Overview of Teaching English as a Second Language to Adult Learners

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
TESL 4201
Overview of Teaching English as a Second Language to Adult Learners
Teaching English as a Second Language
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
8 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
54 hours/semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction


  1. Lecture/demonstration
  2. Small group/pair discussion
  3. Group discussion
  4. Reading and writing assignments
  5. Individual/small group presentations
Course Description
This is one of a group of six courses that together lead to a Douglas College Certificate in Teaching and Tutoring English as a Second Language to Adult ESL Learners. This overview course introduces prospective teachers and tutors to the basic principles of adult learning and their application to the acquisition of a second language. Students learn a variety of ESL learning contexts and the implications of context for teaching and tutoring. In addition, this course provides an overview of curriculum design, lesson planning and learning assessment. Other themes running through the course are intercultural communication and language as a component of culture.
Course Content
  1. basic principles of adult learning
  2. key findings from research about second language acquisition for adult learners
  3. contexts of adult ESL learning
  4. ESL curriculum and lesson planning for adult learners
  5. ESL assessment strategies
  6. intercultural communication
  7. language as a component of culture
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. apply major principles of adult education to teaching ESL students
  2. apply major findings of  second language research to teaching adult learners
  3. analyze a variety of contexts in which ESL is taught and the implications of each of these for teaching and tutoring
  4. follow an ESL curriculum and lesson
  5. apply basic assessment strategies to ESL learning
  6. analyze intercultural ‘challenge’ scenarios and create responses
  7. create intercultural activities to enhance learning  
Means of Assessment

Courses are graded on the standard graded system that applies in evaluating course work for credit courses.  Students are assigned grades according to their level of achievement on a variety of assessments which may include exercises, assignments, presentations, teaching simulations, tests and the portfolio.  A participation grade may be included as part of the grade.

Textbook Materials

Students may be required to purchase textbooks.


Admission to TESL Program