COVID-19 Secure Guidelines

As a provider of a hospitality business, it is important that you consider how to make your home as COVID-19 secure as possible for students, yourself, and other members of your household. We will advise on the specific restrictions / regulations in place in your country (if any) at the time of placing a booking with you.

Risk Assessment

You should work through the following steps in order, to properly assess the risks present in your home and measures which you may take to mitigate them:

  1. Is anyone in your household a member of a high-risk group? Are there any measures you can take to protect them?

  2. Is is possible to adapt your teaching area to comply with social distancing guidelines?

  3. Are there any security (for example, fire risk) implications of changes you may make to improve COVID-19 security?

When you have completed a COVID-19 risk assessment, you may wish to display a COVID-19 Secure poster.

Host Tutor Manual

Welcome to IH InTuition Languages! Our mission is to provide overseas students the opportunity to combine quality one-to-one language tuition with the cultural experience of living with and sharing the home of a local family.

We were the first home tuition organisation to be accredited by the British Council, and we continue to be inspected regularly by them. Our most recent inspection report can be found here. We are also a member of English UK, the leading association of accredited, independent, English language teaching establishments in Britain, and affiliates of International House World Organisation, one of the global leaders in foreign language teaching and language teacher training. You can read more about our school, and our core goals and values, here.

We have a reputation for excellence in both teaching standards and our host tutors’ hospitality. For many students, classroom learning can be slow and frustrating and, out of class, it is often tempting for the student to revert to their first language when speaking with colleagues and classmates. On a home tuition course, however, students enjoy a continuous learning process, with either 15, 20, 25 or 30 lessons taken per week. They also benefit from personalised tuition from their host tutor, and the cultural immersion experience of living in their host tutor’s family home.

This manual is designed to answer questions you may have and to provide teaching suggestions. The suggestions provided are not intended to be prescriptive, as all teachers have their own style. Rather, they are a guide, to be used in a flexible way to help you add variety to your lessons. The manual is designed to be used in conjunction with our other online resources. Our objective is to to support you in making your teaching and hosting as rewarding for you as it is for the student.

Who’s Who at IH InTuition Languages

We are looking forward to working together and supplying you with students carefully selected according to your availability and preferences. We are a small team:

Jamie is our Commercial Director, who manages sales and business development.

jamie@intuitionlang.com

Tel: +44 207 739 4411

Mob / WhatsApp : +34 695 99 11 55

Alexa is our Director of Studies (DOS) who is here to provide support with any teaching and hosting enquiries (EFL tutors).

alexa@intuitionlang.com

Tel: +44 207 739 4411

Mob / WhatsApp: +44 7546 309501

Cyrielle is our MFL Tutor Manager who is here to provide support with any teaching and hosting enquiries (MFL tutors).

cyrielle@intuitionlang.com

Tel: +44 207 739 4411

Mob / WhatsApp: +33 6 26 16 07 04

Grace is our Operations Manager who is here to organise student placements and oversee the smooth running of all EFL courses.

grace@intuitionlang.com

Tel: +44 207 739 4411

Mob / WhatsApp: +44 7546 309503

Simon is the school Director, here to help with any serious problems.

simon@intuitionlang.com

Tel: +44 207 739 4411

Mob / WhatsApp: +44 7809 218336

Other Contact Information

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Alexa Randell

alexa@intuitionlang.com

+44 7546 309501

Prevent Lead

Grace Emery

grace@intuitionlang.com

+44 7546 309503

Office (Monday – Friday, 08:30 – 18:00 UK time)

+44 207 739 4411

Emergency Number (outside office hours and at weekends)

+44 207 033 2390

The Host Tutoring Journey

Meeting your Students

Students typically arrive on Sunday afternoons. They may choose to book an arrival transfer service, in which case we will make arrangements with a local taxi company (unless you have opted in to provide the Meet and Greet service yourself). All Young Learner students must use the transfer service, unless accompanied by a responsible adult.

