A good balance of grammar theory, reading and listening exercises, speaking practice and pronunciation is the aim of all language courses. It is also important for students’ motivation to have clear objectives.
Coursebook material is essential for use in class, but the books themselves are usually more suited to daily classes taking place in English-speaking countries. A few hours spent on learning the past tenses might be covered in one morning, but for full-time working people doing a course where they spend just a few hours a week doing class, unit 1 of the book can take weeks!
So we plan our courses in a different way, using achievable objectives where the students can quantify their own progress. This is in line with CEFR can-do statements.
Elementary (A1), Pre-Intermediate (A2), Intermediate (B1), Upper-Intermediate (B2) and Advanced (C1) are all divided into levels 1 to 5, each containing its own set of 3, 4 or 5 modules. In professional training, for example, IT courses are not just “learning computers” but are focused on specific tasks and functions, using PowerPoint, Excel, Word or other applications, and this is the logic that Educco courses follow.
Here are some examples:
One Pre-Intermediate 2 level module (CEFR level A2) is called Explaining Events. The basic objective for the students to ask themselves is “Can I say what happened?”, and the idea is to be able to tell another person about some events in the past.
The teacher will include grammar structures like the past simple and past continuous, with some focus on memorising the irregular verbs (no other way to do it, sorry), and then it can be expanded into using the Past Perfect, and incorporating sequence words like when, before, after etc. The flexibility is there to adapt each course to the needs of students while keeping the clear objective of explaining something that happened.
An Intermediate (B1) module is, of course, a little more difficult, and one example is called Reporting Verbs. The students have already learned to use the verbs Say and Tell at this point and can explain what another person has said. This simple module is a way for them to expand their vocabulary by including words that describe how someone speaks, verbs like order, argue complain, agree, refuse, admit.
Another Intermediate module is Vowel Sounds. This is where the students should ask themselves “Has my pronunciation improved?” at the end, and it also improves knowledge of the sounds that are used in words. Learning the sound patterns in English will also improve spelling. English spelling is not as logical as other languages like Spanish, so it takes some practice to know, for example, if Word rhymes with Bird (spoiler: it does!).
Doesn’t this sound like a good way to make progress with English?
Contact us and find out how we can create the best possible course for you.