years and just want to socialize with community. If you confuse the goals, you’ll fail and you’ll kill the joy of learning Polish language!

All this above are advice based on experience in teaching Polish as a foreign language. But they’re universal and can be adjust to any language you teach.

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