A foreign language is best assimilated in the early years of life. At Tower we make that learning experience pleasant and motivating.
English in Mind Starter (11 and 12 years).
English in Mind Starter is the material chosen for those students in their last year of primary school and first year of secondary and joining Tower for the first time. English in Mind Starter is an elementary level course with a layout and activity style designed to be attractive to pre-adolescents. Our objective is to prepare and support the students in their English classes at school at the same time as introducing them to spoken English, with view to later incorporation into groups that are already studying at Tower.
New language is presented using texts in the style of magazines, newspapers, interviews, narratives, songs or photo-stories. There is a strong grammar base that can be adapted to the needs of each group member and the group as a whole. Students learn the new vocabulary systematically and to use basic expressions to speak to each other within the class.
The whole lesson is taught in English with the aim of exposing the students to an optimum amount of correctly-modelled, natural speech. All Tower teachers have English as their first language, and a qualification that allows them to teach all over the world. Therefore, they do not necessarily speak Spanish which makes the communicative situation in the lesson authentic. Translation is avoided as it is not conducive to creating an entirely English speaking classroom.
Classes are divided mainly into three stages. Firstly, seated in a semicircle students
revise and remember the previous class, and the teacher presents the day’s new language. Homework is given once a week, from the Workbook or interactive CD, and it is also corrected at the beginning of the following class. Secondly, everyone practises the new language via a varied range of activities, incorporating their prior knowledge. Thirdly, with the Work Book at “table time”, the teacher dedicates personalized time to each student in the group and follows his or her individual progress. All students receive an end- of- term report.
In order to obtain a certificate that validates the progress made, and if the students feel confident enough speaking in English, they can take the Trinity College London Spoken English examinations in June each year. A Trinity examiner, who does not speak Spanish, comes to Tower to hold a short individual interview in English. Students are then given a Trinity certificate stating the level entered. The examinations are prepared and practised during class time, and as the exam date approaches there are free extra-practice sessions.