Focus Course
focus-course-eng





What is Focus?

Focus is a program that is designed to ensure that students receive English education in the areas of language they require and, importantly, based on their own individual needs.

Each module will Focus  on one particular area of English language training.

Focus comprises of five individual modules, known as Access, Articulate, Compose, Essentials and Skills.

These modules are designed to fit together in cycles that effectively increase the students’ language ability as they progress through each cycle.

Focus ensures that students are able to reach the targets that they have set themselves for English language education.

The Global Scale

The Global Scale, also known as the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEF) was set up by the Council of Europe to help to describe language learning, teaching and assessment at an international level.

CEF divides learners into three categories starting at Basic, then Independent and, at the highest level, Proficient.

How long until I can speak English?

This depends on your needs and desires. If you wish only to be able to communicate in English on an informal level, it will not take as long as if you want to pass a TOEFL or IELTS examination; learning to speak like a native-speaker will take longer still.

The Association of Language Testers of Europe (ALTE) provide guidance on how many hours it might take to fulfill the aims of each CEF level. These figures are based on a student who makes no effort to practice outside of the classroom:


 

Hours

2 sessions a week

3 sessions a week

Basic

270-300

2 years (max)

1.5 year (max)

Independent

850-1000

6 years (max)

4 years (max)

Proficient

1700-2000

12 years (max)

8 years (max)


Motivated learners can greatly reduce these timeframes by following the advice of their teachers and practicing outside of the classroom.

To give some perspective, a fairly good TOEFL or IELTS score would be somewhere between a high Independent level and a low Proficient level.

More information about these figures can be found at: http://www.pearsonlongman.com/ae/cef/cefguide.pdf



The Modules

Focus: Access

Access is a module consisting of activities which will help students’ comprehension of English. Participants in this part of Focus will learn how to decode speech and texts from context. By doing so, students will build their vocabulary, discover how sentences are structured and how sound can change meaning in conversation.

Focus: Articulate

Articulate builds on a learner’s English ability by putting it into practice in a range of communicative activities. By doing so, participants will improve their conversation skills through improved pronunciation and intonation; they will learn about language etiquette, improve their vocabulary and fluency, study formal and informal language use and understand about differences in sound and how they affect understanding.

Focus: Compose

Compose consists of a number of different activities that focus on the uses of English essential to people in our globally-connected lives. Students will engage in activities designed to discover the differences between various forms of written English, such as emails, texts, formal letters, applications and essays. Learners will explore the differences between spoken and written English.

Focus: Essentials

Essentials focuses on the structure of the English language; how words and sentences are formed, how they function and why it matters. Activities will help students to understand how the English language works and aid them in putting that understanding into practice.

Focus: Skills

Skills is about taking everything students have learned so far and putting it into action. This can take the form of role-playing activities in which participants apply all their learned skills and use them in real-life situations. Students will gain confidence in using the language in academic or professional situations, and also think about how to apply what they have learned in examination environments.




Assessment

Any student wishing to join our Focus program will go through a series of assessments to find out what their strengths are and what areas need improvement. In this way, we will be able to ensure that all students will be placed in a class that suits their needs.

Assessment is a key element in Focus. At the end of each module, all our teachers and staff will meet to discuss students’ progress and how best to proceed in the next module. All students will be given an report based on this assessment, outlining which areas they are doing well in, and also which areas need some more work. Students will also be graded according to the internationally-recognised Global Scale, also known as the Common European Framework (CEF) of languages.



Examinations

No student is obligated to take an examination. However, our teachers will inform students when they they have reached an ability that would enable them to take a University of Cambridge ESOL examination. If the students are interested in receiving one of these internationally-recognised certificates, CaSE will arrange for the examination to take place and prepare the students for it.

 

Certificates

All students will receive a CaSE certificate when they have completed a cycle of modules which shows where they currently are on the the CEF Global Scale. This is a useful record for employers or academic institutions.

 


Advantages

- More focus on students’ individual needs and requirements.

- Students will always be in classs suited to their needs and abilities.

- Students have freer movement between classes that suit their ability and motivation.

- Hard work is rewarded by faster progress up the Global Scale.

- Continual assessment means that students always know how they are progressing.

- Alignment with international standards.

- Practical certification from CaSE which can be used by employers or educational establishments.