Summer IELTS course musings

This summer’s ielts courses at both RKWC and RKMC produced vibrant learning conditions for all the young learners involved. The men’s course included two mature students who melded perfectly under the circumstances. The key to success with both classes was the simple fact that each student came equipped     with a large measure of intrinsic motivation that drove them to complete the demanding tasks of the course.   Predictably, the students had their sights set on achieving scores that were for the most part out of reach, but surprisingly they took tremendous strides towards identifying their weaknesses and taking initiatives to improve in the problematic areas, namely reading and listening tasks 2 through 4.
Overall, from a teaching perspective, the time I spent giving constructive feedback on writing and planning effective reading lessons that are generally the least effective in producing an active learning environment, was time very well spent. I discovered that looking the students in the eye and giving them an accurate assessment of their skills breakdown proved as an useful approach for laying the groundwork for the bulk of the course. In the past I had been loathe to do this out of fear that students may take an honest assessment the wrong way and this would have a negative impact on their work ethic. Telling students where they are and what they need to do going forward is critical, but it’s up to the teacher to gauge the group of learners first before deciding what approach to take.

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