My Name is Andy and I have been teaching English courses at EC London for 8 years. I have seen, now more than ever, students learning English by making new friends and speaking together outside of the classroom and I want to share what I have seen with you.
With the current global situation, I have found that the students who are studying at the EC London school right now are looking for any opportunity to maximise human connections. Before class, during breaks and after class, it is wonderful to see learners planning their afternoons, evening and weekends together, trying to make the most of their EC and London experience even more fruitful and memorable. The one thing that is really touching is how established students welcome new students with open arms and are keen to involve them in their social experiences outside of class time.
From speaking to students, it is wonderful to hear what they have been doing with their free time when not in class. They have been going out on walks, going to pubs, going to restaurants, visiting museums, relaxing in parks, sightseeing and even more I’m sure. For some of these students, they are embarking on a new chapter in their lives. For others, they are learning English to study at university. Some are learning English out of interest or out of a desire to travel or for their work. One thing that all of these students have in common, though, is a desire to be social in an environment where they are able to enrich not only their EC or London experience, but their life experience as a whole.
While students speak a lot of English in class, it is important that they continue this outside of the class. Something that teachers at EC London try to do is encourage learners to use the language studied in class when out with their friends. For example, last week my students learnt language for making suggestions and talking about future plans. At the end of the lesson, they made notes on their phones about how they could apply that language to their social time. The next lesson, they told me about how they had used the language and that this made it more memorable for them. It is this process of learning and using language in a context that is relevant for them that makes language stick in their mind and allows them to feel confident speaking English which why a lot of the students come to study here in the first place.
Making friends when studying English is incredibly important in the learning process and it is wonderful to see students actively looking for opportunities to do this. In doing so, valuable experiences are being had, English is being improved and life-long friends are being made.
What better reason is there for students to learn English in English speaking environment? If any of the above is relatable, think about English courses EC and what it could do for you.