The ‘Roll in, Roll Out’ IELTS Course’ [TTWOF] (2 of 2)
In this post, I’ll finish looking at the …
‘Roll In, Roll Out’ IELTS course syndrome.
This refers to the system some schools use, where you pay for a certain number of tuition hours, and then just ‘roll in’ to study whenever you like, and ‘roll out’ whenever you like. In the previous post, I gave my judgement about this system. As a responsible, trained, and experienced teacher as well as a Cambridge-accredited teacher trainer, my judgement was (obviously) strong. Such courses don’t make any sense. It would be MAD to pay money for an approach as (1) sloppy, (2) formless, (3) unfocussed, (4) unsystematic, and (5) aimless as that. It would just put a mass of question marks into your mind (hence the picture above).
Let’s think about it. Remember, we are not talking about general upgrading of English skills; we are talking about trying to achieve a very specific goal (say, IELTS 7) within a very specific period of time, in a very specific English proficiency test. To do this, isn’t it obvious that you need the very opposite to those (1) – (4) adjectives? You need an approach that is (1) solid, (2) shaped, (3) focused, (4) systematic, and (5) aimed. How else can you completely cover four completely different types of essays, and six completely different types of Task-1 writing (= 10 specific types of writing, and that's just the writing!)＿
Click Teacher Andrew’s IELTS Course Design, and see the course design I have developed for preparing my students for IELTS. Just looking at Writing Task Two, it involves having good ideas (so ideas-forming techniques must be done), developing these ideas (meaning that helping students in gaining more real-world knowledge must take place), grammar, vocabulary, appropriateness, structuring, clarity, logical thinking and argumentation (always a big problem), relevance, and the practical aspects of the test (timing, word length, and techniques to finish quickly).
The key aspect to this mass of learning is a sequence, and a progression of skills, with each one building on the other, gently guiding you in a realistic and achievable way to your goal. Ideally, there must be continuity, with students attending all classes (in order), and doing the homework linked specifically to each class. This homework includes writing tasks (both Task 1 and 2), as well as the specific tips and exercises from my own IELTS books, as well as research on topics as directed by me, which is used for the very next lesson. This is all part of a carefully constructed and intricate plan, evolved after years of teaching IELTS, and this plan is the best of its kind in the world.
Roll in, roll out? An IELTS course should never be designed to be so convenient that it destroys its learning effect! Don’t be misled by that, okay?
Find the meaning of the underlined words, also repeated below.
- approach (n)
- appropriate (adj)
- clarity (n)
- sequence (n)
- continuity (n)
- intricate (adj)
By the way, you can learn more about me at www.aisielts.com .