How to Teach Spanish to Adults

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Teaching Spanish to adults is a challenging but rewarding activity. Classroom interaction is fun and educational for both students and teachers. If you've never taught a foreign language before, here are seven steps that should give you the basics for establishing and conducting your own adult Spanish class.

1 Have a plan

Have a plan. Before your first class commences, you should already know what you will be teaching, how you will be presenting it and why your students are in your class. Lesson plans create a guideline for every class meeting and allow you to stay on task. Tangents can be interesting, but they are a waste of class time.

2 Assess your students

Assess your students. Knowing your students' skill levels will allow you to tailor your class to their needs. Class time is for teaching and learning. Students should be placed into groups according to their skill levels before the first class.

3 Determine the goals and objectives

Determine the goals and objectives of your class. Writing them down will help to maintain perspective in the classroom. If you find that you are not achieving your goals, examine your teaching style and your methods. Teaching is not only about assessing the needs of your students, but it is also about self-assessment. If you find that a method doesn't work, stop using it.

4 Create activities

Create activities that address the skills your students want to learn or improve. Activities that utilize multiple skills at the same time are just as effective as single-skill focuses, and can improve class efficiency.

5 Include homework assignments

Include homework assignments that encourage students to practice on their own time. Class time should not be the only source of practice for your students. Homework also serves as an assessment tool. Students will have tangible evidence of their improvement, and you will be able to assess your teaching methods.

6 Make yourself available to students

Make yourself available to students. A separate email account only for class-related questions is an excellent way of communicating with your students and maintaining a distance that encourages students to look for their own solutions. Encourage your students to communicate with each other, too.

7 Consider many different sources

Consider many different sources when choosing materials to present to your class. Repeated use of the same examples reduces their effectiveness.

8 Maintain professionalism

Maintain professionalism. Teaching can be fun, but never forget that you are in the classroom for a reason.

  • Use technology to improve student interaction. Create a webpage with links to extra information for your students.
  • Dress nicely for class. Show your students you care enough about the class to take an extra moment to prepare.

Mike Arneson is an adjunct professor of English. He's been a professional writer since 2003 and was chief editor of his English department's student literary magazine, "Notations." His other online publications include procedurals for various websites. He has a Bachelor of Science in professional writing and a Master of Arts in TESOL.