It can be daunting (and exciting) to start a new class at Inlingua – but here are some tips from a teacher…
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before you go to your class! Perhaps you are not sure about which classroom or what time – please ask us.
2. You might think that you don’t understand the teacher or class-mates – give it a little time, the teacher will soon know if you are not at the right level and will help you find the most suitable level.
3. Don’t sit next to someone of the same nationality! It’s easy to sit to someone who comes from the same place but you are here to learn English not chat to people in your own language – you can do that after school!
4. Please try to avoid using your phone – if you have finished an activity you can perhaps take a quick glance but don’t text – you have plenty of time at break.
5. Try to take part in some of the social activities – you might not like the activity but it is a way to get a free lesson by chatting to the teacher and other students who you don’t know.
6. Try and do all the activities the teacher asks you – he or she is trying to encourage you to use all skills (speaking, reading, listening and writing) – it is important that you can do it all.
7. Let other people speak – if you like speaking it’s tempting to speak all the time but let the others have a chance too – encourage people who are shy to speak.
8. Do your homework! The teacher is trying to make you think (a little) about what is done in the class, you need to think about the lessons outside the classroom.
9. If you want to talk about something in class, please do! Don’t just wait for the teacher to introduce topics, if you want to speak about something then it’s probably of interest to the others too.
10. Last but not least, ENJOY yourself – yes, you are here to learn but we want to make you have fun whilst learning.
“Speaking” classes should be fun, stimulating and hopefully a great way for students to learn some new vocabulary (and grammar). The teacher will always try to get everybody speaking, he/she may make you speak in pairs or in small groups or in front of the class but the important thing is you have to speak!
Things to Do
- Some people are shy but don’t worry about making mistakes, even students who appear to be very good make mistakes too. Remember you are there to speak – the teacher will try to involve you as much as possible.
- Try to listen to the other students carefully – they will always know words that you don’t know.
- Bring a notebook or paper and pen. There will always be new words/grammar to learn. Yes, it is a speaking class but writing things down helps you remember.
- Sometimes you will be asked your opinion on subjects you don’t like or are not interested in, but remember you are there to practice your English – so say something! Even if it’s not your true opinion. Of course, you can always say “I’m not interested” but then please say why, like “the politicians in my country are all corrupt” etc..
- If you want to suggest something to talk about maybe a newspaper article or something on the news please suggest it to the teacher. He or she will really like that you want to talk about something in particular.
Things Not to Do
- Sometimes (not very often at inlingua Edinburgh) there can be people of the same nationality – always try to sit near somebody who ISN’T the same nationality and of course, NEVER speak your own language!
- Don’t shout! People need to hear you but if the classroom is small we can hear you!
- Try not to use bad language (swear words) – yes, sometimes we all say words we shouldn’t but particularly in English you have to be careful with swear words in certain situations. At a pub or football match swearing is fine but swearing in English with people you don’t know or don’t know well is a real “no no”.
- Don’t get angry with the other students in the class if they have different opinions that you really don’t like. Perhaps they don’t really mean what they say and perhaps they don’t have the words in English to express what they really want to say. In any case, it’s just an English class! You are there to practice your English and it doesn’t really matter what your opinion is (though it can be great to have some ‘deep’ discussions too)