AI for Adult Education: Tools to Save Lesson Planning Time and Engage Adult Learners


Finding fresh, relevant teaching materials is one of the toughest parts of being an adult educator. You scour supplemental books and websites trying to piece together customized, relevant lessons and engaging content. Just searching for the perfect dialogue to demonstrate informal language can eat up hours. But what if you had an AI assistant that could generate this tailored material for you in seconds? New AI tools like ChatGPT, Claude, and Bard provide this instant support—you describe what you need, and the tool creates it on the spot. Whether it’s an example email to your kid’s teacher, a quiz based on a reading, or an interactive roleplay, these tools can help save lesson planning time and engage your adult learners.

How do these AI tools work?

After creating your free account, you can enter a prompt (e.g., a question, copied text from another source with a request), and it generates text in response. If you’re not satisfied with what it creates, you can ask it to simplify, shorten, change the tone, or otherwise edit its response. Or you can copy content from other sources and ask the tool to summarize it or create activities based on it. The AI tool acts as a virtual assistant, providing personalized content at your command.

How can these AI tools help adult educators?

  • Get game/activity/icebreaker ideas.
  • Write example dialogues or emails for specific functional purposes.
  • Write sentences or paragraphs (with specific vocabulary or grammar) about a particular topic.
  • Rewrite content at different reading levels.
  • List out key vocabulary from a text and give additional examples of their use.
  • And much, much more

Give it a try! Use these sample prompts.

  • What’s the difference between [simple past] and [present perfect] in the context of [applying for a job]?
  • Help me explain X to English learners.
  • Create 10 “would you rather” questions about X.
  • Create a short story using these vocabulary words – X, Y, Z.
  • Create a multiple-choice quiz and discussion prompts based on this text.
  • Write a spoken dialogue between a [certain job role] and a [customer] about [topic].

To find out other prompts you could use, ask the AI tool itself! “What are the 5 best prompts to [ChatGPT] for creating activities for English learners?”

Note: Don’t share personal or sensitive information.

Note: Using AI still requires a human touch. You should review the AI-generated material and edit it as needed before using it for class or tutoring.

Want to learn even more?

  • Connect with us! English Empowerment Center is not recommending one tool over another as we are still experimenting with them. We’d love to chat with you or even put you in touch with instructors who are already trying them out.
  • Explore the AI for Adult Education resources from the EdTech Center at World Education to learn about how these tools work and what the implications are for adult education.
    • Practice in real time with others this summer in their upcoming CampGPT – July 21, July 28, and August 11.

Other resources to support you and adult learners

AI tools can be immensely helpful when used responsibly, but we recognize that they won’t be of interest to everyone. Borrow books from the physical library located in our office. Peruse our online collection of curated class-specific resources linked at the top of our For Teachers page. Or reach out to us; our experienced and knowledgeable staff are here to support you.

Together, let’s keep exploring how to tap into all available resources – from new AI tools to learners’ voices and your creativity – to truly empower adult learners and their families.