There are two groups of students I teach at Edinburgh College with two slightly different profiles. NC4 ESOL for Employability consists of 20 young learners (age 16 – 24), usually migrant workers or children of migrant workers who decided to settle in Scotland. It is a full time course whose aim is to increase students’ employability prospects and develop their academic study skills. SCP ESOL is a part time ESOL course for secondary school students preparing for further studying at college or university. Although the blended elements in both classes differ slightly, hybrid teaching and the flexibility it offers seems the best possible approach.
NC4 ESOL FOR EMPLOYABILITY
One of the key area of the course is the development of non-cognitive skills such as emotional and social maturity, empathy, autonomy or the ability to co-operate, skills highly valued in the area of employability, is as important as academic achievements. As for the process of language learning, it needs to be stimulating enough to enhance students’ motivation. Like any other class, my class consists of various types of learners characterised by a range of learning preferences (I am deliberately avoiding the term “learning styles”) which must be recognised and incorporated in the process of teaching. Most importantly, my students come from a number of countries and, apart from their complex individual backgrounds, they differ in their educational experiences, very often disrupted, as much as language levels, all of which should be addressed in teaching. Making them feel proud of their own learning and celebrating their achievements as speakers of other languages will hopefully boost their often low self-esteem and develop their perseverance and determination. Stimulating their natural curiosity will hopefully help lessen linguistic barriers and foster the desire for learning.
The hybrid mode will be applied to the following areas: