Sharing Best Practices in Teaching English for 50+

We have completed the project, but if you want to share your opinion with us, you can do it using the questionnaire below or write an e-mail at

How to overcome barriers in language education for seniors? - did we find the answer to that question?

"Sharing Best Practices in Teaching English for 50+" is a project whose participants were English language teachers from Poland, Romania and Estonia. It was implemented as part of Erasmus + Adult Education program, Action 2. The purpose of the cooperation was to exchange experience in the field of teaching English to seniors.

Modern Languages Center, coordinator from Poland, has successfully conducted English classes dedicated to seniors for over 10 years. When implementing the project, we wanted to draw attention to the specific needs and barriers arising from our experience that appear in teaching foreign languages to the elderly.

At the outset, we would like to emphasize that although the assumption of the project was the education of 50+ people , in the course of exchanging experience with partners, we decided that it would be more appropriate to focus on much older listeners – 60+ and even 70+ people. One of the factors conditioning the appearance of specific barriers in language teaching, apart from age, is the status on the labour market. People who remain professionally active much later report and feel that it is more difficult for them to learn a foreign language than for younger students. The teachers participating in the project also emphasized that they see the difference in teaching adult learners when they retire.

The outcome of the project is "The Set of Tips & Guidelines for teaching English in 50 + groups" - the material that was created thanks to the exchange of experience between schools and teachers involved in the project, teaching senior and mixed age groups.

During six project meetings, the teachers observed each other's classes, took part in workshops and discussed the impressions from the observed lessons. An important element of each meeting was discovering new products as well as common elements in school structures and adopted teaching strategies. As the culmination of the project, in June 2019 the training for 16 teachers took place in Poland using the project results and shared knowledge.

Despite many similarities between the partners, e.g. belonging to the former Eastern Bloc and the profile of activity (private language schools), there are also many differences between our institutions. For example, the basic method is to determine language levels. Although we all work on the basis of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), it was one of the most difficult and important moments in our cooperation. To talk "about" we had to find a common point of reference. All schools use a slightly different system of naming levels and, for example, skills that in Poland fall into B1 category, in Romania are still included in A2 level.

The most similar levels, selected later for comparison, are: A2.2 (Estonia), A2.3 (Romania) and A2 + (Poland). A detailed description of the teaching systems and frameworks of selected levels of language proficiency in each school is provided in the first part of The Set of Tips & Guidelines for teaching English in 50 + groups.

The second aspect that differentiates our countries is the economic situation of seniors, retirement age and access to education. Estonians are in the best situation, their life expectancy is the longest, they retire at the latest and have the easiest access to education. The situation is worst in Romania, where the percentage of people with higher education in the 50+ group is the lowest in the partner countries, life expectancy is the shortest and access to education is limited by finances. Poland is in the middle. It is worth emphasizing, however, that despite a wide range of activities for seniors, their payment is often an insurmountable barrier. The thorough comparison of the sociology-economic situation of seniors is part of the brochure.

The most important goal of the project was to create a set of universal tips and tricks that, regardless of cultural differences, will help teachers to conduct classes in groups of seniors. To this end, we conducted surveys at all schools involved in the project, among senior learners and their teachers, diagnosing the educational needs of senior citizens in the field of learning English and the most common barriers: access to education and teaching of the elderly. As a result of comparison of surveys, we were able to diagnose barriers in language education of seniors, and also formulated a set of tips to overcome them.

Defined barriers are:

  • Limited access to materials in English in the real world (e.g. YouTube, Netflix, podcasts, etc.).
  • Reluctance to adapt to contemporary teaching techniques.
  • Reluctance to adapt to new learning environments.
  • Need for more encouragement to counter lower confidence in language abilities.
  • Fewer opportunities to practise English outside the classroom.
  • Greater dependence on encouragement as motivator.
  • Slower assimilation of new materials (e.g. new grammar points and lexical units).

