The Language Center - Wellanguagesince 1988

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Method

You are never too young nor too old to pursue happiness.” (Epicurus, Letter on Happiness). 
The same principle can be applied to everything that is in our interest, even learning a foreign language.

That is why The Language Center has always placed the student at the center of its teaching philosophy: a unique human being with his own way of learning and with unique objectives and timeframes.

High level speakers of English often admit difficulty comprehending and using important functional aspects of the language in particular situations such as video conferences, telephone calls and presentations. The difficulties correspond to the following 7 functional areas of language use, as listed below. They are:

  1.     eliciting information with spontaneous, incisive and brief questions
  2.     talking spontaneously using hypothetical tenses
  3.     talking of certainty and conjecture
  4.     understanding and using verbs of supervision and delegation including ‘get’ effectively
  5.     the language of outsourcing
  6.     the language of time, cost and benefit
  7.     the use of the passive structures to talk about ongoing work  for which they have managerial responsibility.

The intensive course study programme is strongly oriented on the needs and objectives of the student. The teacher has an extensive knowledge of Italian grammar and is highly specialized in eliminating the frustrations students suffer when confronting the areas of language listed above.

PLEASE CONTACT US: http://www.wellanguage.com/en/contact-us.html

Course Concept

 

  1. What are the distinguishing features?
  2. The Approach
  3. The Method
  4. Course Co-ordination and Skills Ratings
  5. The Todi Universal Language Proficiency Assessment (TULPA)
  6. The Multi-Level, Multi-Purpose Todi Language Test (TLT)
  7. The Functional Syllabus
  8. Customization of Course Content
  9. Course Material
  10. Student Material
  11. The Final Course Report


    1 )      What are the distinguishing features?

                        ·The Student comes first: – fully customized course program

                        ·In-depth Needs Analysis: -  based on the real-world needs of the student

                        ·Functional Syllabus: – negotiated and prioritized by the student

                        ·Communicative Methodology:– functions first / grammar when needed

                ·Authentic Course Material:– job/function related – not textbook based

                        ·Flexible Course Program – corresponding toNeeds Analysis

                        ·Five Standard Course Types:fromWeekend Intensive to Maximum Intensity

                        ·Total Course Coordination:  – by means of Coordination Reports

                        ·Trackable Progress Assessment:  – detailed course progressassessment

                        ·The Todi Universal Language Proficiency Assessment  (TULPA)–
                         Combined assessment ofknowledge and skills

                        ·Real-world Skills Rating Methodology:  – extensive, unobtrusive assessment

                        ·The Todi Language Test:One test for all levels, multi-purpose application

                        ·In-depth Analysis of Remaining Weaknesses (RWA):–on the last day of the course

                        ·Customized Further Study Program (FSP): – based on RWA

                        ·Detailed Final Course Report: –progress made – level achieved – Skills Ratings – TULPA – FSP
 

               2)      The Approach

The Language Center "Intensive  Courses" are based on a notional-functional approach (Wilkins, Council of Europe ) and apply the strategy of "principled eclecticism" (Council of Europe Language Projects – Modern Language Training Methods). The aim of the courses is to attain functional language competence based on a needs analysis before, at the beginning and during the courses.  The courses are NOT based on a conventional grammar or academic language syllabus.

The functional syllabus is fully customized to the real-world needs of the student, whereby the emphasis is "What does the student need to be able to do, and can he or she perform the required functions?"  Challenging functions such as making presentations, have a telephone conversation, discuss matters with clients, propose and sell company products, take notes, write reports, answer e-mails and everything else regarding the professional and social world of communicating in a foreign language.

Following Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory and the principle of the centrality of the student (Carl Rogers), our approach is highly personalized and innovative in that it is the student who assumes the central role of carrying out the course as the teacher becomes a facilitator who facilitates language acquisition.  In particular, our method aims to:

  • Identify what empowers the brain’s capacity to learn and what, on the contrary, inhibits it.  That is, learn to recognize the barriers and filters that block or slow down the learning process and instead discover and stimulate the student’s interactive capacity type (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic – VAKOG), thus enabling a more fluid and efficient learning process.

  • Transform the need to learn a language into a daily pleasure amidst the splendid backdrop of a relaxing nature.

