Category: Teaching a language

HR Task: Analyse Data with a Score Card

Simona Petrescu Task-in-Process model, analyse data with a score card

This task is part of the HR process of managing performance, when HR managers collect and analyse data regarding staff performance. It involves stages that can be verbalised, such as “examining data”, which can be verbalised in the way of “presenting the data”, or “thinking aloud about the data”. It also involves, however, stages that…

Set up and adjust exam preparation courses

You need to prepare your students for an exam? This can be uncharted territory. Exam preparation courses are different from regular teaching, both in the goals and in their management.

Regular teaching aims to equip learners with skills either required by real life or by a curriculum. Exam preparation courses, by contrast, aim to equip learners both with skills required by a curriculum (of the particular exam) and with exam strategies.

Regular courses are managed in general methodological terms such as class size and composition, interaction patterns, amount of input and its ratio against practice. Exam preparation courses need to be managed in terms that directly relate to the specific goal achievement, namely passing the exam. This means that some pedagogical aspects will be left aside to the benefit of building and drilling exam-relevant skills. Group work, for instance, widely popular in regular teaching, will not be given much weight, for example, in an exam preparation course for reading skills. But as a course manager, the teacher must above all be able to set up the preparation course in the optimal configuration of what is to be learnt under the given circumstances of the class – where the students start in their preparation, and the time available to take students from A to B, namely from where they are now to the required, exam level. Very often these real-life parameters do not suit the exam preparation optimally, usually because time is too short, or the students’ entry level (at the start of the preparation course) is too low. What to do then?

This visual presents an algorithmic, or systematic, approach to the teacher’s decision making process in such cases. What refers, in the visual, to “language training” can in fact be extended to any “subject training”. The core statement is that any exam preparation course consists of two components – subject, and exam training – which are balanced against each other in an interplay with the three key parameters of entry level, exam level, and preparation time.

 

parameters involved in adjusting exam preparation to the given time of student level

Syllabus design for language courses for specific purposes

Task-in-Process Syllabus, Simona Petrescu

In this video I present a model I have developed for designing language courses for specific purposes. By “language specific purposes” I understand the use of language for professional but also for broader career or life purposes, such as attending a conference, or relocating overseas. My presentation sets out by describing the procedure that I…

Why Business English can’t be done with the standard course books

My title announces an argumentative exercise. Before starting, however, a few remarks on the scope of my statement are due. What are the “standard course books?” The textbooks of the established publishers, including the so-called specialised “English for… (business field)” products, which either focus on specialist vocabulary or on specific communication skills. No need to give…