Sarah Philpot, Headway Academic Skills co-author, discusses the issue of addressing academic needs as early as possible in language learning. You can join Sarah for her upcoming webinar “Integrating academic study skills from A1” on 18th February.
During my 30-year teaching career I have, like many of you, no doubt, taught, a range of different class types: General English, English for Exams, IELTS, Business English, English for Medics, English for Academic Purposes, etc.
Obviously, during those years, a lot of things have changed. Typically in the past, adult students would do General English until they reached a certain level of competence, around B1, at which point many of them would chose a ‘special’ course to help them in their work or studies. This would entail learning different and new lexis, functions and skills.
However, with English being more and more a core requisite for Higher Education and for work in multinational and trans-national companies, young adult students in particular realise that they need not only a level of linguistic competence, but also the appropriate academic or professional competencies too, and as early as possible.
To a large extent, people wishing to enter the corporate world are already catered for – just look at the number of Business English course books, beginner to advanced, that are available. So, it struck me as rather strange that those with academic needs were not similarly provided for, and that those students would have to return to the old pattern.
This is where the Headway Academic Skills series came in. It seemed logical, not to say fair, that students planning to go into higher education should also be in a position to learn the appropriate lexis, functions, etc. at the same time as they are learning the difference between the present simple and present continuous!
In my webinar, I hope to show why this integrated approach is being adopted, and how we can do it. I will be drawing on material from Headway Academic Skills Introductory Level (A0/A1), and will be looking specifically at the importance of:
- task type
in making a course more relevant to students who wish to continue their studies in an English-medium college or university.
Sign up for Sarah’s webinar on 18th February now.