Then we conducted pilot lessons based on tips. In the surveys collected after the classes, we asked: teachers about the usefulness of the advice, and the students whether they noticed the difference in conducting the classes.

The teachers found the tips useful, they also noticed a positive reaction among the listeners to the introduced changes.

In turn, according to the listeners, the classes were more understandable, more interesting, the atmosphere was nicer and the material more adaptable to their needs than usual.

While collecting a material for the set of tips, the teachers also gave some advice on how to better prepare classes for seniors in relation to younger adults:

  • Age needs to be considered (along with other personality traits).
  • Consider the life circumstances for 50+ students when creating a stimulating classroom environment.
  • Allow more time for explanations, transitions, and exercises.
  • Listening exercises need to be scaffolded and repeated to a greater extent.
  • Longer preparation phases for role-plays.
  • Possibly require more drilling.
  • They may need more examples of the target language and/or translation.
  • Fewer rigorous assessments; more informal assessments.
  • Consider phrasing feedback more diplomatically.
  • Adapt lesson content to suit the interests and priorities of the students.
  • Adjust your teaching approach to the age of your students. People from different age ranges have different educational needs (most of the 50+ students still work while 70+ students are mostly retired).

People in different age groups have different educational needs – e.g. fifty-year-olds are usually still working, while seventy-year-olds are mostly retired

If you are interested in the exact results of our work and learn tips on how to overcome barriers in teaching English to people aged 50+, we invite you to familiarize yourself with:

The sixth project meeting

Tallinn 22 – 23 August 2019

The last project meeting took place from 22 to 23 August 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia

The meeting was attended by 9 people from all partner countries - 2 English teachers and project managers.

The main aims of the meeting were:

1) The presentation of C1 training

The results of the surveys conducted before and after the training are very similar to the results collected during the pilot test.

Most of the teachers have been teaching for more than 10 years, they did not have an opportunity to teach exclusively 50+ groups (78%) and now 100% of them are not teaching such a group.

55% of teachers answered that their students have reported age-related learning difficulties such as:

  • limited time for studying
  • some problems with listening comprehension and with speaking activities
  • the lack of confidence

Teachers also noticed some barriers their 50+ students may experience:

  • the lack of self-confidence,
  • less everyday listening practice in English
  • they need more revision of the material and more listening and speaking related activities
  • elderly students are more reserved in comparison with younger groups
  • a slower pace of teaching

According to the results of the questionnaire results, 50+ students learn English because: they have family members abroad, they would like to travel more and they need to improve their language skills for work.

67% of respondents answered that their teaching style differs depending on the age of their adult students. The differences are as follows:

  • “Younger learners need more play based learning and a faster pace while senior participants need a more diluted form of teaching and learning based on experience. Also, some topics might be less interesting for them, so it is ideal to add or change some topics. Last but not least, some vocabulary related differences might exist that should be addressed (business, technology, etc), which might come natural for younger students but which shouldn't be taken for granted with senior participants. “
  • “allow more time for listening activities”
  • “I try to focus on different subjects, like less social media examples.”
  • “A teacher must always adapt to the needs of the group members. There is no set means of adapting, only contingent responses.”
  • “Different themes and contexts for introducing language. Slower rate of learning. Have to be prepared to spend longer on language points to ensure things have been understood and retained.”
  • “With 50+ drill exercises are more often than with young ones, theoretical support / rules are often given not discovered, more time for consolidation is needed.”

67% of respondents had not participated in workshops and training devoted to teaching 50+ students before the C1 training

After the training teachers also answered a short questionnaire.

100% of participants enjoyed taking part in live lessons with 50+ students. They liked the atmosphere of the classes, students were very enthusiastic and eager to learn.

Also 100% of participants liked the workshop. They stated it was a good opportunity to share the experience, teachers enjoyed practical activities and group work. -”the perfect balance between individual study of the hands-out, peer-watch classes, hands-on practice, sharing thoughts and best practices, clarifications and personal examples and advice provided by the trainer and the participants.”

