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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > When busy adult learners ask to have no homework at all    

When busy adult learners ask to have no homework at all



BRAHIM S
France

When busy adult learners ask to have no homework at all
 
Dear all,
I have been far from this lovely website,  because of the very heavy workload I had to cope with...  So I really missed you all

I was just wondering if any of you have already experienced this.
I have been teaching  some adults in companies (usually one to one), and I often give them homework to keep working and practising
Recently however, two of them, very busy executives, asked me if it would be possible to do without homework... which I did after explaining the  necessity of homework.... They are adults, they pay, so I do not see myself imposing anything on them

Has anyone ever come across busy learners, with lots of responsibilities?
I would be more than happy to read your experiences and advice
BRAHIM

19 Jun 2009      





Spagman63
Hong Kong

My top student has a ton of HW and I told her my HW is her lowest priority.  If they don t do it they are only hurting themselves.  Most of my stuff is just extra exercises to help reinforce. I do not get too worried over it not being done.  Like you said, THEY are paying for our services. They are giving us their time. 

19 Jun 2009     



class centre
Belarus

Hi,Brahim!
I have been teaching English for about 23 years. I use the system without home work at all! If the students are adult, it makes no sense to give them the home work, since they won t do it. Besides, if they have an exercise on grammar and have to write several sentences on the same rule but they make a mistake and without any control from your side, they will repeat that mistake douzen times... It s only harmful. If you ask them to read a text at home and they memorise a wrong pronunciation of a certain word, it will be too hard to remedy it.
I prefer to control the process myself and give explanations or motivation along.  If your lessons are bright and impressive enough and are held often enough  to make the sts remember the material, no home work is absolutely OK. Trust me.
Good luck!
Natasha

19 Jun 2009     



Tere-arg
Argentina

I have, many times. They dont usually do homework and it ends up being a heavy load for them as  not doing it makes them feel uneasy.

We always talk about this item at the beginning of the course and again later, if I notice some change.

I plan my classes as if they were -in most cases they are-  the only contact they will have with the language so I often take some part of the class to revise. It means new activities on already seen subjects, but I focus  them in other way (picture description, role playing, debate, solving problems, etc). It works and they love variety and having fun while using the language. A relaxing time after a long stressing day.

My challenge, still unsolved is how to deal with vocabulary without taking up too much time of the class.

19 Jun 2009     



cheezels
New Zealand

Hi there!

I am an English teacher by day and a Swedish student by night. I cannot cope with the homework that gets given to me in my intensive course. But our sessions are twice a week from 6-9pm so I feel like I am getting a lot of practice during the sessions anyway. I usually go there straight from teaching all afternoon.. and I can tell you by 8pm my energy level is crashing through the floor...  I have to really work at it to keep myself going until 9pm!

It is so incredibly difficult to juggle work with studying something extra. Especially if you have a demanding job or a family as well.

What I love about my swedish class is that she is a great teacher and has a variety of tasks that cover many skills during the lesson. Her lessons are also faster paced and we cover a lot!

I guess that my situation is different as I am technically immersed in all things Swedish where I am.. but I still find it hard to fit in my own personal study where i sit down and focus on completing homework tasks on top of classes and working. One thing that I do do is look up the new vocabulary in the chapters that we are going to be covering in the next lesson.
You will have motivated people that will and do find the extra time... but for the ordinary joe blogs juggling everything it is no easy task.

As for when I have my teaching hat on... when I have had adult groups I always provide a homework activity and I make it optional. If you want it, take it, if not no worries. I always include an answer key so that they can do it and check it at home. Then they can always ask me about it the following week during break or before or after class. Most people will take a homework activity. But there is no pressure from me.

19 Jun 2009     



Zora
Canada

I hate adults that are like that, honestly. They expect to learn a language without working at it and in my experience, those are not serious learners. I don t care if they are "busy" or not. I bet they don t give up their golf games or their gym time because they are too "busy"... to me it s all about prioritizing and nothing else.

Basically, I see it this way - if they are not willing to work at it - don t bother giving them any homework. You are just wasting paper and ink! And keep on teaching the class as you normally would, they are adults and they should know better.

A language cannot be acquired over night, you need to work at it - and a lot. Two or three hours a week just doesn t cut it, if you aren t willing to work at it.

I am with you and Spagman on this, they are paying us for our time...and if they are not willing to do the extra work, then that is their problem and not yours.

And the answer to your question was "yes, I get quite a few adults like that"... LOL




19 Jun 2009     



GIOVANNI
Canada

Hi Brahim:
 
I teach two executives.  One who likes to do homework and one who doesn t.  What I do when I review homework I make sure that each one of them gives an answer, even
though the homework is not done by one of them. The two have agreed to each giving an answer  and don t feel uneasy about it.  I, like Tere-arg talk about this at the beginning of the course. 

19 Jun 2009     



lgk1000
United States

I am currently teaching an ESL course once a week for workers at a construction company. All of them are exposed to English every day because we live in the USA, so I don t feel that it is necessary to give them homework since they are already pracitcing everyday. When I was teaching in Japan, however, I gave homework to many of my adult students (and all of the children). I made homework optional for all of the adults because I knew some of them were very busy, but even those who couldn t do written homework I encouraged to do listening during their commutes since there are many good English language podcasts available for them to download.
 
While it s true that there is the possibility that students will make mistakes when doing homework, I think it s important for students who are taking lessons only once or twice a week to have the opportunity to think and practice in English outside of that very limited time.

19 Jun 2009     



cheezels
New Zealand

Cry Zora would hate me in her class  (sob sob)....(runs to the kitchen to comfort eat my way through the kokostoppar I made today....)

Although to my credit I was the only one in my class that wrote a whole A4 page in Swedish  this week where we had to write our personal letters/cover letters that are compulsory here for when you apply for work. (Took around 13 hours last weekend!!!!!!!)

If the task given is relevant and helpful to my overall learning and progression I am in 100%

But given that my planning and marking time happens OUTSIDE of my actual standing in front of a class time (ie when I should be doing more Swedish homework!!!!) .. it is very hard to be a teacher and a student at the same time!

19 Jun 2009     



Zora
Canada

LOL - Cheezels! I would never hate you! Besides, it s very different when you are learning and immersed in a society, than learning a language and not being immersed. When you are immersed your brain absorbs everything around you and you are constantly learning whether you think you are or not.

In fact, a lot of people who go and live abroad feel really tired for the first little while and this is because your brain is working overtime to process all the new things around you.

My problem is, and I don t hate them for it... I just find it annoying because a lot of them are very demanding, is when they find the learning process in slow but they don t want to work at it. THAT is what annoys me! For darn sakes, DO your homework!!! Tongue  

19 Jun 2009     



cheezels
New Zealand

PHEW!!!! Tongue

19 Jun 2009     

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