This week I want to look at two students who came on a Teenage Immersion courses. Although these are aimed at groups of 4 students we do also run them for just one or two. This week I want to introduce two teenage students to you – Marie who was 16 when she came for her course and Yohann who was 19. They both had similar desires for their future, namely getting into the schools of their choice for the next stage of their education.
Both students happened to be from France.
Marie wanted to continue her education for the final two years in the UK and had applied to a boarding school here. The school was happy to accept her but felt that her English was not quite up to the level for A levels and,as a result, she might struggle unless she worked on it first. They recommended that she took around a month of lessons, preferably intensively, over the summer. As we had had students before from this school they recommended us and I subsequently spoke to Marie’s parents. Marie was only available for three weeks so we agreed to do as much as possible in that time.
Marie had not really enjoyed English at her school in France and was not too happy about spending 3 weeks studying it. However she really wanted to go to the school so she bit the bullet and actually worked really well in both lessons and homework. We had lessons together for around 5 hours each day spread across the morning and afternoon plus an hour’s homework most evenings. As well as grammar and vocabulary, we worked on fluency in speaking (this began to happen almost immediately) and, of course, a lot on writing as this would be key in her school work.
Important in her course also was an introduction to some of the language she would need in her new school. We included a lot of vocabulary around daily life at school, subject vocabulary and as my two daughters were at home they helped her with the more ‘social’ vocabulary and culture at boarding school. I remember she even asked them to check out her wardrobe to see which of her clothes would be ok for her new school 🙂
Progress was fast and I kept in touch with both her parents and the school as the time for them to confirm her place for the next school year was quite tight. Towards the end of the course the school tested her again and the result was quite different from her previous one and her place was confirmed! Everyone was thrilled and she went on to have an amazing time at her chosen school.
As is always the case on our course it wasn’t always study. We also went out on visits to various local places and enjoyed some activities together, including a day in York (where she wanted to buy some ‘cool’ clothes for school) and a relaxing dinner at the local pub.
Marie was a real success story for us as we helped her reach her dream and I know that she was successful after school in gaining a place at university in the UK.
Yoann’s dream was to study Business at Boston University in the US. He needed quite a high TOEFL score to do this and so he wanted to try and achieve this in the fastest time possible so that he could leave for the States and get settled. He arrived at Fleetham Lodge in September and he hoped to be in Boston in January. He would study here intensively on TOEFL for around 2 months.
Like Marie English had not been a favourite subject and although he spoke very well his other skills need to catch up for him to get the score he needed to achieve a place on the Business Degree course. We set to work on writing, reading and listening as well as grammar and vocabulary. There was quite a bit to do to catch up to his great speaking skills. Using a range of different materials and techniques things started to improve and as we moved forward the TOEFL scores in practice started to approach what he needed.
We learned after a couple of weeks that Yoann’s course did not actually begin until September in the following year and so he enrolled into a pre-sessional language course for 6 months and decided to take the exam in the US. This meant that we could concentrate fully on improving his English overall in readiness for this course and life in the US.
Yoann was with us for some weeks and he really wanted to go to the gym, play football (his passion) and get out and about locally. We managed to find him a local five-aside football team with whom he could train weekly and helped him enrol in a local gym. These activities helped with his language and when he said he was leaving his new-found friends were genuinely sad to lose him. For those few weeks Yoann really became a part of our local community.
There were activities and outings too including a premiership football match at Newcastle United that we organised and a visit to a real-life castle which is still inhabited something Yoann had really wanted to see.
This was another success story and not untypical of the things we are able to provide for our students in order that they not only enjoy their study with us but also exceed their expectations in terms of progress.