For 86% of teachers the Set of Tips and Guidelines is easy to understand, for 14% it is rather easy to understand.

The most useful hints are:

  • “Different way of conducting the lessons, lesson preparation”
  • “Re listening activities.”
  • “All of them were pretty useful, particularly the hints on how to use new technologies in class.”
  • “More repetitions of listening/instructions than for other participants is needed.”
  • “Consider age, life circumstances, interests, specific problems when creating a stimulating classroom environment, facilitate access to new technology, explain the rationale for new techniques, encourage peer appraisal.”
  • “Longer preparation phases for role-plays; more drilling; phrasing feedback more diplomatically.”
  • “Those dealing with specific problems and providing solutions - this may help inexperienced teachers.”

The least useful hints were

  • Not to expect senior trainees to be good at technology- this is such a widely known concern when teaching senior trainees that perhaps it could be skipped in future discussions.
  • All hints are useful depending on the circumstances. fewer rigorous assessments; adapt lesson content to suit students' interests and priorities
  • Asking the learner to get help from family members - this will prove a little bit of a lottery.

Participants added one new hint to existing ones “I often have to constantly remind and demonstrate students what they can do, that they have not forgotten everything as we move on to new structures. - Make sure you always create opportunities in the class for students to use previously introduced structures/ vocabulary together with the new ones.”

During the meeting partners decided to add this hint to the Set of Tips in “Difficulty number 5 - slower assimilation of new materials (e.g. New grammar points and lexical units).”

2) The discussion over the final version of the Set of Tips & Guidelines.

3) The dissemination of the project outcome

4) The impact the project has on each of the target groups – teachers, schools and students

The C1 training

Łódź 17 – 19 June 2019

The project’s C1 training took place from 17th to 19th June 2019 in Łódź, Poland.

The meeting was attended by 16 English teachers from all partner countries – 4 from Estonia, 6 from Romania and 6 from Poland. The training was carried out by Magda Dworakowska, an English teacher who is a member of the project staff.

The training took place in accordance with the prepared agenda:

Monday 17th June

Short introduction to the project, division into groups

The Director of Studium presented the history of the school. to the participants of the training. The project coordinator presented the main aims both of the training and the project to the participants. Later she introduced the trainer – Magda Dworakowska to the group.

The teachers drew the 3 English groups that they peer-watched later.

Live lesson with 50+ students (group 1)

The first group of 6 (60+) students were at A1 level and were observed by a group of 5 teachers.

A workshop - “Brain friendly approach”


  • Brain-friendly check-list for lessons planning
  • Using pictures for learning categories
  • Short-term to long term memory
  • Learning styles vs teaching styles

Participants worked in groups, discussed teaching approaches and shared experience from their teaching practice.

Tuesday 18th June

Live lesson with 50+ students (group 2)

The second group of 9 (60+) students at A1+ level were observed by the group of 5 English teachers.

Live lesson with 50+ students (group 3)

The third group of 5 (60+) students at A1+ level were observed by the group of 5 English teachers.

Impressions, discussion & sharing experience

  • Groups were quick, especially the last group
  • Classes were rather natural – students were chatty and bubbly
  • Students need more attention than groups of young adults
  • “Older” groups have specific problems eg. forgetting the glasses makes it impossible for some people to fully participate in the lesson.
  • Nice atmosphere and a lot of enthusiasm
  • A lot of repetition – some teachers indicated that their students are sometimes offended by the repetition, they tend to be bad-tempered. As this lesson was free of charge students were more open to work and put more effort into the creation of the nice in-class atmosphere. Older students like to have an advantage over their peers by showing that they can get on with their English in social situations. Some teachers see the similarity in the approach between older groups and groups of children. But it has to be mentioned that not all senior citizens like this way of teaching.

Similarities between children and 50 (60+) groups.

  • An element of competition between the students.
  • Groups are talkative and social.
  • They are eager to learn.

