Methodologies for Teaching English to Adult Students in Spanish Vocational Education Programs

Sergio Castañeda


This paper explores strategies used by teach- ers of English in Spain to compensate for learning limitations  associated with student age. As part of a qualitative study of multiple cases, twenty teachers from different voca- tional programs volunteered to participate in semi-structured interviews. The interviews revealed the difficulties that older Spanish adult students experience in learning Eng- lish in age-diverse classrooms. The findings specifically indicate that older adult learners face numerous obstacles in oral compre- hension and language production because of the translation and grammatical method- ologies with which they were educated. A further obstacle is their younger classmates’ linguistic superiority. Special attention  is paid to the methodologies used by teachers of age-diverse groups, including material speci- ficity, real-life practice, repetition and system- atization, skill-oriented tasks, and collabora- tive or cooperative learning.

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