Frances King has introduced a new programme in London, Jump into English, combining conversation, language improvement, culture and tourism and which aims for really active use of English, in and out of the classroom.
It is an integrated all-day programme with a discrete group of students. Activities are not add-ons unconnected to learning but a part of an integrated whole. Classroom-based learning sessions, including lessons, workshops and presentations, are combined with task-based learning carried out with classmates. Tasks lead to shared presentations, followed by feedback and error-correction. Students discover London with expert guides and lecturers and meet and talk with English-speaking Londoners.
As an example, a visit to the Tate Britain Museum follows a speaking task to choose a work of art. The visit includes a guided tour conducted by an English speaker and is followed by discussion. Feedback and error correction based on students’ use of English follows.
The next day in “Native Speaker Morning”, students are addressed by a curator and a question and answer session follows. Then language input and presentation skills training prepare students to present a chosen work of art. Topics switch every two or three days and no prior knowledge is needed.
There is also organised social time, including lunches with English speakers and evening and weekend events. With so much shared experience students quickly get to know each other and make friends.
Student feedback on confidence in speaking, enjoyment of learning and meeting local people has been very positive.