Our English classes for children and teenagers are focussed on speaking and listening comprehension related to common real-life topics that students might encounter outside of school now or in the future. Students also practice writing and reading comprehension.
Our experience shows that for English courses for children and teens to be successful they should:
• Have motivated teachers who are experienced working with young students.
• Be focussed on spoken communication.
• Consist of regular classes completed over an extended period of time.
• Include open and regular communication between the school, the language teachers and the parents.
• Have small groups, ideally of 8 to 12 students.
• Include a committment on the part of students to practice English outside of the classroom, for example, watching television, reading books or magazines or listening to music.
Throughout the course our students complete projects, publish work in The Zona Joven and work on compiling a portfolio that is evaluated at the end of the course. Our English courses for children and teenagers follow the Trinity College London program of study and each of our students receives an Oxford House certificate at the end of the course.
For October to June courses, our teenage English students take an oral exam each trimester and receive an detailed report on their development. In June, the teens have the opportunity to take the Trinity GESE exam of spoken English.
The Oxford House Young Learners is an online tool that enhances communication between our teachers, the children and teens taking our English courses and their parents. It consists of:
• A virtual bulletin board on the home page with news from the Director of Studies.
• Information for parents about the current academic year.
• A page for each class with the students’ work.
• A multimedia gallery of photos and videos from our classes.
• A page with resources, both online and in Barcelona, for teaching children and teens English.
We believe that publishing our students’ work in an online portfolio offers advantages for our students, their parents and our teachers. Visit the Zona Joven to read more about these advantages and to have a look at our students’ work.
All of the children and teens who study English with Oxford House from October to June have the option to take the Trinity GESE English exam in June. This exam certifies a student’s level of spoken English. It consists of an interview of between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the student’s level, in which the student is asked to speak on a topic that they have prepared in advance. Preparing for the GESE motivates students and provides them with an objective for the end of the course. While it is an inexpensive exam, it is recognized internationally by various organizations, companies and academic institutions. Oxford House is a registered GESE exam centre and therefore, students taking the exam in June complete it here in our school.
We offer parents the opportunity to speak face-to-face with their child or teen’s teacher two times during the academic year, in December and again in May. During these meetings parents and teachers discuss the student’s progress in class and with their level of English. Outside of these meetings, we welcome parents to contact us to organize a meeting with their child’s teacher at any other time throughout the academic year.
Open Doors Days
Each trimester we choose one day to invite parents to the school to see how their children are progressing in class and to view some of their work. For these special days, each class prepares a presentation (theatre, song or other) for the visiting parents.
For certain holidays we encourage children and teens studyng English with us to participate in contests we arange for them. Each class’s teacher assists his or her students to create a drawing, a story, a video or other project in English, related to the contest theme. The best entries in each age group receive a prize.