  • Stimulate and improve the use of daily language and commonly-used expressions in order to further enhance the language base related to the student’s chosen field of interest.

Every course begins with an in-depth analysis of the student’s needs and personality which serves as the basis for a distinct and personalized functional evaluation.  During the first few hours, the teacher embarks on the process of singling out the goals the student wants to reach by the end of the course and those which he/she intends to reach once the course has concluded.

Determining the learning objectives has proven to be a necessary and beneficial tool, both for the student who takes the course on with more motivation and interest, and for the teacher who plans and personalizes the training program from the onset.

             3)      The Method

Students are required to perform the functions contained in the functional syllabus, (according to their Needs Analysis). Errors will be noted by the personal trainer, which will then be rectified by remedial language practice to improve the student’s communicative competence.  The amount and type of remedial work (e.g. grammar, vocabulary, phraseology, pronunciation) will depend on the level of the student at the

beginning of the course and his or her ability to perform the functions required.  The lower the starting level, the more remedial work will be necessary.  At the elementary level it may not be possible to practice all functions as too much time may be needed for basic language work.  In such cases it will be necessary to attend a follow-up course at the Language Center and to pursue a program of further self-study.

             4)      Course Coordination and Skills Ratings

Co-ordination between the trainers (usually 2 or 3 max) is effected by means of a Course Coordination Report, in which the first trainer records work covered and makes recommendations for the continuation of the course by the subsequent trainer.

The Course Coordination Report also includes a Skills Rating Sheet by means ofwhich the language skills of the student are constantly observed and assessed by each of the native-speaker trainers throughout the course, in relation to Educated Native-Speaker Competence (ENC). The student's progress is also constantly assessed  and recorded by each of the trainers.  These on-going assessments form the basis for the Final Course Report and serve to evaluate a Universal Language Proficiency Assessment.

             5)      The Todi Universal Language Proficiency Assessment  (TULPA)

The TULPA is a combined assessment of knowledge and skills:

  • Knowledge

The Todi Language Test(provides an objective test score)
Once the student’s objectives have been identified, the student is evaluated with the help of this multi-level, multi-purpose test, specially designed by The Language Center Todi.  The written test measures a combination of the student’s knowledge and ability and covers the following areas:

  • idiomatic expressions and phraseology

  • pronunciation

  • scope of vocabulary

  • grammar structures

  • Skills Ratings: These ratings cover:

Spoken Production

  • General communicative competence

  • Grammatical correctness

  • Pronunciation

  • Range of vocabulary

  • Range and appropriate use of idiom

Reading Comprehension
Listening Comprehension

Written Production

The skills ratings – recorded on a Skills Rating Sheet and included in the Final Course Report – represent on-going assessments by three native speakers over a period of up to 66 hours of exposure and are thus far more reliable than any one-off, snap-shot evaluation as practiced in all conventional language examinations.

The TULPA provides the possibility to measure accurately the progress made by students who attend successive courses.

  1. The Todi Language Test (TLT)

             The relevant form is contained in the yellow folder.

This test, which takes a maximum of 75 minutes to complete, covers all levels from Elementary to Advanced and is applied:

  1. At the beginning of the course as a pre-assessment of the knowledge level.

  2. On the last day of the course as oneindication of student progress made during the course.

  3. As an in-depth Remaining Weaknesses Analysis (RWA). This analysis, which is reviewed together with the trainer, serves as the basis for the customized Further Study Program (FSP).

             7)      The Functional Syllabus

The Functional Syllabus, as shown below, is valid for all levels of the Full-Immersion Courses for Professional Purposes.  Additional or alternative functions may be negotiated at the beginning of the course (see point 8). 

Not all functions will be covered at all levels.  At the Elementary level the functions covered will vary according to how much time is required for remedial language work (grammar, vocabulary, phraseology, pronunciation etc.).  Functions that cannot be covered at any particular level may be tackled at the next higher levels.

  1. Customization of Course Content

At the beginning of the course, usually on the first morning, the student will be shown the COURSE COORDINATION REPORT and the functions contained therein, as indicated below.  The trainer will ask which of these functions are required by the student and under what circumstances.  This amounts to an in-depth Needs Analysis and initial Skills Assessment in speaking and reading.  The functions needed will be selected and given a priority rating ( 1 – 3). Functions needed but not already included will be entered on the blank sheet marked NEGOTIATED SYLLABUS.  The negotiated syllabus will then be incorporated into the course content.  This ensures that the syllabus is entirely customized to the student's needs.