Introducing your Home and Family

When your student arrives at home, it is important to introduce all family members to them as soon as possible. It is vital for the success of a home tuition course that students feel like a member of the household throughout their stay with you. Please go through the New Student Arrival Checklist with each new arrival, to ensure that all important information is shared and the student knows how your home operates on a day-to-day basis.

Bedroom

Bedrooms should be private spaces for the student’s sole use. A desk, where students can study independently or do private work outside of formal lesson time must be available within the bedroom, or in another room which is reserved exclusively for the student’s use during their course.

Bed linen and towels should be provided and laundered by the host family – please make sure that students have fresh linen and towels at least once a week. Please note that many of our students come from warmer countries and may feel the cold more than you do. If your central heating is switched off at night, please provide an extra blanket in case of need.

Common Areas

Please ensure that students have access to the living room and other common areas of your home at all times.

Meals

You should provide your student with three meals a day (see below for menu suggestions). Family meals are a wonderful opportunity for the student to engage in conversation and are an essential part of a course.

  • Breakfast: Fruit juice, cereal, eggs, toast, fruit, coffee or tea, occasionally a cooked breakfast.
  • Lunch: A light snack-type lunch, or a packed lunch if the student wants to go out. Something hot (e.g. soup or pasta) should always be provided on cold days.
  • Dinner: A more substantial, cooked meal with a main course and dessert.

If students have special dietary needs, we will advise you of this in advance of their arrival and, where a dietary supplement applies, ensure that you are compensated for any additional expenses incurred in catering to them.

General information for catering to students with particular dietary requirements is available here:

Baths and Showers

A daily bath or shower should be available. Tell your student about convenient times.

Laundry

We ask teachers to do reasonable amounts of their students’ washing once per week. Please let them know your arrangements for washing and tell them when and where they can iron.

Keys

Please provide adult students with a front door key and remind them to return it at the end of the course.

Telephone and Internet

Students should never use your telephone without asking permission first. Mobile phones should not be allowed to interrupt lessons for the sake of the student’s concentration, as well as your own. It is important to cover this point with your student at the outset and ensure that phones are not answered during lessons except in case of emergency.

All host tutors are required to provide Wi-Fi access in their homes.

Doctor and Dentist

Student illness is not a common occurrence. However, should it happen, please contact your local GP. If your student becomes ill while staying with you, it may be necessary for you to make an appointment for them to see a doctor. They may have to pay for medical treatment unless it is an emergency. It is advisable never to offer any medication, even non-prescription, to your students. You may wish to provide paracetamol, or similar mild non-prescription drugs, but again, only at their specific request. For Young Learners, parental permission must be granted for specific medication to be offered and you will be fully informed about this during the confirmation process.

It is a requirement of enrolment that students take out suitable travel insurance to cover them for the duration of their stay.

Free Time

In addition to receiving individual tuition, most students will want to join in with your everyday life and activities, so it is vital that you include them. Weekly excursions form an integral part of students’ course experiences (see Excursions and Activities). We consider your interests and hobbies when placing a student with you.

It is a good idea to provide students who have an adequate reading level with access to a quality newspaper or journal.

Outside of lessons, meals, and accompanied excursions, many students will want to explore your local area independently. Any assistance and guidance you can provide for independent exploration (for example local events, concerts, or market days), as well as information on public transport, will be gratefully received. We recommend keeping a folder of information regarding local places of interest for this purpose.

If you have a bicycle which can be lent to students for their use, it is often highly appreciated. Please make sure that the student is familiar with local traffic laws.

Fire Precautions

It is a UK legal obligation to undertake a Fire Risk Assessment of your home before you begin hosting students. If you have a gas supply to your home, it is also a UK legal requirement to under an annual Gas Safety check and provide us with a copy of the certificate. Similar legal requirements apply in other countries; if you live outside the UK, we will advise what is required on a case-by-case basis.

Valuables

Please provide your students with a secure place for the storage of their valuables. This may be a safe or a secure, lockable cabinet.

