The Adult Foreign Language Learner Some Proposals for Andragogical Language Teaching

Giulia Tardi


This paper provides an overview of what it means to explore, from an andragogical approach, the process of foreign language learning and teaching. The relationship between adults and learning experiences is complex and multifaceted. The conceptual categories of multiplicity and diversity of motivations, needs, expectations, and strategies to which the teaching principles of multiplicity and flexibility of methods and techniques can be applied are relevant. Teaching adults requires assuming new roles and adopting novel teaching methods. On a methodological level, language activities must be linked to the needs, interests, and experiences of the adult, provide appropriate language models, vary in the methods, tools, and materials used, and guarantee greater awareness and autonomy.

Parole chiave

andragogy; self-directed learning; autonomy; foreign language teaching

Full Text


Riferimenti bibliografici

Alberici A., 2002, “Prospettive epistemologiche. Soggetti, apprendimento, competenze”, in Demetrio Duccio, Alberici Aureliana (a cura di), Istituzioni di Educazione degli adulti, Milano, Guerini, pp. 155-220.

Balboni P.E., 2015, Le sfide di Babele. Insegnare le lingue nelle società complesse, Torino, UTET.

Baltes P. B. Reese H. W., Lipsitt L. P, 1980, “Life-span developmental psychology”., in Annual Review of Psychology, 31, pp. 65-110.

Begotti P., 2019, Adulti in classe. Insegnare lingue LS e L2 agli adulti stranieri. Caratteristiche, variabili e proposte operative, Limena, Libreria universitaria edizioni.

Brocket R. G., Hiemstra R. (a cura di), 1991, Self-direction in Adult Learning: Perspectives on Theory, Research, and Practice, New York, Routledge, Chapman and Hall.

Brocket R. G., Hiemstra R. (a cura di), 2012. “Reframing the Meaning of Self-Directed Learning”, in Proceedings of the Adult Education Research Conference, USA, pp. 155-162.

Candy P.C., 1991, Self-direction for Lifelong Learning: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Celentin P., 2020, Le variabili dell’apprendimento linguistico. Perché non tutti impariamo le lingue allo stesso modo, Verona, QuiEdit.

Council of Europe, 2001, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Crane C., Fingerhuth M., Huenlich D., 2018, “What makes this so complicated? On the value of disorienting dilemmas in language instruction”, in Dubreil Sebastien, Thorne Steven L. (a cura di), Engaging the world: Social Pedagogies and Language Learning, Boston, MA, Heinle, pp. 227-252.

Cranton P., 2002, “Teaching for Transformation”, in New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 93, pp. 63-71.

Cross K. P., 1981, Adults as Learners: Increasing Participation and facilitating Learning, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Daloiso M., 2009, I fondamenti neuropsicologici dell’educazione linguistica, Venezia, Cafoscarina.

Demetrio D., 1997, Manuale di educazione degli adulti, Roma-Bari, Laterza.

Erikson E. H.,1968, Identity: Youth and crisis, New York, Norton & Company.

Freire P., 1971, La pedagogia degli oppressi, Milano, Arnoldo Mondadori.

Griffiths C., 2008, Lessons from Good Language Learners, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Holec H., 1981, Autonomy and Foreign Language Learning, Oxford, Pergamon.

Houle C. O., 1961, The Inquiring Mind, Madison, University of Wisconsin Press.

Johnson S.M., Nelson B.M., 2010, “Above and Beyond the Syllabus: Transformation in an adult, foreign language classroom”, in Language Awareness, 19 (1), pp. 35-50.

Johnson S.M., 2015, Adult Learning in the Language Classroom, Tonawanda, NY, Multilingual Matters.

Kapp A., 1833, Platon’s Erziehungslehre, als Paedagogik für die Einzelnen und als Staatspaedagogik, Minden und Leipzig, Ferdinand Essmann.

King K. P., 2000, “The Adult ESL experience: Facilitating Perspective Transformation in the Classroom”, in Adult Basic Education, 10 (2), pp. 69-89.

Knowles M., 1968, “Andragogy, not Pedagogy”, in Adult Leadership, 16(10), pp. 350-352.

Knowles M., [1973] 1984, The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species, Houston, Texas, Gulf Publishing Company.

Knowles M., 1975, Self-Directed Learning: A Guide for Learners and Teachers, New York, Association Free Press.

Knowles M., Holton E.F., Swanson R.A. (a cura di), 1998, The Adult Learner. The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.

Krashen S.D., 1982, Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition, Oxford, Pergamon Press.

Levinson D. J., 1986, “A Conception of Adult Development”, in American Psychologist, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 3-13.

Little D., Perclová R. (a cura di), 2001, The European Language Portfolio: a Guide for Teachers and Teacher Trainers, Strasbourg, Council of Europe.

Littlewood W., 1981, Communicative Language Teaching: An Introduction, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Merriam S. B., Bierema L. L., (a cura di), 2013, Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Mercer N., 2000, Words and Minds: How We Use Language to Think Together, London, Routledge.

Mezirow J., 1991, Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Mezirow J., 1997, “Transformative Learning: Theory to Practice”, in New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 74, pp. 1-12.

Mezirow J., 1998, “On Critical Reflection”, in Adult Education Quarterly, 48, pp. 185-198.

Mezirow J., 2003, “Transformative Learning as Discourse”, in Journal of Transformative Education, Vol. 1, No. 1., pp. 58-63.

Mollica A., 2010, Ludolinguistica e Glottodidattica, Perugia, Guerra.

Nunan D., 1989, Designing Tasks for the Communicative Classroom, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Rogers A., 1969, Freedom to Learn, Columbus, OH, Merrill.

Rogers A., Horrock N., 2010, Teaching Adults, UK, McGraw-Hill.

Serragiotto G., 2010, “Come facilitare l’apprendimento linguistico degli studenti adulti”, in CAON Fabio, Facilitare l’apprendimento dell’italiano L2 e delle lingue straniere, Torino, UTET, pp. 217-227.

Skehan P., 1998, A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Smith A. F.V., Strong G. (a cura di), 2009, Adult Language Learners: An Overview, Annapolis Junction, Maryland USA, Tesol.

Thornton K., 2010, “Supporting Self-Directed Learning: A Framework for Teachers”, in Language Education in Asia, 1(1), pp. 158-170.

Tough A., 1967, Learning without a Teacher, Toronto, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Tough A., 1971, The Adult's Learning Projects. A fresh approach to theory and practice in adult learning, Ontario, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Tudor I., 2016, "Teacher Roles in the Learner-Centred Classroom", in ELT Journal, 47/1, pp. 22-31.

Vygotsky L. S., 1962, Thought and Language, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.

Widdowson H., 1972, “The Teaching of English as Communication”, in ELT Journal, 27(1), pp. 15-19.

Willis J., 1996a, “A Flexible Framework for Task-Based Learning”, in Willis Jane, Willis Dave (a cura di), Challenge and Change in Language Teaching, Oxford, MacMillan, pp 52-62.

Willis J., 1996b, A Framework for Tasked-Based Learning, England, Pearson.



  • Non ci sono refbacks, per ora.

Questo sito utilizza Cookie

Questo sito utilizza solo cookie tecnici, propri e di terze parti, per il corretto funzionamento delle pagine web. Informativa privacy