What is your Academic Plan for studying English?

01.02.2019 г.
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Статья Райана Хеннена, заведующего учебной частью BSC London Hampstead на английском языке. Как спланировать свое обучение и понять, для чего вам учить английский. Определение уровней владения языком, подготовка к университету и многие другие аспекты читайте под катом:

 

 

 

 

Ryan Hannan,

Director of Studies at BSC London Hampstead

When you want to find directions in Google maps, you need to know two things – your starting point and your destination. Most students do not have a clear idea of either of these – the school systems in many countries do not allow for individual skills practice and when they think of goals they often think something very vague like “more grammar and more speaking” or something impossible like “I want to be fluent in six months.” As English-teaching professionals, our job is to help you understand where you are now, focus on specific, realistic goals and then give you advice on how to achieve these goals and how long it will take you.

The first thing you need is to understand your level – internationally these are based on the Common European Framework (CEFR) levels – A1 to C2. Once you understand your different levels for your different skills (students very often have stronger reading than speaking, for example) you can have a realistic timeline for your academic plan. An average student at our school takes 10.3 weeks to progress to the next level, but this depends on hours studied per week.  It also depends on the level, as the higher the level, the longer it takes. This is demonstrated in the table below.

We believe that great things start here. Whatever the starting point, we are here to help our students realize their goals and keep them focused on their journey. We invite all our students to complete an online placement test before they leave their country. This helps us understand their vocabulary and grammar level. On arrival at the school, they will be given a speaking and writing test and we try to find out a little more about the student’s goals. We match these scores to place them in the most appropriate classes. In the first week, a member of the academic team will come to talk to them about their class and on the first Friday, the teacher will give a private tutorial to review the first week and to discuss the student’s plans. In the first three weeks, they will be invited to talk to a member of the academic team to discuss course objectives. They will create an academic plan, giving the student a predicted timetable for level changes and a prediction of the final level. Below is an example of one of these plans. Students are required to take an End of Level test before progressing and they will have a feedback session with someone on the academic team to review the test once taken.

We believe that great things start here. Whatever the starting point, we are here to help our students realize their goals and keep them focused on their journey. We invite all our students to complete an online placement test before they leave their country. This helps us understand their vocabulary and grammar level. On arrival at the school, they will be given a speaking and writing test and we try to find out a little more about the student’s goals. We match these scores to place them in the most appropriate classes. In the first week, a member of the academic team will come to talk to them about their class and on the first Friday, the teacher will give a private tutorial to review the first week and to discuss the student’s plans. In the first three weeks, they will be invited to talk to a member of the academic team to discuss course objectives. They will create an academic plan, giving the student a predicted timetable for level changes and a prediction of the final level. Below is an example of one of these plans. Students are required to take an End of Level test before progressing and they will have a feedback session with someone on the academic team to review the test once taken.

All students receive private tutorials at least once a month from the teacher and every six weeks with the academic team to check that they are on track with their studies. We understand that students progress at different speeds and we encourage students to discuss their progress with us at any time.

Booking the course is the first step on this journey and we are here to guide them to achieve their goal.

It is also important to know why you are studying English. Do you need to enter a UK university? This usually requires an IELTS score of 5.5 for a pre-sessional course or 6.5 for graduate level programmes.  If you take a placement test and your level is mid-level A2, we would recommend the following plan for you if you needed an IELTS score of 6.5. We would recommend moving to IELTS halfway through the B2 level as this would be the optimum General English level to benefit most from the IELTS course.

In our school, you would meet an academic manager every six weeks to check your progress and to adjust the programme if necessary. As you can see, this programme would take an academic year and it is important to understand the time needed to achieve realistic goals. It might be worth considering a foundation year, such as our NCUK Foundation Year Programme if you were in this position and time was limited. Every student is different and a consultation with an academic professional will help you focus on your goals.

 

About the author
Ryan started teaching in 1998 in Taiwan. He came to BSC London Hampstead in 2007, where he specialised in Business English. He started to focus on assessment and progression when he became the Assistant Director of Studies in 2014. He expanded the Long Term Student programme to focus on the student journey and setting of short-term and long-term goals. He gained CELTA trainer status in 2017, when he became the Director of Studies at BSC London Hampstead.

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