Hi, I am a tutor in Functional Skills, teaching literacy to small groups of learners; one of these days I spend with 16-18 year olds, which I was expecting to be more difficult in terms of behaviour management, but in actual fact it's turning out to be the group of 25-40 year old learners which is giving me most trouble! There is a lot on this forum about behaviour management in schools - does anyone have any advice on behaviour management with older learners? I'll be honest - I never expected it to be an issue, and I find myself rather baffled. This is a rather complex small group working at Level 1; accepting the fact that these women (as this is a women-only class, as it's turned out) evidently have quite turbulent personal lives, I'm finding the general attitude towards me declining as the weeks go on. For one thing, I am having to consistently ask the learners not to swear. I tried conveniently ignoring this at first, and I think this was probably the wrong thing to do, as it has set a precedent: now, I have to ask eight or ten times a session for people to tone down their language. This is met with great mirth, and not heeded. I should stress that the bad language is mostly just a part of everyday speech rather than aimed at anyone, although this has happened a few times (people seem to fall in and out of friendship at a dramatic rate) but I feel that, as the class is supposed to be preparing people to go into work, then the standard should be that no one swears. I have tried to explain my reasoning, but it has not been effective and it is very wearing to have to keep asking people to stop. The general attitude towards myself is not good, either. Bearing in mind that these learners may have a lot of baggage with regards to education, I still feel that they talk to me with a sort of casual contempt at times which makes me feel rattled. For instance, a learner arrived a couple of weeks ago and told me that a class member had dropped out of the class, announcing this in front of some of the learners who were already there by saying "[Learner] isn't coming anymore, because she says this class is a pile of old sh*t". Another example: I was writing something on the whiteboard when the cry came from probably the most dominant person in the group: "MOVE YOUR HEAD!" - to which the other learners all giggled amongst themselves. I am not sure how to proceed. This is my first assignment since qualifying in this sector, by the way, and it may or may not make a difference that I am the same age or younger than the people in the group. I don't know what sort of environment I can engender - having worked with younger learners, it feels as if that rule book is no good to me at all - but I do not want to be treated rudely by learners, whatever their age. Help!