Religious Observance

Students may have particular requirements regarding religious observance that we ask host tutors to accommodate whenever practical. Any special dietary requirements will be communicated to you during the placement process.

Emergency

For emergencies, we have a 24-hour number: +44 207 033 2390. For extreme emergencies, please contact the emergency services. Refer to our Emergency Procedures for more information about what constitutes an emergency situation and what to do if one occurs.

Cancelling a Course Before the Course Start Date (CSD)

In the unfortunate event that you can no longer commit to delivering a confirmed course before the CSD, you must inform us by telephone as soon as you become aware of the issue. When this occurs on the weekend of the student’s arrival, please phone the emergency number (+44 207 033 2390) immediately.

Ordinarily, you would find a substitute host tutor, subject to the substitute meeting our academic, accommodation and safeguarding requirements. Where you cannot secure a substitute, we may be able to find one on your behalf.

Referrals

We are always keen to meet new tutors. If you know someone with recognised teaching qualifications who would be interested in becoming a host tutor, please contact Alexa (for EFL teachers) or Cyrielle (for MFL teachers).

We pay £150  / €200 after someone you nominate completes their first course as an InTuition tutor.

Hosting more than one student at a time

If you have the capacity in your home to host more than one student at a time, we may refer 2:1 bookings to you from time to time. Students on 2:1 bookings will already know each other – we do not place two strangers together (with the exception of our J2J Young Learner courses).

If you have guests – students, lodgers or otherwise – who will be in your home during a potential InTuition course, it is very important that we are fully informed of this when we first contact you to discuss the booking. It may still be possible for us to place the student with you, but we must inform the student of the situation first. If guests are of the same nationality as a potential student, or share the same L1, regrettably we are generally unable to place the student with you for that period.

UK Hosts are not permitted (under British Council regulations) to accommodate more than four residential house guests, paying or non-paying, simultaneously.

What to do if there is a problem

Most students’ stays are happy and uncomplicated, but from time to time problems may arise. We have thirty years’ experience in dealing with all sorts of issues, including those you may not have previously encountered.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you feel the student is excessively homesick or suffering from any illness or stress.

If you are so unfortunate as to find yourself in a situation of clashing personalities and you feel that the problem is insurmountable, or if there is any other circumstance which is causing problems for you and/or the student, please contact us without delay.

If there is a serious problem regarding a student’s behaviour or attitude, including (but not limited to) unexplained absence from lessons, rudeness, abusive or threatening behaviour, or failure to follow or respect house rules, please inform the Director of Studies or MFL Tutor Manager as soon as possible. We are often able to speak with the student directly, in his or her own language, and in the vast majority of cases, an amicable conclusion is reached. We may also liaise with the student’s agent in order to manage the situation. In the event of a serious breach of the student Code of Conduct, students may be instructed to leave your home immediately. We take all allegations of improper behaviour very seriously, and our primary concern is always the happiness and wellbeing of our host tutors.

If you are unable to continue with a course for personal reasons, it is imperative that you let us know by telephone as soon as you become aware of the issue. Ideally, you will find a substitute host tutor for the remainder of the student’s stay, subject to the substitute meeting our academic, accommodation and safeguarding requirements – we will confirm whether this is the case at the time. If you are not able to find a substitute, we may be able to find one on your behalf.

Privacy

Throughout the placement process, and during courses, a range of students’ personal information is provided to you. This information is either vital for arranging or structuring the course and stay, or necessary to ensure students’ safety and well-being.

You are considered a processor of this data under UK law. This means that you have a responsibility to ensure the data’s security and see that it is used only for purposes which directly relate to the student’s course of study with you. We may require you to delete or otherwise dispose of student information at any time.

InTuition Languages acts as a Controller and Processor of host tutors’ data under UK GDPR. See our Privacy Policy for full information.

