The role of homework is crucial in the learning process irrespective of age and level. When it comes to children, parents steer them and check whether the homework is done or not. However, among adult learners homework is not a popular aspect of the language learning process. In many cases adults lack extra time outside the classroom to devote to their homework, some students even consider doing homework irrelevant. They may have various reasons for not doing their homework, but, luckily, teachers possess a number of tricks to motivate adults to do their homework. If you face problems with your adult students’ homework completion, this article is a must-read for you.
- Assign homework that will serve their immediate needs
Most adult learners are working people and have very specific needs to hone. If the assigned homework boosts the skill that is very important for learners at work (or for their hobby) they will do the homework with pleasure. As an example of this, students may write an email by using the learned vocabulary, they may watch TED Talks videos, write summaries to videos, read extra reading materials. Students may be assigned to find a business partner for their new project. They write emails to each other till they reach an agreement on the terms of their cooperation. The last task includes an element of challenge since the students need to write as many emails as needed to reach a deal.
- Negotiate the homework
In some cases, students really lack the extra time to complete the homework. Teachers can negotiate the reasonable amount homework assignment would be. The teacher can ask them to watch only one video per week, write a summary to a newspaper article. If students see that the homework will take a little chunk of time from them (they can complete it over lunchtime, before going to bed, in the public transport, etc), they will allocate time to the homework tasks.
- Add elements of creative thinking
In many cases, students don’t enjoy the task with just filling the gaps or answering the questions. When learners are given the chance to show critical approach to the tasks, change them or add an individual element to it, they do it with more pleasure and interest. In these situations, they can be assigned a dialogue or a reading material (story) for homework. They need to express their opinion on one of the characters from the dialogue or the reading. They may be asked to continue the story or change its ending. They can write stories in peers. Each of the students is given a separate topic to write a story on, or they can be given a list of studied vocabualry to write the story on. hen they exchange with stories and their partner needs to continue the story. Though this tip may not work with less creative or willing students, it is wtill worth trying to motivate those brave ones.
- Interview somebody
The teacher can prepare a list of interview questions related to the material being covered during the lessons. Students can interview their friends, or family members. They may add any questions they consider relevant to the interview. They share their findings with their peers during the next lesson.
6.Digital tools as a motivating factor
Many students are not in favor of paper-based homework but they are quite willing to practice some homework tasks assigned online. They may be asked to answer some questions by recording themselves. In this article it is shown how students can record themselves.
There are a lot of sites with the help of which the teacher may create crosswords, puzzles, worksheets, and the learners need to fill in some exercises, complete the crossword, etc. Crosswords are enjoyable and do not take a lot of personal time to complete. They can be done gradually in free time such as during the commute to work.
- Students assign homework to each other
Have you ever tried giving your students the chance to assign homework to their peers or decide the type of homework they would like to do? This technique works well while dealing with business students who are more willing to do something which is within their interests and serves their work-related needs.
The mentioned techniques play a great role in the process of homework completion and they turn to be quite effective. As always teachers must take into account the learners’ individual traits, learning purposes and abilities while choosing a technique. As a teacher, you will have less problems with the homework if at the beginning of the course you ask students what kind of homework they expect to have and how much of their time they can allot to it.
Wishing you homework-full lessons.