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How to succeed in your English class

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Imagine this: you’re sitting in your English class and your teacher asks you to speak to the person next to you about your work career or study history. You tell your classmate all about your career and they tell you all about their studies at university and their first job. You have completed the task because you have spoken about the topic. The task ends and your teacher thanks you and puts some errors the class made up on the board.

It’s a completely normal situation that you would find in any English language school around the world and there is nothing wrong with it, but could it be better? 

Imagine the same task but with a slight twist: before you speak your English teacher discusses with the class what a successful example of this conversation would look like. Together, with your classmates you decide that a successful conversation about career or studies:

– uses the past simple for any finished stages

– uses the present perfect to talk about a current stage that hasn’t finished 

– contains the work and study verbs that you studied that day

– uses the sentence stress to emphasise highlights

You and your classmates have just created success criteria. Now, you are ready to have your conversation because you know what success looks like. This time when you speak with your partner, you don’t just speak about the topic, you also try to practise all the new verbs you learnt that day and you try to use the present perfect to talk about your current job. 

When the task finishes, you look at the success criteria and with your partner you discuss how successful you were. “You used the present perfect to describe your current job, your use of stress really helped to emphasise the highlights” she says. 

Success Criteria:

At EC English schools, before a major speaking or writing task, you will know exactly what success looks like so that you can get the most from that task. You can also choose to focus on specific areas you want to develop further, so you can personalise your learning. You won’t waste any opportunities because you have all the information you need to take full advantage of this chance. 

Welcome to the communicative approach with a twist. 

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