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Inspiring examples of language learning for adults

European Commission - 11/10/2017

Teaching languages to adults is an exciting task but not an easy one: specific methodologies and material are needed. The Erasmus+ programme helps teachers explore innovative ways to get the job done.

Inspiring examples of language learning for adults Languages are one of the subjects adults learn most frequently, at any age, for personal or professional development. Language learning needs to be adapted to their existing skills, expectations, life experience, busy schedules, etc. Teachers from all over Europe train regularly to make sure their techniques are the best possible. They might want to learn about developing e-learning modules or adequate teaching material, using social media or refresh their language skills, etc., and Erasmus+ is here to help.

Spanish school Centro del Profesorado Priego-Montilla sent 3 of its teachers abroad on courses and job-shadowing, which has improved their didactic and linguistic skills. Upon their return, they also helped the school implement new courses. The German city of Chemnitz has also allowed 15 freelance teachers of English, Spanish, French, Italian, Czech, Turkish and German to take part in upskilling activities abroad. The experience provided them with the most modern language teaching methods and reinforced their employability.

Cooperation projects

The Erasmus+ programme also offers cooperation opportunities to language schools and other organisations involved in teaching various target groups, in many different ways. Some examples include:

  • DELFI (Development of European languages for immigrants) produced a portfolio of different learning materials for teachers and for anyone working with migrants and adult learners taking on a second language;

  • InMete 55+ (Innovative methods for increasing effectiveness of teaching English to students aged 55+) created emotionally engaging, motivating and multisensory learning experiences for older learners;

  • Speaking 4 Yourself aimed at professionalising and empowering teachers to develop autonomy in their students. It offers a toolbox of materials in Catalan, Dutch, English, Icelandic, Spanish and Swedish.

More inspiring projects and their results are featured in the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.

Also supported by Erasmus+, EPALE, the e-Platform for Adult Learning in Europe includes a thematic page on languages, which provides a wide range of resources, information and material to teach languages to adults. Such resources include ideas for starter activities for language teachers, tips for empowering learners through real world learning, and reflections by blogger Alex Rawlings on a multilingual Europe. On EPALE, you can also go through the lively discussion which took place during European Language Day 2016, with provocative thoughts and great ideas to improve language teaching.

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