1 – the timetable and your teaching
Welcome to the online induction pages for teachers.
There are five parts in this section.
The intention of this process is not to replace the face-to-face meeting you will have before you start teaching with Elac but to make that meeting more effective by preparing you for what you'll need to know.
These pages will lead you through the things you need to know (testing you on the way).
We'll start with the timetable and the way the courses are organised from a teacher's perspective. This will help you see how it all fits together.
How is the teaching is organised?
Because you have done the induction for all staff – you have, haven't you? – you will know that our courses are usually organised in a zigzag pattern – that is some students will have their classes in the morning and afternoon activities, while some students will have morning activities and afternoon classes.
This means that there is teaching going on both morning and afternoon, and this leads to a variety of patterns for teachers.
Where we can offer flexibility, we negotiate the teaching load with the staff, but we need our teachers to be prepared to teach the full 6 hours if required when we are very busy.
What's my timetable look like?
Simple, usually, but it varies a bit from centre to centre. The following is, therefore, only indicative.
Clear so far?
What happens in these lessons?
In the first lesson, you may elect to focus on introducing some new language, or on developing some language skills work; in the second lesson, when you swap classes, there should always be a focus on oral skills; in the last lesson when you return to your main class you may chose to review and consolidate work begun that morning or earlier in the week.
The third lesson is also the time for students to do written work in their Student Workbooks and / or to do preparation work on upcoming excursions. Some teachers may want to develop some project work in this lesson that spreads over several lessons. You will find examples of this in the Elac syllabus which we discuss in the next section.
Elac has developed a large range of off-the-peg lessons:
These lessons are timed to last roughly an
hour and all the materials plus a teacher's notes page are in a file at
your centre and on this site – check out the Lessons page in the Resources
The third lesson of the students' day (lesson 3 in the morning, lesson 6 in the afternoon) can often be usefully employed doing some project work which involves using the language for real purposes. Examples include writing a class magazine, making a short video presentation, finding out about the town they are in, making advertisements, writing a short play and so on. The focus of the project will vary in relation to your expertise, the students' level and interests and so on but projects are a good way to introduce variation into the programme and, incidentally, lessen the planning load on you. The example weekly programmes contain more ideas for projects.
A number of students are entered for the Trinity Graded Examinations in Spoken English (known as GESE) during their time with Elac. Candidates are given additional lessons to prepare them for the specific requirements of the examination at their grade. Of course, you will be paid to teach these additional lessons. There are links on the 'Useful links for teachers page' at the foot of the first column (see the link above). If you find yourself teaching these classes, make sure go via the links page and look at the Trinity College's helpful materials. It'll make your life easier.
We ask you to give your main class a brief, informal progress test mid-course. This is motivating for the majority of students and allows you to monitor how well the class is absorbing and remembering newly taught and revised skills. This also helps you in preparing the end-of-course certificate, where you are required to grade ability in the different language skills and comment in a general way on each student’s attitude and involvement. Most students appreciate the importance of this as a passport to a happier ‘Welcome Home’ from family and teachers!