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Our Teaching Methods

How our teachers can guide you on your English language journey


Our 6 Pillars

At EC we recognise that our students are making a significant investment in their personal development. Our Vision is to Help Students Succeed in a Global Community and we developed our Educational Philosophy mission to make our students learning journey as effective as possible.

This philosophy is summarised in our 6 pillars of academics

Our Vision is to Help Students Succeed in a Global Community

  • 1 - Our Vision

    To help you succeed in a global community.

    Academically this means we work with our students to improve their communicative competence, ensuring they have the language, the confidence and the skills to interact with other English speakers from all backgrounds and capabilities. EC’s Educational Philosophy.

    Our students are studying English as an investment in their future, they are studying for their career, for further education, to travel and sometimes to emigrate. They are studying English so they can fully participate in a global community, but what does that look like?

    Our students will need to be able to communicate with people: from different cultures; with different accents; and at different levels of English.

    We embrace this challenge and have built our courses, our support and our schools to ensure our students are not just learning English but learning to communicate effectively.

  • 2 - Our Course Development

    Research-based and data driven

    We believe in continuous innovation and have made research a cornerstone of the ongoing process of review and development. This informs all aspects of academic management from our curriculum to students' support to teacher training.

    We have a very experienced team that is dedicated to developing our academic offering, from curriculum to academic processes.

    This team:

    • Attends and speaks at conferences all over the world.

    • Does research into learning and assessment to ensure our students are getting the most up to date and evidence-based methodology.

    • Collaborates with our publisher, National Geographic Learning (NGL) to inform the development of their materials.

    • Collects data from assessments and feedback to measure the impact of courses.

    • Analyses feedback from students to inform our development.

    • Monitors, evaluates and implements changes to constantly improve/evolve our classroom experience and learning support.

  • 3 - Our Methodology

    The communicative approach – The EC Way

    "We are committed to putting students at the centre of their learning and engaging them in a visible process to build their learning, cultural awareness and their language skills. By building their learning skills, students attain a lifelong benefit, enabling them to take advantage of all learning opportunities they encounter, both in and out of the classroom, and as a result, progress more quickly"

    What can a student expect in a communicative language classroom?

    1. Classes will begin with an overall lesson objective.

    2. Throughout the lesson, students will work with their partners to learn grammar, vocabulary and skills.

    3. Towards the end of the lesson, they will practise using this language in context.

    4. Receive feedback in the form of error correction or interesting language that emerged in the conversation.

    How is EC different?

    EC employs the Communicative Approach. However, at EC it’s not about doing what works, it’s about doing what works best. We believe our learners benefit from:

    • Knowing what they’re learning.

    • Knowing why they’re learning it (how it can be used in their lives outside the classroom).

    • Knowing what success looks like.

    • Choosing their personal levels of success.

    • Knowing what they need to do better next time.

    How do we achieve this?

    • We provide real-life objectives: Our objectives are written so that students can see how this lesson will impact their life outside the classroom. Here’s an example of a real-life objective: Be able to make a plan with others (e.g. where to eat). In this example students are learning to make a plan. As this is something they do regularly, they can see how this will benefit their lives and how to put it into practice instantly.

    • We provide clear aims.

    • We discuss lesson aims & objectives.

    • We enable our learners to choose what success looks like for them.

    • We include feedback, reflection and repetition in every lesson.

    The EC Way

    Every lesson at EC is approached the EC Way, because we recognise how important it is for our students to see progress every day.

  • 4 - Our Assessment

    Formative, personalised and relevant

    We believe that assessment should primarily be a formative process, a true reflection of a student’s capabilities which informs students on their learning needs and successes.

    Our assessment is designed to meet students’ individual needs and takes place throughout their courses. Our assessments occur:

    PRE-ARRIVAL: Students take their placement test which is followed with a speaking test on arrival. This information is used to place students in the correct level.

    DAILY: Every day in class success criteria allow students to self-assess and peer asses, as well as get well targeted feedback.

    WEEKLY: In Friday Feedback students reflect on their week and take part in consolidation activities that provide lots of opportunities for feedback and assessment.

    MONTHLY: Following the 4-week progress assessment students receive comprehensive feedback on their performance, areas that they have done well at and areas they need to do further work on. This is reviewed and can be changed based on student needs.

    AT END OF COURSE: Students can take an Exit Test which will show them the progress they have made during their course in terms of Use of English, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

  • 5 - Our Consistency

    Company-wide standards and training

    We ensure consistency by making sure our processes are robust and build good practice across all our centres.

    Consistency is key, it is important that our students have the same exemplary learning experience whether they are studying in Cape Town or Toronto. It is also important that students enjoy the unique aspects of their destination, so although we have created a framework for lessons to deliver effective learning, teachers have freedom to adapt the plan to suit their students and their city.

    To ensure consistency in learning experience and support:

    • All Directors of Studies are inducted and trained in EC policies and procedures.

    • All teachers receive the same induction to the Communicative Approach the EC way. They are assigned training modules based on their individual needs.

    • All teachers are observed regularly.

    • All our schools are committed to the continuous professional development of the acadmic team.

    • All schools are audited once a year by a member of the senior management team.

    • All schools are accredited by an external accreditation body.

  • 6 - Our Promise

    We believe in continuous innovation and have made research a cornerstone of the ongoing process of review and development. This informs all aspects of academic management from our curriculum to students' support to teacher training.

    At EC, visible data is built into our course. Before a student arrives, we provide guidance on setting effective learning goals, as research shows goals drive results.

    Our lesson structure and our assessment structure are both built around feedback that helps students to learn and our Feedback Friday provides space for reflection, review of goals and feedback to drive progress.

    Over the last 10 years we have been collecting data on our students’ progress and we used this data to develop our EC Promise.

    What can you expect?

    • Progression of 8 weeks per level at EC

    • Progress Assessment every 4 weeks or on teacher recommendation if you are progressing more quickly.

    • The curriculum is organised in 4 week modules with regular assessment and feedback to promote progress.

    • Placement and Exit Tests recording speaking scores to better determine your overall level.


EC Promise, your progress is visible and guaranteed

Here at EC, we believe in continuous innovation and have made research a cornerstone of the ongoing process of review and development. This informs all aspects of academic management from our curriculum to students' support to teacher training.

Learn more
The EC Promise

Not sure which EC English course is right for you?

We offer a wide range of courses to help you meet your goals. Let us help you find your perfect English language course.

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