Adult Language Instruction in Liberal Adult Education I nstitutions in Finland

Tamar Mikeladze

Abstract


Extensive research has been carried out on adult education, although no single study exists which adequately covers foreign
language instruction in liberal adult education institutions. At adult education centers (AECs) learners differ in many aspects,
creatinga complex environment for teaching. This paper presents research which was designed to study adult learners’ attitude
towards the language programs/courses; it describes adults’ learning experience at liberal AECs. The research was conducted in
2013 within the operating foreign language courses at the AECs in Turku, Finland. The data was gathered by a semi-structured
interview. Twenty three AEC language learners participated in the survey. The main issues addressed in this paper are: a) adult
learners’ attitude toward the language courses, b) AEC language classroom practices (success factors and obstacles). The current

study found that the language courses were in demand. Along with these positive findings the study disclosed that adult
learners had some problems that could be solved by educators and administrators’ intervention. These problematic areas were:
1) teaching methods and approaches, 2) teaching materials 3) course/ class management 4) teaching resources. The AEC
educational environment is extremely diverse and thismakes teaching tremendously complex. Only through a constant dialogue
between an instructor and learners it is possible to create a productive, satisfying environment.


Keywords


Adult Education, A dult Learning, Adult Language Learners, Foreign Language Instruction

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