Saturday, October 17, 2009

Andragogy and ESP

I teach English mainly at Mision Sucre. This means that my students are all adults. The average age in my classes usually lies between 30 and 50 years old. Sixty-or-more-years-old students are by no means uncommon in my classes.

Obviously, adult education is an important issue in my field of work.

Andragogy is an educational movement which was very popular from the 1960's onward. Its main tenet is that adult education requires a lot of respect for the students' decission-making capacities. Adults like to be taught things they themselves select. They also wish to have the opportunity to participate in decissions regarding the course's methodology and content.

On the other hand, ESP has become the standard philosophy for teaching English in the Universities. The idea is to teach the students the language as it is used in their professions. ESP methodology relies on testing the sutudents' needs and using them as a guideline for the design of the course.

I am working on a project that combines the best of these two approaches.

What's your opinion on the matter? I would love to know

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