This thesis set out to explore and discover the experience of being a senior adult aged between 55-75 years old, who was learning English as a foreign language through various interventions, including, the introduction of an adapted version of synthetic phonics to improve pronunciation, which is typically associated with young learners and used primarily to teach English language literacy, the use of andragogical principles alongside geragogical principles to accommodate learning, as well as traditional pedagogical principles to enable learning. This thesis also sought to identify the challenges faced by much older learners and to make recommendations to complement, enhance and empower learning. Participants in this study were followed across one academic year, consisting of two sixteen-week semesters with a total of 64 hours of instruction. Classes took place once a week for two-hours per time.
The aims of the thesis
• To focus on the experience of being a senior citizen learning English as a foreign language, with a synthetic phonics intervention taught according to andragogical principles
• To investigate whether, to what extent, how, where and why a systematic synthetic phonics approach to English language teaching and learning is successful and effective with senior adult learners of English (55-75 years old).
• To investigate whether, to what extent, how, where and why a systematic synthetic phonics approach can help senior adult learners to develop their listening and pronunciation skills.
• To identity challenges faced by senior adults aged 55-75 years of age language learners of English, and their teachers.
• To make some recommendations for effective teaching of English to senior adult learners.
Learners want to learn
From a variety of backgrounds
3 critical factors: phonics, andragogy, geragogy (learning as a social activity)
Purpose of study how do these interact and unfold
The objectives of the thesis
• To evaluate the contribution of systematic phonics approach to teaching and learning English, to senior adult learners of English.
• To conduct and report a case study of senior adult learners of English in Greater China, and their teachers, using systematic phonics approach to teaching and learning English.
• To make some recommendations for improving the teaching and learning of English to older adults.