In June, we hosted a group of 25 German Engineering students from Memmingen for the third year running, for a programme of English language improvement and engineering-related visits. Designed for the specific requirements of the group who were preparing to take national English proficiency exams and subsequently work in a business environment using English, there were two main threads to the course:
The first was exam preparation using a task-based approach, with input on and practice of exam-style tasks and peer and tutor feedback. The second thread, using English in a business environment, took a project-based approach. In this case the project was a product development simulation where each group had to pitch a product, explain the manufacturing process and how it meets the needs of the target market. An end-of-course board meeting (a la Dragon’s Den) was held where all products were presented and voted on democratically.
Field trips were integrated as a motivational tool, to meet the interests of the participants, but also as integral course components with focused tasks. For example, a trip to the Lotus car manufacturing plant enabled them to research the car manufacturing process and present different aspects of it in class to classmates.
At The Imperial War Museum Duxford, as well as choosing their favourite exhibit to present, they were treated to a special talk by one of the volunteers in his workshop.
As part of their social programme, they went bowling, visited London and took part in a lively pub-quiz where they competed against a group of Swiss primary teachers.
The participants said….
"I really enjoyed the way we’ve been taught."
"The teachers are very friendly, They managed to motivate every one of us."
"All the lessons are very clear and are well-structured. There is a lot of fun too. It is really helpful to be here."