6 Ways to Help EFL Students Become Lifelong Learners

Definition of Lifelong Learning

Nowadays, there is a great movement towards lifelong learning which is defined as it is using both formal and informal learning opportunities to foster learners’ continuous development and improvement of the knowledge and skills needed to be employed to achieve personal fulfillment.  

There are no age limits set in this definition. Young learners are ripe for absorbing the foundations of lifelong learning in a number of ways. To do this, they need your help, encouragement, and motivation.

You need to see your role as more than just teaching them English. You need to see your role as teaching English and, where possible, helping to give them the tools to become lifelong learners.

How to help and encourage students to become lifelong learners in the future? Here are six practical ways:

The Six Ways to Support Lifelong Learning in Your EFL Students

  1. Strive at all times to help your learners become intrinsically motivated. Help them to see the value in English learning and the opportunities that will arise from this in the future. Give them the tools and motivation to continue with their language learning in the future.
  2. Help them overcome inhibition, lack of motivation, lack of self-confidence and anxiety, all of which can have an enormous effect on language progress and their general desire for learning. Remember! Learners need to be relaxed and comfortable if they are to hold positive and motivational attitudes to the English language, language learning process, and future learning.
  3. Whenever possible, introduce them to the world of technology which will serve them well on their lifelong learning journey. Show them the possibilities and opportunities technology offers to help them self-study English.
  4. Help them with their cognitive skills, such as how to learn and how to organize their learning.
  5. Encourage them to become independent learners who have got the ability to adapt their learning to the dynamic world they live in.
  6. Young though they are, help them to develop skills that lifelong learners need, skills that they will need to support them successfully through their future school years, further education and employment. For example, you can:

Skills of Lifelong Learning

  • Help them to acquire good questioning skills.
  • Ensure they have effective spoken and written communication skills.
  • Help them to communicate well in groups.
  • Introduce them to the aspect of options. Before making decisions, they should consider the options available to them to select from.
  • Inspire them to be creative and imaginative.
  • Encourage them to get things right from the beginning to save time and effort in the future.

By continuing to implement all of the above ideas, you will be helping young learners on their lifelong learning journey. The benefit and pleasure they and you will take from this are immeasurable.

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