Considering preparing for an exam in Bristol?
Here are some common questions we get asked.
Preparing for Exams
It’s important to pick the right programme to go with your needs. Here are some common questions you may have when doing your research on where to study in Bristol.
For you to benefit the most from your English course, you’ll need to be on the right course. When we meet you before any course, you must take our free initial assessment unless you already have relevant results from a previous exam.
What are the online course sizes?
There are only three maximum in a class, and the lessons are shorter at 75 minutes because of concentration levels, and the possibility to do some written and listening exercises after the lesson instead of using class time online.
How different are online lessons?
In some ways, our online lessons are the same as face to face ones as courses need to be organized with a detailed course overview, the teacher needs to quickly reply to emails, the use of Moodle (the online platform) and there is the experience and knowledge of our teachers. However, it also brings a number of advantages.
-> Class groups are smaller (maximum of three students) so there is more personal attention for each student and more choice about whether to have the lessons in the morning or evening.
-> Speaking strengths and weaknesses are picked up more easily by the teacher than in a big group.
-> Using scanned materials to support the teaching of Reading, Use of English and Listening strategies means that there can be a more intense focus on what to do to be as efficient as possible.
-> Emailed Writing homework is scanned back before the following lessons, so students have the opportunity to check, note down corrections and think of questions for the teacher.
What are the classroom course sizes? (not currently available due to the current health concerns)
So you can get plenty of practice and attention, our classes never exceed 14.
How is the course assessed and planned?
You receive a course overview at the beginning of any course, which includes the learning objectives of every lesson. This helps make assessment of your progress clear.
Language Skills and Learning
Learning English involves skills development relating to reading, writing, speaking and listening. The key to learning is to be patient, organized, study consistently and use opportunities to practise.
Knowing grammar and vocabulary is not enough on their own. Any language you learn needs to be useful and help you speak, write, read or listen better. Learning 30 phrasal verbs means nothing if it is not useful and you don’t use them.
Get out and meet people – use ‘Meet-Up’ groups and language exchanges. It is okay to make mistakes and feel stupid. Read and listen to things you are interested in online.
What to look for in an Exam Preparation course?
The most important thing is that you feel you are learning. You need to have the right objectives for you, and your teacher needs to be able to demand enough from you to follow these objectives so you can reach the next level.
Ask yourself: Does the teacher pay attention to my English, and to me as a person? Is the teacher organized with a plan for my learning? Is my learning checked and my homework corrected? Do I get regular and relevant homework? Is the teacher demanding and does he or she understand what I need?
Benefits of a structured learning programme?
You need the teacher to organize your learning as this saves you a huge amount of time and allows you to make progress more clearly. You do the work, but the teacher shows you the journey you need to take to improve. If you do not feel this is happening, you should talk to your teacher about it.
Just having a textbook and following it is not enough. The teacher should tell you the learning objectives of every lesson and this should fit into a clear plan. If you are doing a listening lesson in week 4, how is this going to help you? How can you develop the skills you are learning? Will the teacher pay more attention to these skills in future lessons to help you consolidate them?
Why we only offer Part Time Evening Courses?
These courses are mainly for people working full time in daytime. The 18.15-20.45 lessons run from September to December, and January to the end of May. There are also twice a week June/July options which go from 6.15 to 8.15.
We do not allow people to come into a group in the middle of a course nor offer short four-week periods of enrolment. The first parts of our courses cover key skills and language development, while second focus on consolidation and exam practice, and we believe that learning comes from consistent study over the period of the whole programme.
The next step is to get in touch with one of our teachers for more information and to enrol on the next course.
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