Feedback and Professional Development

IH InTuition Languages is a proud member of the International House (IH) network of language schools. IH is widely recognised as a global leader in language teacher training and development. host tutors can benefit from InTuition’s membership of the IH network through discounted CELTA, DELTA and MFL / EFL courses, as well as our annual programme of webinars and teacher development days. Our CPD policy and procedures are available in the Tutor Zone.

We actively encourage feedback from all host tutors – after all, we work for you! You can leave course-specific feedback through the Portal for each booking.  Each year, we request that you complete a more thorough survey which covers the experience of working with InTuition in greater detail. The results of our 2018 survey can be seen here.

Students are requested to complete feedback on their course when they return home. Unfortunately, not all students will complete their feedback forms, but where it is submitted, the feedback will be forwarded to host tutors as soon as is practicable.

Hosting and Teaching Young Learners (under-18s)

If you are registered to teach our Young Learner programmes, please see the separate Young Learner Host Tutor Manual. This provides full information on the various academic, hosting and safeguarding procedures required for these courses.

If you are not currently registered to teach under-18s, but are interested in finding out more, please contact the DOS or MFL Tutor Manager. Young Learners form a large percentage of our bookings, particularly during the summer months, and suitable host tutors are always in demand.

Legal and Financial Matters

When a course is confirmed, we send you:

  • A formal Invoice, outlining the services you will provide to us and the rate of payment. Please retain this for your records.
  • A Contract for Services, outlining the terms under which we have purchased these services and our agreed obligations to each other. It is not necessary for you to sign and return this contract.

Payments are made in arrears on a weekly basis. We pay you by direct transfer into your nominated bank account.

Please avoid discussing fees with the student. If a student wishes to book an additional course with you, it can be easily arranged. All arrangements must be made through us, and not directly with the student.

You are self-employed and are not employed by InTuition Languages Ltd. We are obliged by law to disclose full details of all payments made to the relevant tax authorities if requested.

In the UK, hosting a student in your home qualifies you for the £7500 Rent a Room Tax Allowance (2021 rate), making the non-tuition aspect of your course fees exempt from tax until the £7500 threshold is met. You may find, however, that claiming this allowance prevents you from deducting allowable expenditure against tax from this element of your income. The tuition aspect of your course fees is taxable at your marginal rate in full.

Insurance and Liability

It is essential that you contact your insurance company and have them confirm in writing that your normal household insurance policy covers you for Occupier’s Liability. This provides coverage for any accidental damage caused by or to a third party staying in your home. Let your insurance company know that you occasionally accommodate paying students (they may suggest that Public Liability should be taken out as an extra cover if you host for more than a certain number of weeks per annum). Most insurers will also place extra exclusions on your policy, for example, removing cover for theft without forced entry.

We work in partnership with Endsleigh Insurance Services, who provide a specialist home insurance package which is specifically designed for UK homestay accommodation providers. Benefits include:

  • Buildings and contents
  • Specified items
  • £2 million public liability
  • Full cover for theft
  • Extension of contents cover to the student

To find out more, contact them on +44 333 234 1507 or at nonstandard@endsleigh.co.uk and reference InTuition Languages.

It is the responsibility of the student (and a condition of enrolment) to arrange adequate insurance for travel, accident and loss. We are unable to accept liability for any damage caused by students staying with you. Liability for students’ possessions is their own responsibility.

Prevent Duty (UK Only)

As a registered UK language school, it is our statutory duty to pay “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445977/3799_Revised_Prevent_Duty_Guidance__England_Wales_V2-Interactive.pdf for full information).

To ensure that all host tutors are best equipped to identify students at risk of radicalisation, we request that the UK Government’s E-learning Training on Prevent be completed. The course is free and takes around 40 minutes. It can be accessed here: https://www.elearning.prevent.homeoffice.gov.uk/.

Please ensure that you forward us your certificate of training completion after finishing the course.

