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Learning any language can be discouraging for adult learners. It demands time and attention. Also, it is extremely easy to get distracted and lose concentration.

Adults live a busy life; they work full time or part time, they may have family commitments, take part in their hobbies, meet friends, and so forth. This means adults can be easily absorbed by the outside world and may struggle to invest time and energy required learning English.

However, despite the potential challenges, learning English is a fulfilling experience, and this article looks at the different ways of overcoming the common challenges faced by English language learners.


With anything in life, it is essential to make time for things which are important for you and your goals.

Adults, filled with busy schedules and hectic lives, find it hard to dedicate their time to learning a new language or a new skill. However, if you live in the UK, there are ways to practise English wherever you go. For instance, reading a newspaper on the way to work or on the way home from work. This is a valuable practice, as it helps develop your reading skills, increases their vocabulary, and improves your speaking skills – as you can make small talk at work. Make sure you add this habit to your everyday routine!

Work schedules:

One of the hardest things for English adult learners to do when trying to learn English is balancing their work and learning commitments. Also, it can be difficult to find time to study or attend English classes outside of work for people whose job comes first. 

Learning a new skill can be useful at the workplace for many reasons, so one suggestion is, why not speak with your employer to see if they offer language learning opportunities. They may be prepared to support you.

 Another solution to accommodate your hectic schedule is enrolling onto an online English course. By prioritising your language learning, you can get past the challenge of a demanding work schedule and move closer to your language learning objectives.

Other struggles

Cosma (2015: 1212) writes that “Adults may not be so patient with the results they expect from the English course. In general, they want to gain knowledge as soon as possible”. It is normal to feel anxious, and it is normal to make mistakes when speaking, reading, listening, or writing in the classroom. 

However, patience is required. It is understandable that you have paid for a course, and you expect to see results. However, even the busiest adult learner can overcome obstacles to their learning if they remain dedicated and motivated. One solution is to make the most of your English course (if you are enrolled on one). 

How? ask your teacher for homework, make friends in the class, (i.e., get to know them, learn and practice making small talk) and communicate with them. This will help to increase your confidence, and your worries will soon disappear. 

There are many obstacles which can result in frustration and no advancement of the English language. However, English adult learners must make an effort, and the solutions pointed out in this article will hopefully help you prioritise and practise the English language.

Author: Uwais, English Teacher