Essay Sample on English Second Language Adult Learners

Published: 2020-02-24
Essay Sample on English Second Language Adult Learners
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Teaching Learning English 101
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1724 words
15 min read

English Second Language adult learners (ESL) are based on various cultural set up of the involved learners. Another factor that highly affects ESL learning is the country involved and the primary reasons for engaging in such a program. However, various researches have been done to try to improve the program. Reports have shown that countries which undertake such programs have been experiencing high rate of classroom overcrowding. This has shown that many people are yearning for education despite their age. Illiteracy has been the major hindering factor to national development and integration. Every country is trying as much they can to improve their status by offering the adult education programs which has enlightened various people in various states. The high enrollment of adult classes has increased tremendously over the past few years in order to improve the national development and also the intellectual development of people. This high percentage in enrollment has revealed that intensive outreach has not been met. ESL adult learning is not easy as it may be seen in young learners (Gersten & Baker, 2000). Adult learners concentration cannot be compared to that of the young learner. Therefore, it will be important to improve the program so that the program can adopt the most effective and easy methods of delivering content to these people who are willing to learn despite their age. Various researches have been carried out on the topic of adult learning of English as a second language and the findings have been almost the same. Researchers have shown that learners learn second language better when the content is given in a contextualized manner (Facella et al. 2005). One of the major factors which determine the success of a learner is the instructional practices.

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This research proposal is designed to examine and suggests the various methods to improve the outreach methods used in ESL teaching and learning. Further, it also examines some of the various reasons for enrolling as ESL. The paper will also suggest some of the ways to improve the program in a given country. As research has shown, many people are leaving the program even before the completion period out of various reasons. Therefore, this paper will also examine the various reasons and problems affecting the adult learners which later lead to their termination and loss of interest in the program. Adult ESL learning is self-motivating program in which learners join voluntarily.

Problem encountered in area of specialism

The most significant problem in this field of study of adult education is the increasing number of enrolling students for the program. This has been a major and critical concern to the educators as most of the learners enrolling for the program do not have the basic literacy on the second language. Lack of the background information about the content makes it more difficult for the educators to choose the appropriate instructional methodology. Research has been carried out to find out whether the same learning and instructional methods should be applied to every learner, both native and non-native speakers of a language.

Various responses have been raised and most people argued that the appropriate methodology depends on the learning situation and the learners needs. However, others argued that second language learners especially the non-native speakers should be given more attention and guidance (Facella et al. 2005). Another problem involved in this field of study is lack of the adult learners needs identification, lack of proper assessment methods and lack of standard curriculum. Another major problem posing to this program is the social class gap which exists between people. This gap is further extended to the multicultural literacy. This problem is not only experienced in the linguistic departments alone but also in other subjects such as adult mathematics learning. The non-native speakers have been said to be underperforming as compared to their counterparts, the native-speakers. Research has shown that an estimated figure of around 35% of the enrolled adults enrolling for ESL is underperforming (Benseman & Lander, 2005). The research findings released by the National Assessment of Education in the U.S has shown that some of the factors affecting the performance of these learners are the low-income of the families which hinder them from accessing the most sophisticated and efficient learning materials (Duff, 2001). This is a problem because the social status background of learners is a critical factor to be considered when determining and identifying the learners individual differences. This will help the educators to choose the best learning approaches to apply in regard to meeting the learners individual learning needs. A good educator is one who puts into consideration the learners individual needs and ensures that the instructional method applied is appropriate and will ensure that every learner has captured the content.

Some of the suggested solutions to help bridge the gap in the adult learning system include; first, partnering with other organizations to improve the availability and accessibility of learning resources to learners. Secondly, the education department should start up a forum which increases the public literacy awareness to enhance the learning of the second language learners for both non-native and native speakers. Poverty is the major cause toot of the inaccessibility of learning resources because learners cannot be able to access these resources due to the cost. Some of the required materials in the learning process are expensive and people cannot be able to obtain them and at the same time respond to their family needs, especially to those with families. Most of the adult learners cannot be able to carry out their family responsibilities and at the same time engage in class work effectively. This reduces their chances of performing better in their class work. However, the technological advancement has assisted to bridge this gap by making it easy to access learning materials through the internet. People can now access various learning resources on the internet so long as they have the internet accessing gadgets such as smart phone, tablets or laptops. This has also increased the public awareness as most of people can now even read by themselves through the internet. The internet has been a solution to most of the educational problems especially in accessing the learning resources and this has led to positive results and improvement in education programs.

Research problem

The research problem of this case study is lack of self-esteem and confidence of learners in classroom. In addition, this research was majorly affected by lack of involvement of learners in the data collection process. Most of the views collected were majorly picked from the educators and therefore, their views were not properly highlighted in the discussion. Further, this case study required large number of data for efficiency.

Research questions

- What are the interventions used to improve the learning of English as a second language?

- What are the major factors affecting the adult ESL education?

- What motivates adult learners to learn English as a second language?

- What are the most effective teaching methodologies to be adopted while teaching adult ESL learners?


- The main aim of this research study is to examine the interventions which can be applied to adult ESL learners with little or no literacy.

Ho: The same instructional approach should not be applied to all ESL learners if better result is to be achieved and performance rate improved.

HA: Applying the same instructional approach to all ESL learners may hinder the performance of learners and reduces the effectiveness of learning process.


In attempt to establish the hypothesis of the research, the following 22 educators were consulted and below are their response on whether the same instructional approach should be applied to both monolingual English speakers and bilingual speakers.

Dependent variables: Common instructional approaches to both monolingual English speakers and bilingual English speakers.

Independent variables: 5-strongly agree, 2-agree, 6-disagree, 8-strongly disagree, 1-neutral.

Literature Review

Education is a lifetime activity and it does not end at a particular age or time. Each and every day people come up with various skills which assist them and others to approach life aspects in a better way. Success is determined by the skills one possesses towards the activity. Therefore, more emphasis should be placed on the instructional practices that will enable the adult learners achieve the skills required in learning the second language. The societal demands grow daily and therefore, it requires effective approaches in terms of literacy.

Integrating technology in the ESL program and Setting standard assessment program

The world is moving faster and technology has been the main reason behind this motion. Technological advancement has ensured easy and faster access to information through the internet. The internet has made it easy for learners to have access to wide variety of learning materials such as journals, articles and even scholarly books. Therefore, it will be very important to integrate the use of technology in the ESL learning process to enhance learning. In addition, technology is very friendly to the user and this motivates learners to work with it. Research has shown that most people learn much through the internet especially the literacy skills in ESL program. With the technological advancement which continues to grow day by day, sophisticated internet gadgets is now available and people can now access the internet services at affordable cost. It has been argued that learning is better through sharing and partnership. Technology provides learners with appropriate platform to share information and interact with their fellow learners and their instructors. Through identifying the various problems encountered in the ESL learning process, research study has shown that various suggestions have been offered in which most scholars argue that the assessment process should be made standard (Burt & Adams, 2003). Others have also given the opinion that in addition of setting standard assessment program, these organizations should the course be organized and delivered in a sequential manner.

Applying Positive reinforcement and creating a conducive learning environment

Learning is more effective in a place where learners are motivated to engage in the learning process. Using negative reinforcements has been said to be discouraging learners. For instance, using negative remarks to students will demoralize them and reduce their confidence and hence affects their participation in the classroom. However, the basic and critical concerns from the educators have been classroom participation and self-esteem of learners. Educators argue that these two issues are related and one cannot exist without the other and therefo...

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