Start your own school tip 11: How to teach English to adults


Hope things are going great for you!

I get a lot of teachers asking:

Do you really teach Genki English to adults the same as kids?

And the answer is …. Yes!

In fact multi million dollar companies spend a fortune on “communication” and “presentation” seminars, where basically the presenters do exactly the same things we do with Genki English.

And they charge *thousands* of dollars.

(Ninja Tip: If you want to make a *lot* of money, rebrand your English class as “communication skills” and pitch it to local companies!)

In your class….

In regular class it all depends on the adult’s English level.

If they are true beginners, or simply don’t have the confidence to speak fluently then we use the exact same lesson plans as with the kids ( i.e. )

Ninja Tip no.2: To stop them thinking “this is just kids stuff” always mix in regular “traditional” boring material too e.g. newspaper articles, reading passages, crosswords, written quizzes etc.

(I’d usually do this for the first half of the lesson.)

That way the adults *think* they are learning from the “boring” stuff.

But they are in fact learning from the Genki English songs and games, which they love because it’s fun.

Of course if they are already super fluent and 100% confident, then you might want to look at something else.

Or there is the Advanced Genki English material.

For beginners or those who need extra confidence though, try the regular lesson plans, you’ll be astounded at how well it works!

Next time… babies and 2 and 3 year olds!

Be genki,


P.S. Adults do love fun too, just look at how many business execs have Angry Birds on their iPhones!

P.P.S. I was serious about the rebranding thing, it can seriously help your income if you also do one off communication skills presentations for businesses. (e.g. eye contact with the “What’s your name?“, persistence with the “I like everything game“, body language/posture with CD9’s “Superhero” etc. etc. ) Pitch it as hard nosed business skills, but then mix in the fun stuff and they’ll be inviting you back!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!

15 Responses to “Start your own school tip 11: How to teach English to adults”

  1. Elvira

    as I’ve told you before,I started a new school this month and held
    several classes both with adults and kids using amazing Genki English already.(Not too many but I did everything I could so far…) I completely agree that older people “blossom’ when they’re doing Genki.Today I met the woman which I haven’t seen for ages.She’s an elementary school teacher.We had a little chat and then I offered her my invitation cards to give them to her students.She was glad to do me a favour.Then suddenly she asked “Is it possible that I can start speaking English?I’m so worried I can’t even say a word in it.Can you really teach me?” …This was my day!I began to talk ab. my great program which absolutely helps people overcome language barrier. At long last she asked me “please take me as an elementary student to one of your next groups. Or maybe I’ll come with my little one –it makes no difference for my learning and their’s– we all new to it!” I think she wasn’t joking…The joke is that she refused pointblank the very idea of teaching adults with the same methods as children at the beginning of our converse.So she left her phone number and I kept my way home smiling and thinkinng of this post…

  2. Paul

    I live in Indonesia on Lombok Island, (next to Bali). I started using the Genki English for our private Academy with our students and the fun level went through the roof!

    At the Public School where I teach, the kids have come to love the songs and games too.

    A local Public Notary decided that she needed English lessons and came to us. Her level was beginner and we did a lot of boring grammar that pertained to her job and were having minimal results. I turned on the “Left and Right” and her lessons came alive! She laughed and wanted to included the Genki English with her material.

  3. poonnam nahataa

    thanks it helped me 2teach english

  4. Sue

    I think it depends what country you’re in. I can see adults learning well with this BUT I’ve tried with Middle School who are going through the “cool new teenager” stage and they look at me like I’ve gone nuts ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. tiny

    I am thinking of starting our own english school, maybe from a small room in our house first but I wanted to know if Can I teach english even if I am not an english major, what qualifications do i need in order to start teaching? I am bachelor degree. Thank you.

  6. Richard

    Hi Tiny,

    Always check the local regulations, but in most countries you don’t need any qualifications. The market quickly takes care of who should and who shouldn’t be teaching! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Tami Von Essen

    I just opened an Adult Language Center. My degree is in English Curriculum and I have taught ESL for over 20-years. The issues I have are teaching beginning English adults without making them feel as though I’m treating them like a child. Please help!!!

  8. Uma Nataraj

    Am an English teacher. Was so excited seeing your lessons! Loved the way you teach! Will use it in my classes!Thank you. Stay blessed!

  9. Donna DenBleyker

    If I purchase your Teacher’s Set, what technology do I need to buy or have available to use it in my class of 15-20 adults? In addition to the Teacher’s Set do I need to purchase any other material?
    Thank you!

  10. Richard Graham

    Hi Donna,

    The best bet is a laptop plugged into a TV. That way you’ll have a big screen with good sound.

    No need to buy anything else, with the Teacher’s Set you’ll get them up to A1/A2 level and be super confidence speakers in no time!

  11. Gergana

    Elvira, I got chills while reading your comment! These are the kind of stuff that make me want to do this! I have a long way until I finish school, get a Bachelor’s and a visa and start teaching ESL. These are the stories that keep me more than motivated! And Richard sure has a way of answering each of the questions that pop up in my head while daydreaming. ๐Ÿ™‚ This post clears up yet another one of them.

  12. Gemma

    Hi Richard,

    Iโ€™m a qualified primary teacher with experience of private tutoring & an advance TEFL qual. Iโ€™m looking to start my own school teaching adults English but time wise am not sure how to get started. Would you advise weekends or evenings? Also my aim is to come out of mainstream & focus on my business full time. At what point financially/client numbers wise would you say is a good point to transition?
    Many thanks.
    Gemma Jones

  13. Richard Graham

    Hi Gemma!

    Fantastic plan. Evenings are usually easier than weekends, although always check with your target audience to see what they say.

    The best time to transition is when your business income exceeds your regular job income. Enjoy!

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