Understanding your learners and their needs is an important part of classroom teaching and planning. This professional practice involves making decisions about teaching and assessment by applying an understanding of learner characteristics, including their level of attainment, their age, interests, preferred ways of learning, group dynamics, their motivation to learn, both generally and in relation to specific subjects, their educational, social, cultural and linguistic background, any special educational needs they may have, their level of autonomy and their personality. In this section you can find useful articles, webinars, blog posts, publications and teaching tips to help you develop in the professional practice of 'Understanding learners'.

Understanding learners involves:
  • Making decisions about teaching and assessment by applying an understanding of the following learner characteristics:
    • level of attainment
    • age
    • interests
    • preferred ways of learning
    • group dynamics
    • motivation to learn, both generally and in relation to specific subjects
    • educational, social, cultural and linguistic background
    • any special educational needs
    • level of autonomy
    • personality
  • Conducting needs analyses and applying the results.
  • Applying an understanding of the impact of the learning environment on my learners.
  • Reflecting on my approach to understanding my learners and the impact this has on their learning.
  • Exploring theories of learning and applying them to my context and learners.

Find content for understanding your learners

Find a range of useful articles, written by ELT experts around the world, that are relevant to the professional practice 'Understanding learners'.
Find a range of useful blog posts, written by TeachingEnglish bloggers around the world, that are relevant to the professional practice 'Understanding learners'.
Find a range of publications and research, as well as engaging and informative webinar and conference recordings from ELT experts around the world, that are relevant to the professional practice 'Understanding learners'.