The BELS Approach: Communicative English Courses for Adults
English communication courses have effectively equipped second-language speakers with practical English skills, fostering motivation and enhancing adaptability in diverse communication scenarios. This blog post will discuss our communicative English courses with the integration of interactive boards and VR technology to enhance the curriculum.
The Power of the Communicative Teaching Approach
The communicative teaching approach has numerous benefits when teaching English to second-language speakers, as shown by academic research. This technique prioritises the development of practical communication skills, which helps learners improve their language proficiency in real-world settings.
According to a study published in “TESOL Quarterly” (2003), students taught using the communicative method demonstrate better fluency, comprehension, and overall proficiency than those taught using traditional grammar-focused methods. Additionally, “Journal of Language and Social Psychology” (2017) highlights that this approach creates a positive learning environment that encourages student interaction and engagement, enhancing their motivation and self-confidence in using the language. Furthermore, “Modern Language Journal” (2009) emphasises that the communicative approach enables learners to adapt to various communication contexts, making them better equipped to navigate real-life situations where English is required.
At BELS, we strive to inspire adult learners through innovative and engaging English education. Our unique approach, incorporating cutting-edge digital learning tools within the Communicative Teaching Approach, sets us apart and empowers our students to reach their full potential.
The Communicative Teaching Approach at BELS
At our schools in Malta and Gozo, we offer English courses that follow the Communicative Teaching Approach. This approach focuses on the practical use of English for real-life communication. As a result, our adult learners are well-equipped to handle the challenges of using English in the real world.
Here are some key elements that define our approach:
- Real-life Situations: All our English courses are built around creating a dynamic learning environment that simulates real-life scenarios. Language learning is most effective when rooted in practical, authentic experiences. Our learners engage in dynamic, interactive activities that mirror real-world scenarios, enabling them to apply English in everyday life. Whether ordering a meal at a restaurant, negotiating a business deal, or navigating a new city, these immersive encounters instil confidence and competence in communication. By weaving real-life situations into our teaching approach, we equip our learners with essential language skills and empower them to navigate the complexities of the English-speaking world with ease and confidence. With the incorporation of interactive boards and VR technology, these experiences become even more immersive and engaging.
- Interactive Courses: Our classes are designed to be interactive and engaging. We encourage learners to actively participate in group discussions, debates, role-plays, and problem-solving activities. This collaborative atmosphere enhances the overall learning experience and fosters an environment where everyone can learn from one another. We also use digital tools like interactive boards to further enhance the interactivity, making the learning experience even more immersive and collaborative.
- Contextual Learning: Language is taught in context, allowing our learners to understand how words and phrases are used naturally. This empowers them to apply their newfound language skills in real-life situations. VR technology provides a unique opportunity to immerse learners in virtual contexts that mirror real-life scenarios, enabling them to practice and apply their language skills.
- Error Tolerance: At BELS, mistakes are a natural part of learning. We encourage our learners to take risks, learn from their errors, and, in turn, foster a more supportive and less intimidating learning environment.
Communicative Classroom Activities
Our approach at BELS involves dynamic, student-centred teaching methodologies that ensure our adult ESL learners receive the highest quality of education. Here’s a glimpse into how classes are taught:
- Role-Playing: BELS learners actively engage in role-playing exercises within simulated scenarios. These activities allow them to practice conversational skills relevant to their everyday lives. Enhanced by VR, our students can fully immerse into the simulated scenario.
- Group Discussions: Open dialogue is a key component of our classes, with learners encouraged to express their thoughts and ideas in English, building their conversational proficiency.
- Problem-Solving Tasks: Teamwork is vital to the BELS experience. Learners work together to solve problems using English, fostering critical thinking and collaboration. Once per week, learners work together to solve problems using VR technology, immersing them in unique scenarios that require creative solutions.
- Language Games: To reinforce vocabulary and grammar, BELS instructors incorporate digital language games that leverage interactive boards to create a fun and engaging learning experience.
- Real-world Materials: We continue to use authentic materials such as newspapers, videos, and podcasts. With our interactive boards and VR technology, learners can explore real-world contexts and situations more immersively, enhancing their understanding of language use.
Does this mean that the adult classes only focus on speaking English? Certainly not. It’s a style of teaching grammar and all the necessary skills for using a language (reading, listening, speaking, writing). Using this approach for English courses for adults makes the language more meaningful, and you learn to use the language appropriate for a given social context. Our English courses for adults emphasize the relationship between the language and its social context, allowing you to use English appropriately and effectively throughout your daily life.
How do Learners Benefit from our Communicative English Courses at BELS?
Our courses offer more than just language proficiency – here’s what you’ll gain.
- Practical Communication Skills: One of the biggest struggles of anyone learning a foreign language in a country where it’s not spoken daily is being able to speak it. Mainstream schooling focuses on grammar and textbook-based learning – and often, students cannot speak the language after years of learning. At BELS, the focus is switched, and after learning a new language item, we go straight into the practical and communicative elements.
- Cultural Understanding: Cultural awareness is ingrained into everything we do. We welcome students from all around the world and have a diverse team. Naturally, this creates a culturally rich learning environment further supported by the course material based on National Geographic publications. Through our interactive teaching approach, BELS learners gain a deeper understanding of cultural nuances and social norms. This understanding is invaluable for successful communication in multicultural settings.
- Increased Confidence: We greatly emphasise building a safe learning space through fostering friendship and connection. Our students are open to making mistakes and are genuinely interested in helping one another improve. This approach lets you make all the mistakes needed in class until you get it right, naturally increasing confidence. Learning English abroad gets you out of your comfort zone and helps you build life and language skills you could never gain in your country. They are likelier to engage with native speakers and use English confidently daily.
- Long-lasting Learning: At BELS, our Communicative Approach ensures that what learners acquire in class stays with them long after the end of their lesson. Active use of the language reinforces their knowledge and skills.
- Motivation and Enjoyment: Engaging in real conversations and activities is effective and enjoyable for BELS learners. This enjoyment is a powerful motivator, encouraging them to remain dedicated to their language-learning journey.
What kind of English Courses for Adults does BELS offer?
With over 25 years of experience, we offer a wide range of English courses to suit every type of learner. Whether you prefer individual or group lessons, in-person or online, we’ve got you covered. And if you’re looking to improve your fluency, our afternoon group classes are a great option. We also offer intensive English courses to help you quickly reach your language goals. You’ll even get access to our online learning platform when you register for any of our courses. At BELS, we believe learning English should be a positive and enjoyable experience, and we’re committed to making that a reality for all our students.
So why not join us today and start your journey towards fluency? For more information and a personalised quote, contact us at [email protected] with your requirements, and we’ll provide you with the necessary information.
Learn English with Adults
At BELS Malta and Gozo, we welcome adult students from around the world for various purposes. Whether you want to learn English for business or pleasure, we have the perfect course for you.Browse Adult Courses