More than an English class
English is the language of communication in the classroom, as well as the language in which we read, write and talk so that students can learn important facts and skills which they will need not only to pass the tests but also to apply to universities, to thrive as university students and succeed as job applicants.
The changing program
I have taught high school students since 1994. I started teaching classes for university applicants in 1999. Since then I have been constantly modifying and adapting the syllabus as the student generations are changing – coming with different sets of knowledge, skills, interests and plans. Tests and university entrance requirements are changing, as well as the times and the opportunities they offer.
The constant ingredients
What students don’t know
We often say that young people are well-informed nowadays, but there are three important things high school students don’t know:
I have never met a student who is fully aware of what university has in store for him, how much English he needs to be able to cope with academic work there, what knowledge and skills he needs in order to be a successful undergraduate student and a successful graduate school or job applicant, etc.
I have never met a student who knows enough about the university application process or university expectations, and students need to know much more than the deadlines and how to fill the application forms.
I have never met a student who knows enough about the fundamental differences among various types of university courses and programs as well as teaching formats and many other facts of a university student’s reality. Students need to be aware that choosing a specific undegraduate program may open or close doors to certain graduate programs.