Sunday, 8 February 2009

YLE - certificate awards ceremony

Last Saturday afternoon we awarded certificates to our students who took their Cambridge ESOL Young Learners (YLE) exams late last year. On that occasion we had candidates taking Starters as well as Movers at Luna, and it was a pleasure to be able to hand out certificates finally.

We have been doing this since 2000, and I do not get tired of seeing our students puff up with pride when they get their marks back. I'd say nearly all of them do better than they expected; regardless of their achievement, they all get a certificate anyway which is great. Parents also get the chance to see that their children are making progress, with this first step or two in their English-learning careers. This, after all, is an international award, which measures English abilities in all FOUR skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) - and is exactly the same test that kids would have taken in Japan, Argentina, Greece, Finland or Thailand. The test results therefore add a lot of weight to our objectives in teaching children to not only communicate effectively but to 'learn to learn'.

What helps our students do well?
  • Good, patient teaching with an eye to long-term development
  • showing young learners how to build words phonetically
  • empowering kids to break down long words into readable 'chunks'
  • extensive reading - our students read a lot and are at ease with texts
  • a natural understanding of grammar, which is not bashed into them but constantly recycled and refreshed
  • encouragement to try - making mistakes along the way is all part of the fun
  • small classes with a teacher paying attention to students' particular learning needs & styles
  • flexible curriculum and wealth of resources to inspire and intrigue learners
  • develop themes & ideas which come up in class with immediate online access
And so much more - come and see us if you want to hear the whole sales pitch!

Anyway, Saturday was all about applauding our stellar students who had a go. Congratulations from me - proud school owner & teacher. On this occasion I was wearing my hat as an Examiner Trainer too, hence the tie. Well done all of you - next level up in November, yes!

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