The experience of the teachers who worked with 50 (60+) groups before:

Elderly students are afraid of loneliness and isolation, they do not have a lot to do when they are retired, students do not like having homework to do, they are not always comfortable with certain types of exercises, they tend to prepare themselves well for the classes. Students’ approach to study differs depending on the fact whether they are active on a labour market or not. The teaching style influences learning styles. Also teachers can learn a lot from their elderly students – it is a two-way process.

Introduction to the Set of Tips & Guidelines

The project coordinator presented the main aims of the project and the main stages of the creation of the Set of Tips & Guidelines.

The link to the set is

Sharing experience from the pilot testing:

The two teachers who are the members of the project staff – Madalina from Romania and Katrin from Estonia shared and presented their experience from the pilot testing stage of the project. Magda prepared some exercises and the discussion focused on: vocabulary, grammar and listening comprehension. The teachers listed difficulties that they can meet in their day-to-day work with senior citizens: types of available activities, ways of adjusting activities to the needs of 60+ students, making activities more brain-friendly.

Wednesday 19th June

Adjusting materials to the needs of 50+ students/ preparation of activities


  • hands-on practice,
  • dealing with adjusting contemporary coursebooks to the needs of 50+ students

The main stress of the workshop was put on vocabulary, grammar and listening. Participants worked in groups, exchanged ideas, and discussed the aims.

The fifth project meeting

Cluj Napoca 3 – 4 May 2019

The fifth project meeting took place from 3 to 4 May 2019 in Cluj Napoca, Romania

The meeting was attended by 10 people from all partner countries - 2 English teachers (3 from Poland) and project managers.

The meeting took place in accordance with the prepared agenda.

The main aims of the meeting were:

  • The results of the pilot testing:

- the questionnaire for teachers

- the questionnaire for students

  • Teacher’s experience with the SoT&G – pros and cons, impressions from the classes
  • Discussion over the needed adjustments of SoT&G
  • How the adjustments should be performed?

The main conclusions from discussions on the results of the evaluation of the Set of Tips and Guidelines are as follows:

  • The problem for students was to name used techniques in their own words.
  • Students had some issues with taking part in the research. They were afraid that their age is the topic of the project.
  • It was not easy to carry out classes in an elder-friendly way in mixed-age groups. Younger students were bored.
  • Students did not like the open form of some questions.
  • Students were very sensitive to the age topic.
  • Students knew they will have a special lesson.
  • Some parts of the SoT&G can be implemented to core curricula and be a base of models of classes for the 50+ people.
  • The core curricula for elderly groups should be shorter than standard. In these groups, it takes a long time to execute the exercises and activities during the lesson.
  • Elderly students need to stay in their comfort zone, there are also not used to multitasking.
  • The core curricula for elderly groups should be shorter than standard. It takes longer time to execute the exercises and activities during the lesson.
  • Elderly students need to stay in their comfort zone, there are also not used to multitasking.

The fourth project meeting

Łódź 23 – 24 January 2019

The fourth project meeting took place from 23 to 24 January 2019 in Łódź, Poland.

The meeting was attended by 9 people from all partner countries - 2 English teachers and project managers.

The meeting took place in accordance with the prepared agenda.

The main aims of the meeting were:

  • Presentation of the results – teachers’ and student’s’ questionnaires (as a part of The Set of Tips and Guidelines.
  • Conclusions from the comparison of the results of teachers’ and students’ questionnaires .
  • Discussing the ideas about the design and content of the Set of Tips and Guidelines.
  • Discussion over the ideas how the Set of Tips and Guidelines should be designed – part 2.
  • Setting the dates of the C1 training.

The most important conclusions from the meeting is that the Set of Tips and Guidelines will be prepared by the coordinator as a ready-to-use list which will be evaluated and pilot tested by the English teachers and students.

The date of C1 training has been settled - 17 th – 19 th June 2019 and will be held in Łódź, Poland.

The third project meeting

Tallinn 24 – 25 September 2018

The third project meeting took place from 24 to 25 September 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia.

