Navigate to teaching adults !
What’s the problem? –We do not meet expectations of truly adult students
Up to you!
Do you agree with that?
Approach to teaching
Challenges of teaching adults
Approach to teaching Grammar -explicit teaching of rules yields better results
Listening: a very different skill
The Navigate approach to teaching listening –psycholinguistic models -5 distinct operations
Speaking: putting it all together
Reading: not just a guessing game
Writing for different purposes
Follow-up reading
Navigate to teaching adults !
Useful links
Visit us at
Category: educationeducation

Navigate to teaching adults

1. Navigate to teaching adults !

Olga Chekchurina
INJAZ group
deputy director, teacher trainer

2. What’s the problem? –We do not meet expectations of truly adult students

Young adults 18 – 30 yrs Adults : 35+
• Most modern ELT courses are labeled as
‘young adults’ and they certainly are
• Adults need THEIR content, system of
scaffolded language and speech activities
• Adults have life experience we can rely on
• Adult thinking is not the same as young adult

3. Up to you!

• Think of some popular topics in ELT books
which are absolutely or relatively irrelevant
for adults
• Think of some topics that should be included
in ELT syllabus for truly adult students
• How should we present new language if we
teach truly adult students?



5. Do you agree with that?

6. Approach to teaching

Topic knowledge can not compensate for
vocabulary knowledge
Knowing the most important vocabulary –
syllabus based on Oxford 3000™ and BNC
Knowing vocabulary makes listening and
reading more rewarding
More than
just knowing

7. Challenges of teaching adults

To revise but not to repeat
To recycle but not to get bored
To teach but not to preach
To rely on adult experience and brain
To simulate relevant communication
&professional contexts
To boost ‘learning to learn’ but to provide
necessary guidance and support

8. Approach to teaching Grammar -explicit teaching of rules yields better results

• than implicit teaching (Norris & Ortega, 2000)
• for both simple and complex forms (Spada and Tomita, 2010)
• combined with communicative practice, leads to unconscious knowledge
of the grammar forms that lasts over time (Spada and Lightbown, 2008)
• there is no difference in results between integrating the teaching of rules
with a communicative activity and teaching them separately (Spada and
Tomita, 2010). In other words, presentation-practice-production works
just as well as more integrated methods.
there is theoretical support and hard evidence
that teaching grammar rules, combined with
communicative practice, is the best way for
adults in classrooms to learn to use the
grammar of their new language.

9. Listening: a very different skill

• Listening is not another kind of Reading
• Listening is linear you can not look back at
the text and re-read it!
• Listening depends on understanding the
sounds of English
• Fluency development activities that teach
understanding English at natural speed
• Progressive practice in getting better at

10. The Navigate approach to teaching listening –psycholinguistic models -5 distinct operations

• Decoding: matching the signals to the sound system of the
• Lexical search: matching groups of sounds to words in our oral
• Parsing: combining groups of words into grammatical units to
obtain a simple point of information
• Meaning construction: interpreting information in terms of
• Discourse construction: ideas and thoughts through chunks of
• Micro-skills in ‘unlock the code’ sections
See John Field ‘Listening in the Language Classroom’ Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

11. Speaking: putting it all together

• Comprehensive pronunciation
• Appropriately polite language for a given
• Tactics for holding the floor in a conversation
• Fluency development
• Building rapport
• Meaning-focused output-speak in order to
communicate meaning
See Nation, I.S.P., Newton, J. (2009) Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking.
London: Routledge

12. Reading: not just a guessing game

Typical courses test rather than teach
Explicit teaching sound-spelling relations
Teaching vocabulary
Speculating about syntax
Micro skills on reading ‘Unlock the code’
Learn the most common and useful words
Awareness of vocabulary systems
Learning vocabulary rather than guessing
High –frequency grammatical features in nftural

13. Writing for different purposes

• The Navigate writing syllabus: genre
approach-different types of texts learners
will have to write
• Drafting, discussing and re-drafting texts
• ‘Language for writing’


15. Follow-up reading






21. Navigate to teaching adults !

Series advisor: Catherine Walter
Photocopiable materials: Jill

22. Useful links

• Catherine Walter (series advisor) Department of
Education University of Oxford
mode=hub ‘Navigate’ teacher’s site
• Michael
Swan about current ELT trends Drawbacks and perspectives
• Stephen Krashen’s theory of
language acquisition
• Stephen
Krashen’s lecture on his approach
• What is
• Navigate synopses

23. Visit us at
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