The InTuition Hosting Process

We follow a simple process when referring students to you to host and teach. Providing an ideal match and unbeatable experiences for both tutor and student is our guiding aim. We are always on hand to answer questions about any specific booking, and a member of our team will call you during the first few days of each course to make sure that everything is progressing smoothly.

Please note: We only propose one host tutor for a booking at a time. If we contact you to discuss a potential booking, you are automatically our preferred choice.

Keeping Up to Date

  • To secure the most suitable students for you, please keep your availability updated on the Portal.
  • Please note any changes to your home or household through the Profile section of the Portal. You can also upload new photos and remove existing ones as required.

Making your Student Feel at Home

  • Whether met at the airport, off the train, or at your front door, the priority when meeting your students is always the same - help them feel relaxed. Make sure that you run through the New Student Arrival Checklist with them as soon as they are comfortable.

Creating a Learning Space

  • It is important for both parties to avoid feeling claustrophobic. This may result from physical considerations, such as a small cluttered room, or from the psychology of being shut away with just one other person. One-to-one teaching is unique in that it is one of the few job situations in which two people who have never met before spend a major part of the working day together.

Here are some suggestions which may help:

  • Find an area of your home where you will be free from interruption from family, visitors or telephone calls. Ensure that you have a suitable table, chairs and a board that you can write on. Wherever possible, try to teach where there is natural light and at a table free from clutter. If available, use a white board on an easel.
  • Decide upon the seating arrangements and be prepared to move around to break up lessons e.g. face the student diagonally, sit at right angles to each other, sit next to the student. Avoid sitting directly opposite the student. Plan for breaks at regular intervals, both for coffee/natural breaks, and for the opportunity to stretch and change seating.
  • If the room is bare, try to brighten it by using plants, flowers or pictures.

Course Types

We offer five main course types:

  • General Language

This is our most popular course type. This is chosen by students who need a broad development of their English skills, without any particular professional or academic focus.

  • Language for Work

Our Language for Work course is designed for students who need to develop their language skills for work in an office environment. It is a generalised business course, and not focussed on any particular professional area. Students on a Language for Work course are typically seeking to improve their language skills for business meetings, negotiations, presentations, phone calls, emails and so on.

  • Exam Preparation

Exam Preparation courses are chosen by students who are preparing to take standard EFL or MFL examinations. These commonly include Cambridge Assessment programmes (KET, FCE, CAE, CPE, IELTS, BULATS), TOEIC, and TOEFL.

We provide specialised, hard copy, teaching materials for Exam Preparation courses.

  • Professional Language

Our Professional Language programme is intended for both business executives requiring high-level and specialised language training in their area of focus, and professionals of all types who require specialised language training (for example, engineering, finance, law, aviation, marketing and so on).

We provide specialised, hard copy teaching materials for Professional courses.

  • Academic Language

Academic Language courses are designed for students who either require help preparing for a specific academic examination in their home country (for example Abitur in Germany and Prepa in France), or students who will study in a foreign language at university, either in an English-speaking country or overseas.

We provide specialised, hard copy, teaching materials for Academic Language courses.

We also arrange non-brochure programmes for certain clients on demand. These include programmes for Air Traffic Controllers and various students receiving government and / or company financial assistance. When recommending you for a special programme, we will always make it clear what the particular requirements are and how they may differ from one of the standard programmes outlined above.

Planning your Course and Required Documentation

Every learner has different needs and those needs can be addressed more easily on a one-to-one course than on a group course. Our approach to course planning is based around the seven key elements which lie at the core of our English language programmes: Grammar, Vocabulary, Pronunciation, Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

Each participant will want and need a different combination of these elements to make up their programme to ensure the best possible chance for maximum improvement.

Teaching Materials

For EFL courses, we provide access to two comprehensive online teaching materials libraries.

InTuition Languages / Richmond ELT

Our proprietorial materials bank was developed in partnership with Richmond ELT, and the syllabus is based on the Core Inventory developed by EAQUALS and the British Council.