The meeting was attended by 9 people from all partner countries - 2 English teachers and project managers.

The meeting took place in accordance with the prepared agenda.

The most important conclusions from the meeting:

  1. the order of meetings in the project has been changed:
    • The 4th meeting will take place in Poland - January 2019 / setting the deadline to November 10, 2018,
    • During the meeting, the teachers will have the opportunity to observe a group of 60+ students at an advanced level. After the classes, a focus study will be carried out to indicate differences in the methodology of teaching older groups, which has so far been the biggest problem in the project.
    • The 5th project meeting will be held in Romania - April 2019
    • The 6th meeting will take place in Estonia - August 2019
  2. C1Training for teachers must take place between June and August 2019 in Lodz - the exact date depends on the progress of work in the project but the decision should be made during the meeting in Poland - January 2019
  3. In addition, before the 4th meeting, surveys should be conducted for students aged 50+ regarding opportunities, barriers and difficulties in teaching .

During the third project meeting English language teachers had the opportunity to observe the classes:

  • In the B1 group with the majority of young students (2 people were over 50 years of age).

Observers stressed that the classes were conducted in a structured and logical manner using useful materials. Great emphasis was placed on the grammar. The group was not homogeneous, but the teachers paid particular attention to the needs of weaker students. He explained everything exactly and tried to involve the students in classes

  • In the C1 group with the majority of 50+ students (over half of the students).

The group was very attentive and committed. The teacher encouraged the students to correct mistakes, which they willingly did. The teacher moderated the work of the group very well. One of the observers stated that the lector and the students created a closed world of learning and teaching.

The Class Observation Sheet was used in accordance with the findings of the previous meeting as an auxiliary tool in the assessment of classes.

In addition, each partner prepared and presented the presentation on the situation of 50+ people in each country.

The second project meeting

Cluj - Napoca 19 - 20 April 2018

The second project meeting was short and mainly aimed at the presentation of curriculum in each of the partner countries and observation of the English classes conducted by Romanian partner. During the first day of the meeting, teachers from all partner countries presented the core curriculum for each of the previously selected levels:

  • A2 + - Poland
  • A.2.2 – Estonia
  • A2.3 - Romania.

Presentations were prepared on the basis of pre-established template.

The coordinator presented the outcome of the evaluation of the first meeting which clearly indicated the need to structure - the preparation of the Class Observation Sheet is the response to this demand.

The observed classes were conducted by two teachers. The first class at level A.2.3. was mixed age group and the second class at A.1.3 level a group of mainly 50+.

At that time, the project managers discussed administrative and financial issues related to the project implementation.

After the meeting all the partners had a late dinner.

The second day of the meeting began with discussing the teachers’ observations after peer watching each lesson (this is not the result of the Class Observation Sheet, but a loose discussion):

  • classes are longer than in other partner countries - they last 2.5 hours,
  • due to the length of classes, a lot of time is spent on revising the material in the other partner countries revisions are less frequent due to shorter classes)
  • interactive boards and other ICT technologies are actively used, both in younger and older groups. In addition to developing language skills, the use of ICT tools helps the older generation to get used to the new technology. The Polish partner diversifies the activities using the interactive whiteboard and the Estonian partner does not use them at all.
  • the attitude of the students is very open - they talk in English before the classes (which in principle does not happen in Estonia), they also give their opinion on the conducted classes
  • the way the classes are conducted by each teacher is very different - it may result from the specifics of each group and the personality of the teacher.

While discussing the outcomes of the class observation, the following question arose what teachers benefit from the observed activities related to the project. It was stated that just observing the activities of each partner was valuable, but it will not help to achieve the project's goal, which is to create a set of guidelines for teaching 50+ groups.

The coordinator explained that the first three meetings are aimed at getting to know each other, creating the space for cooperation and comparing the situation of 50+ people in each country. However, it was decided to reschedule meeting No. 4 (Romania) and No. 6 (Poland), so that the 4th meeting will be once again held in Poland in order to conduct additional observation of classes of 50+ (less and more advanced) groups using the Class Observation Sheet.

