A foreign language is best assimilated in the early years of life. At Tower we make that learning experience pleasant and motivating.
Happy Earth (9 y 10 años).
Happy Earth books come in two levels. It is an entertaining, colourful and interesting course, promoting and supporting the use of interactive whiteboards. Happy Earth1 serves as a bridge between the play and activity based learning of earlier ages, towards secondary education techniques. The base of previously assimilated vocabulary and grammar is increased and language skills are further developed. It extends and consolidates reading and writing skills, building on the solid base of Jolly Phonics acquired in previous years. Students are guided to use critical thinking skills and learn more about the world through exposure to a large range of factual material.
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 throughout the lesson authentic. Translation is avoided as it is not conducive to creating an entirely English speaking classroom. At this level students communicate in basic English with good pronunciation and intonation.
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, 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, in June students can take the Trinity College London Spoken English examinations. A Trinity examiner, who does not speak Spanish, comes to Tower to hold a short individual interview in English. Students are then presented 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.