Materials are provided through our Dropbox at four core levels: A2, B1, B2 and C1, with additional materials at A1 and B1+. This means that a student who requires further support at A2 will have access to A1 content, and a student wanting to be stretched at B1 will have access to content at B1+. (The two additional levels have less content than the core levels.) The Director of Studies is always available to advise on their use, should you require any assistance.

One Stop English

As of November 2021, all English tutors may access One Stop English's full suite of teaching materials via an InTuition Languages institutional login. OSE provides resources from the publisher Macmillan Eduation including thousands of resources, including lesson plans, worksheets, audio, video and flashcards. 

Course Planning

Participants are tested for level and, following a needs analysis, the host tutor and learner plan the course together, resources can be selected from our materials banks and / or from the host tutor’s own library.

Together, the host tutor and learner decide the focus for each lesson, so across the week you will teach grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation at different times, to meet the requirements of the learning outcome. You will also cover the four skills in amounts which suit the student’s level and needs. Because of the nature of language learning, you will never teach these skills and systems in isolation. All lessons will be orally based and will combine the various skills.

Pronunciation work should be included in different lessons across the week.

For each lesson, there is a worksheet to take away either in print or digital format, along with any audio files.

Please note that scheduled breaks between lessons are not considered part of the formal course hours.

Digital Assessment Pack

The Digital Assessment Pack provides key information and guidance about how to prepare for each course, including course planning and materials selection.

Guidance on What to Teach at Different Levels

Guidance based on the the British Council-EAQUALS Core Inventory for General English, which covers Communicative, Grammar and Vocabulary Objectives plus Language Work at the five CEFR levels, is available for download from the Dropbox. The different sections outline the degree of language skill that a student is expected to have acquired by the end of each level.

Student Course Record

Before starting your first lesson, check you have done the following:

  • Established with your student when to start / have a break / have lunch / end the day. Remember each lesson is one hour long.
  • If you are planning any excursions during scheduled lesson time, first make sure your student is happy with the aims and structure of the trip and understands that it is a lesson.
  • Ensured that you have clear learning outcomes and to meet the student’s needs. Plan solutions to anticipated language problems that may arise. We recommend that you use our Course Planner as a guide.
  • Assessed the student’s level using the materials provided in our Digital Assessment Pack and on the Portal.
  • If it is a Language for Work, Professional Language or Exam Preparation course, have you:
    • had a look at relevant websites?
    • obtained a relevant journal or trade magazine?
  • All the materials on our website are free for you to use on any InTuition course. If you are photocopying any other materials from your own resources, please remember that the Copyright Licence Agency permits only a maximum of 5% of any published book be photocopied and all sources must be acknowledged.

Lesson Aims or Learning Outcomes?

What will your student be able to do, or be able to do better at the end of the lesson?

Research suggests that language students are more likely to master subject matter if:

  • they have to demonstrate what they have learned
  • they see the subject matter as being meaningful for them in real-life situations

At the end of the class, a student should be able to write a ‘can do’ description, annotating a skill or competency that they did not have before the class and which they have learned or acquired to a higher level.

Stating a Learning Outcome

Take an elementary student as an example. We would say, “By the end of this lesson, you will be able to tell me about the things you do every day” or, “By the end of the lesson, you be able to describe a process to a colleague.”

Student Motivation

By adopting this approach, the student is much more motivated to master dry grammar in order to achieve the learning outcome goal.

Measurability

Planning lessons with learning outcomes enables both the student and the teacher to measure the student’s progress towards the learning outcome goal.

Learning Outcome goal: to be able to describe a process to a colleague.

Question at the end of the lesson: How well do you think you can describe a process to a colleague?

  1. I can’t describe a process
  2. I’m OK to describe a process
  3. I can describe a process really well

Summary:

Planning for learning outcomes gives the student:

  • A clearer understanding of the reasons for learning a specific structure
  • A target against which their progress can be measured
  • An ability to see each lesson as part of a whole package that is leading towards a clearly defined end.

