GENERAL ENGLISH COURSES
Our general English courses are aimed at young learners who want to combine English language study, activities and cultural experience. We offer an opportunity to develop language skills and improve confidence using English in real life situations in the context of UK and US based immersion programmes. By the end of their stay with us students will have:
- become more independent as a learner and user of English
- practised integrated language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing)
- enriched their vocabulary, practised pronunciation of English sounds and broadened understanding of relevant grammar structures
- been exposed to important life skills such as group work, communication and promoting individualised accountability
- received advice and practice in preparation for the internationally recognised Trinity GESE exam (Oxford)
- spoken English with other international students on the course and English speaking staff
From the minute students arrive we offer tuition and support and we make sure their speaking abilities improve with every step of their journey with LSC. It is often a case of helping students to ‘come out of their shell’, increasing their confidence in using the English they already have and providing an opportunity to use it in meaningful situations.
CURRICULUM, COURSE STRUCTURE AND MATERIALS
The process of curriculum development and syllabus design in language teaching usually involve assessing the needs of learners in a language programme, developing goals and objectives, planning a syllabus, selecting teaching approaches and materials, and deciding on assessment procedures and criteria.
Richards and Renandya (2002, CUP, p.65)
Tricia Hedge’s (OUP, 2000, p. 342)diagram perfectly describes the steps that have been followed during the course design process:
Our student profile has provided inside knowledge that has been applied during the course design process. Using this knowledge as well as previous experience, we have designed our own course books that are aimed to match the specific needs of young learners on our short-term courses.
CHELSEA- FOOTBALL ENGLISH COURSE
Starting from 2018, we offer an English for Specific Purposes course in Football English as part of the Chelsea Foundation course. This is an inspiring 2-week programme for young learners aged 12 – 17, during which students will have an opportunity to learn about: fitness; nutrition; the history of football; commentary and punditry; innovations in football; the football business; media training; controversy in football and team evaluation. Players follow Chelsea’s training philosophy and methodology in training sessions led by Chelsea Foundation coaches, while improving English language skills during 3 hours of daily lessons with TEFLI qualified tutors.
Our range of language courses typically offers 15 hours of tuition a week, with the exception of 20 hours on homestay programmes in Oxford. Our timetable is usually organised on a zig-zag basis as it helps us plan and make the most of our students’ time, improve their English and have an enjoyable experience. This means that students who are placed on morning timetable in their first week will have lessons in the morning and social programme in the afternoon and evening. This is then reversed on a weekly basis. Consequently, students attend both morning and afternoon lessons on alternate weeks.
Each course level consists of 15 teaching days (3 weeks) and contains 45 hours of lessons. On a standard course, each day students have three 60 minute lessons during which they are introduced to a different theme on a daily basis. Lessons are versatile and include authentic materials such as podcasts, stimulating videos and images, extracts from newspaper articles and world famous literature as well as engaging grammar exercises and a lot of speaking practice. Materials contain carefully selected student-centred topics with many opportunities to discuss general and controversial issues in varying interactions such as pair work, role-plays or presentations.
The daily sessions are logically connected and aim at improving all four skills, however, particular emphasis is put on oral development. The first two lessons of the day follow a strong lexical, grammatical and functional framework. In addition, as an integral part of each unit at every level, there is a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) lesson that allows integration of curriculum subjects, either ‘hard’ CLIL, e.g. History, Economics or elements of English medium general education i.e. ‘soft’ CLIL, e.g. Human Rights or Health and Fitness.
A typical daily teaching programme on a standard 15 hours course for students who are on morning timetable. Start and finish may vary slightly due to operational reason without affecting tuition time.
PLACEMENT PROCEDURES AND LEVELS
All students take an online test before arrival in order to help us assess their language knowledge and how well they understand English. This enables us to better understand the class they will be happiest and most successful in. In case a student is unable to take an online test prior the arrival, a placement test will be administered at the centre. Based on the students’ test scores Directors of Studies (DOS) allocate class groups from A1 – C2. The maximum class size is 15 and amongst other factors taken into consideration when making up classes are students’ ages and nationalities or L1 (first language). Students’ progress is monitored throughout the course in a range of informal assessment conducted by teachers during the learning process as well as at the end of the course in a form of a departure test.
The course consists of four levels that have been carefully designed with our students’ needs in mind i.e. international students of 12 to 17 years of age, who typically receive 15 hours of classroom instruction per week on short courses.
The core structure of the syllabus has been designed by carefully following the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and Trinity College London International ESOL exams with particular attention paid to the language requirements of the 12 Grades of the GESE exam.
The way we teach English at LSC is a combination of contemporary approaches to language teaching.
Communicative Language Teaching is based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.
Task-based language teaching which promotes the use of tasks used to facilitate meaningful communication and interaction.
Content-based instruction focusing on real-world content and the understanding and communication of information through language.
Classroom activities guided by the communicative approach are characterised by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels. As a result, there may be more emphasis on skills than systems, lessons are more learner-centred, and there is regular use of authentic materials.
Practising question forms by asking learners to find out personal information about their classmates is an example of the communicative approach, as it involves meaningful communication.
GESE Trinity exams
More and more students who come to the UK decide to take the internationally recognised Trinity GESE exam, notification of which we insist upon during the booking process, prior to students arriving at our centres.
The exam is conducted at the Trinity registered LSC centre in Oxford by external examiners, the dates are pre-booked and paid for in advance. LSC reserves the right to withdraw an offer to take the test as we can only guarantee an exam will take place provided a minimum of ten students per centre have booked to take it. This requirement is dictated by the Trinity examiners’ minimum 3 hours sessions, which need to be booked and paid for in advance.
For more information please contact Michael Duncan on firstname.lastname@example.org