As trainers we always strive to make our courses interesting…our main objective is for learners to improve their linguistic skills and it is a proven fact that if learners enjoy their sessions their skills will improve at a much faster rate.
The teacher arrives in class with a pile of photocopies taken out of various grammar practice books. She (for the sake of this blog, I am assuming that the teacher in this case is female – an arbitrary choice!) declares that today you will be dealing with the past perfect progressive. She does not give you a reason why this will be the focus of today’s session. You do not have any choice in the matter…this is what you’re doing! Flashbacks of boring days at secondary school come to mind; at the time you weren’t an adult so you had no say in what you learned. So many years later, and the situation doesn’t seem to have improved much.
And what topic has been chosen to help you come to terms with this (may I add, rarely-used) tense? No particular topic, but a series of unrelated sentences that focus on the form of the linguistic item.
You look at your watch – still another hour of torture to go. Your mind begins to understandably wander. What will I be eating this evening? Wow the coffee this morning was excellent! How are those particular stocks performing? What presents do I need to buy? Oh will this lesson ever finish? You look at your watch again – another 50 more minutes to go!
You notice your teacher playing with her hair, pushing her glasses up her nose, playing with her board marker, looking at her watch…all this whilst constantly talking. No one else can get a word in edgeways. Aren’t we, the learners, supposed to be practicing the language so we can improve? How can this lesson be any better than renting a movie? At least a movie isn’t so boring. You look at your watch again…still 45 minutes to go!
I’m sure that you have all experienced, or know someone who has unfortunately experienced, such a lesson. If it’s one hour, then you’ll probably let it go. However if this is the beginning of a week-long course, you’re in deep trouble.
At Elite Learning we are aware of these shortcomings and therefore ensure that trainers are well-prepared, not only by being fully-qualified and experienced in teaching English, but also by having looked at a learner’s online pre-course assessment to get a feel for what language areas need to be covered. It is imperative that we build a profile of the learner in order to be able to cater to their particular needs, in a way that is relevant to them. We assure you that you will not look at your watch once, except at the end of a session, to count the hours until your next session.