After conducting all the activities planned in the project, a focus group meeting will be held where:

  • experience from observing the classes in all partner countries will be summarized
  • ideas for additional dissemination of the project will be collected
  • differences in conducting classes for mixed groups, typically 50+, will be discussed. The subject of techniques and methods developed by the coordinator organization, who have been conducting classes for groups of 50+ for many years, will also be discussed and has extensive experience in this area.

The partners agreed that the next meeting will take place in Tallinn in September and will also last for two days. The exact date will be set in June.

After the meeting, the partners went out to have a farewell lunch.

The kick-off meeting

Łódź 16 – 18 November 2017

The first meeting was held at the Coordinator's Office – Studium Języków Obcych Modern Languages Center in Lodz, Poland.

On the first day of the meeting the activities for teachers and project managers were divided between them.

The teachers took part in the English lessons for 50+ students run by Magda Dworakowska.

Project managers discussed the meeting plan, exchange the signed partnership agreements. In addition, the coordinator clarified the issues related to the implementation of the project and the budget was discussed. Each of the financial categories and the rules for project settlement were clarified.

It was agreed that all partners must keep the described documents related to the project's expenses, in particular those ones on travel, each partner will prepare the appropriate contracts for the project staff and the teachers involved in the project - they may be volunteering agreements.

It was agreed that 6 project meetings would be organized and the best days for them would be the end of the week (Friday and Saturday). As the deadline for the final training with the set of guidelines for 15 teachers from partner countries, the turn of June and July 2019 was chosen.

After the meeting, the teachers and the project staff went out for dinner

The second day of the meeting started with a short tour of the MLC Foreign Language College and the presentation of its history by Anna Idzikowska - Dabow Managing the Director. Then the representative of each partner organization presented and discussed the presentation describing the history and functioning of each institution. The presentations will be posted online in Google Drive.

After the presentations, the partners compared the situation of each language school involved in the project and found out that, despite their different locations, each organization faced similar problems, such as high maintenance costs, summer break, the increased importance of in-company courses and one-to-one classes.

Next the project manager from Poland, Katarzyna Brzozowska - Kołat presented the background of the project and its assumptions to all participants:

· the college has taught 50+ students in their dedicated groups for more than 10 years now, there are no regular 50+ courses in partner institutions. All in all, in each partner organizations there are 50+ students.

· 50+ students also join and assimilate in mixed age groups, but some of them report specific needs, including:

· the demand for so-called. "Survival English" and lifestyle English,

· classes should be rich in vocabulary of everyday language,

· the participation in courses also provides students with non-linguistic needs such as the need of belonging to specific community,

· older learners have difficulty understanding the contextual vocabulary, over-emphasize linguistic correctness, and have difficulty in active listening exercises.

As the difficulty in teaching of older learners encountered by teachers in all partner countries is similar, the project partners will work to develop the set of best practices and tips for older learners.

After presenting the background for the project, the coordinator presented the work plan for the project: 6 meetings are scheduled; two in each partner country, the dates of subsequent visits will be planned in well in advance. The second project meeting will take place in Romania in Cluj-Napoca in April 2018. The Romanian partner is to propose the most suitable dates for it by mid-December 2017.

At each meeting, the project coordinator and 2 teachers who teach 50+students will participate in each meeting. It would be best if the same teachers attended all the meetings. The first three meetings will include benchmarking work and at the next three ones the set of tips and practices will be worked out.

Before the second meeting, in each country the presentation of the syllabus at the level chosen by each team will be made i.e. A2+ for Poland, A 2.2. for Estonia and A 2.3. for Romania. It was agreed that the set would consist of 3 parts – the conclusions from the comparison of the syllabus in each partner country, the situation of 50+ people (socio-cultural issues), the development of the survey made among 50+ students and teachers and the conclusions resulting from it.

