Adult Learner Persistence

Man Answering Question

Adult Learner Persistence           

One challenging issue that we as ESL professionals face frequently is keeping students committed to learning. We all want to create a welcoming environment for our students, but what keeps them coming back?  World Education has come up with six factors that affect adult learner persistence.

They are as follows:

  1.      Sense of belonging and community—Adult learners who feel connected to their class are more likely to keep attending class.
  2.       Clarity of purpose—Adult learners are goal-oriented, and if they understand how the material in class helps them to reach their goals, they’ll keep coming back!
  3.       Agency—Adult learners like to see that their actions are making them more independent. In this case, the more they learn of the English language, the more they are able to move independently around their community.
  4.      Competence—Adult learners have a desire to build their competence, and are more likely to continue in a class if they understand how the class is helping them to do so.
  5.       Stability—Teachers and organizations should strive to create a consistent, stable pace of learning in their classroom. This means that open entry/open exit policies should be avoided.
  6.       Relevance—Related to the second point, relevance refers to students’ understanding of how the class material is relevant to their life and goals.

This is just a VERY brief overview of what World Education has to say about Adult Learner Persistence. If you’d like to visit their site and learn more, click here. There’s a lot of very helpful information!

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