The Course Coordination Report follows the student throughout the course and is used for orientation and coordination by the trainers.  Each trainer compiles a separate coordination sheet including progress and TULPA assessments, functions and grammar covered, recommendations and comments for the other trainers.  It is used for compiling the FINAL COURSE REPORT.

 

FUNCTIONAL SYLLABUS   ENGLISH FOR PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES

Ice breaking – getting to know each other – establishing rapport – general social conversation – likes and dislikes – places visited, hobbies, sports – playing host – general small talk

Describe your company structure and answer questions

Describe your main tasks and responsibilities and answer questions

Describe your daily routine and working conditions and answer questions

Describe your company history / your past career up to this point and answer questions

Give a presentation of your Company and deal with questions

Discuss recent trends and developments: company /economy / politics / society / technology

Describe systems, procedures and institutions in your company / in your country

Ask about institutions, systems and procedures in another country (e.g. UK, USA, Germany or Australia), comment, discuss and make comparisons

Describe your present projects at work, make comparisons and answer questions

Give a presentation of a current, previous or future project and deal with questions

Describe your plans / your company's plans for the future and answer questions

Take part in / chair a meeting (formal / informal) – simulation,  role-play  exercise

Speculate on / discuss the future of the company / economy / family / career, etc.

Make telephone calls – making an appointment, travel arrangements etc.

Listen and discuss – improve your listening and fluency (using relevant listening material)

Read and discuss: opinions, agree, disagree, interrupt, emphasize, etc.

Justify arguments and past actions, convince your partner, hypothesize

Write a memo /an e-mail / a summary of previous discussion

The Todi Language Test. What progress have you made? Where do you still have weaknesses?  Compile a program for further study.  How do you intend to keep up and improve your English language skills?

Course Material

  • For functional content:

Authentic company documentation (e-mails, brochures, laptop presentations, reports, minutes of meetings, audio and video material, internet downloads, newspaper and magazine articles, radio recordings, etc.

  • For remedial language work: Exercises provided by the trainers.
    For Reference and Further Study:

English

  • Raymond Murphy, English Grammar in Use  (ISBN 0 521 43680 – with answers)

  • Peter Strutt, Market Leader Business Grammar and Usage (ISBN 0 582 36575 9)

  • Peter Collin: Business Italian Glossary (Eng./Italian)

              ISBN 0 948 549 55 – 6

  • Peter Collin: Dictionary of Business  (Eng./Eng.)

             ISBN 0 948 549 13

Peter Collin website:  www.Petercollin.com (also online dictionaries)

                        Italian

  • Katerin Katerinov, M.C.B. Katerinov,Bravissimo! (ISBN 88-424-8044-4)

  • P. Catizone, C. Humphris, L. Micarelli, Volare (ISBN 88-7223-033-04)

  • Student Material

  • The usual notebooks etc.

  • Students bring their laptops for presentation practice.

  • Students bring any authentic company material that is of interest

  • A dictionary: monolingual and/or bilingual

  1. The Final Course Report.

At the end of the course, the student receives the Final Course Report which includes the following information:

  • Name of Student – Course Dates – Name of Trainers

  • The level achieved

  • The Todi Universal Language Proficiency Assessment (TULPA)

  • Skills ratings

  • Details of coursework accomplished along with an analysis of linguistic areas still needing improvement

  • Recommendations for further study including a customized further study program

  • Student Learning Profile (Attendance, Participation, Motivation, Self-Study Application, Progress)

The level of language mastered at the end of the course is reported in the Table of Equivalents.  This is a table where the evaluation carried out by The Language Center Todi and is compared to the TOEIC, the Cambridge University Certificate, the Council of Europe Language and the ALTE classifications.

The Language Center Todi runs regular teacher training workshops to ensure the uniform application of the above course concept and to assure constant improvement of the quality of the courses.

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The Language Center - Wellanguage | Via Mazzini, 18 | 06059 Todi (PG) Italy | VAT 02551710540