It was agreed that each partner country would be responsible for preparing one part of the set. In order to determine exactly who is responsible for what needs to be agreed at the Skype meeting in December 2017.When the set is ready, the lesson will be conducted in each partner country and afterwards each teacher will assess its usefulness.

The next stage of the joint meeting for teachers and project managers was the discussion on the project logo. Eniko Gaspar, the project manager from Romania, agreed to prepare the logo for the project by the end of December 2017 which will be based on participants' suggestions and in collaboration with the project coordinator, who will send the additional materials by mid-December.

According to the participants of the meeting:

· the logo should be simple and contain clean colours,

· it should refer to emotion,

· the logo may be based on a pictogram,

· it can present: hands in welcoming embrace, faces of elderly people in graduation hats, a teacher and student’s silhouettes and the board with the project acronym.

After the lunch break, the partners had free time and met again at 5p.m. – the teachers participated in the workshop run by Magda Dworakowska, and then in the mixed age group lesson, while the project managers discussed the administrative issues.

The project coordinator presented and discussed the project evaluation plan.

Key findings:

· after each project meeting, a suitable survey will be completed by the participants,

· during the project the survey to assess the quality of work in the project will be carried out 4 times: March 2018. September 2018, March 2019, September 2019,

· in August 2018 and July 2019 a study to assess the implementation and progress of the project will be conducted,

· in addition, the instructions with tools for evaluating the Set of Guidance for both teachers and 50+ students will be provided by the coordinator.

The communication platform for the project and the project website - Facebook profile have been selected. By December 4 the coordinator will create online tools for the partnership.

All partners agreed to use the network of their national and international contacts to disseminate the results of the project. The coordinator will prepare a tool for describing and recording dissemination activities. Each partner on their website will provide information about the project and the link to the Facebook.

The coordinator provided the currency exchange rate on the date of signing the agreement with the Polish National Agency -29 September 2017.

At the end of the meeting, all the partners had dinner together.

On the last day of the meeting, the teachers participating in the 50+ group and the mixed group lesson shared their observations and remarks on the differences in each group's work. The 50+ group was more focused on the tasks that required active listening, the teacher divided the material that required analysis into smaller "portions" and repeatedly reproduced them. A great surprise for observers was the lesson warm-up which included personal experiences of the students - a form unique in Estonia. All students were encouraged to actively participate in the class; the teacher constantly monitored whether the learners were doing all the exercises and whether they were understandable. The teacher provided the students with the correct answers in the tasks if the group could not provide them.

The mixed age group works faster and although they are at a lower language level, they seem to be at a higher level than the 50+ group. The atmosphere in the group is as friendly as in the older group, but students require less attention and less incentive, the group performs active listening tasks more actively and speaks more fluently.

After discussing the activities, the meeting was summed up, the level of the syllabus needed for the next project meeting was selected once again and the evaluation questionnaires were handed out.

About the project

Prolonging life and improving its quality and the declining fertility of European Citizens make it necessary to prolong the activity of the elderly. It not only concerns professional activity but also active participation in social and cultural life.

By 2030 almost half of Europe’s population will be 50 years old. In order to prevent the negative effects of the change in the social structure, different programs for active aging have been already implemented. One of the elements that facilities lifelong performance is continuous education, including learning languages.

Lifelong learning is a challenge not only for learners but also for educators of older age groups.

According to our observations and available research, people over 50 require a different approach and curriculum than younger people.

Within the framework of the project implementation in Poland, Romania and Estonia, we want to support teachers who work daily with people over 50.

In all partners organizations actions aimed at active aging are being carried out, mainly in the form of English classes for 50+ people, financed from various sources.

However, the teachers who teach these groups in each partner institution encounter similar barriers and difficulties in their daily work.

Through the exchange of good practice and experience, we want to increase the knowledge and competences of English language teachers of 50+ people which will enable them to prepare curriculum and activate this age group.

As a result of our two-year cooperation we will create a collection of Guidance and Advice (PLO) which will be free and available to all people interested in it