Weekly Lesson Sheets

The Weekly Lesson Sheet (WLS) provides a record of what has been done during each day of the course on a weekly basis.  

 You can either:  

  1. Print a blank copy of the form each week to complete by hand, asking the student to sign daily, or
  1. Complete the form digitally each day, printing the form at the end of the week for the student to sign (they should still sign for each day)

Completed WLS should be scanned or photographed (we recommend the free Camscanner app for scanning using your phone) and submitted online with your completed End of Course Report 

Sample Lesson Plans

A range of sample lesson plans are available for download from our Dropbox.

End of Course Report (ECR)

The personalised link for this is provided in the Confirmation Documents PDF which is emailed to you when a course is confirmed. You can also access the template here.

Each link sent relates to a unique student, so the same link cannot be used to write reports for other students. End of Course Reports should be submitted no later than one week after a course is completed. A sample ECR is available here.

Excursions

What is an excursion?

An excursion is a pre-planned, local trip, which involves the student using their language of study in ‘real-life’ situations. You should take your adult students on a minimum of two excursions per week. If a course includes activity-based lessons, these are separate to excursions.

Why involve students in excursions?

  • An excursion can be a multi-task activity which integrates all the language skills.
  • It enables students to experiment with language in ‘real-life’ situations.
  • It helps build up the students’ confidence in communicating with different kinds of people.
  • It adds variety to ‘indoor’ lessons and provides the student with a focus during their free time.

Cost of excursions

The student should be made aware, in advance, of any entrance fees and costs that will be incurred on excursions. The student is expected (and has been informed as such) to pay any costs both for themselves and for the host tutor accompanying them.

Can an excursion take place in formal teaching hours?

On intensive courses, with long teaching hours, an excursion can replace formal lessons after three hours classroom teaching on the day of the excursion, provided that:

  • The student fully understands that the excursion is a type of lesson, and that this will replace a number of formal, classroom teaching hours and will take place outside the classroom.
  • The student is in complete agreement with this proposal.

An excursion step-by-step

  1. Identify possible places of interest for your student. Please collate a folder of leaflets of local places of interest to leave in their room upon arrival, showing the activity and the cost.
  2. Discuss with your student the types of language activities that will be interesting and beneficial for the student to use during the excursion.
  3. Structure the excursion by:
  4. Having the student carry out internet research on the location.
  5. Pre-teaching relevant vocabulary or writing, rehearsing and recording relevant model dialogue that the student may need. In addition to correcting the grammar, you can focus on speech features, such as intonation and the appropriateness of questions and responses.
  6. During the excursion, create opportunities for student interaction with English speakers and the environment. Encourage the student to record new vocabulary.
  7. Follow-up the excursion with lesson activities, such as presentations about the excursion, editing and presenting a video, writing a report, sending thank you emails, discussing the experience and any cultural issues or differences encountered.

Possible places for an excursion

  • Museums and art galleries (the audio guides provided are excellent)
  • Farms (one host tutor takes their students to a sheep auction!)
  • Local shops and markets
  • Libraries
  • Live recordings of radio / TV shows
  • Guided walks and city tours
  • Public lectures
  • Local schools / universities
  • Local law courts (always a hit)
  • Stately homes
  • Historic monuments and gardens
  • Nook readings
  • Cinemas
  • Restaurants
  • Pubs
  • Banks
  • Travel agencies
  • Sport centres
  • Distillery / brewery / vineyard tours
  • Car boot sales
  • Junk shops
  • Local beauty spots
  • Auction houses
  • Charity shops

It may not be suitable for all students or something many of us can arrange, but definitely one of the most interesting excursions so far was a “speed dating” event, where the student got to use the language of persuasion, description, past and future tense, question forming and, last but not least, some useful phone numbers. This list is far from exhaustive.

It is important that all excursions are age-appropriate – naturally there is a significant social difference between a 19-year-old student and at 65-year-old retiree – and that variables such as the weather are taken into account. If you have planned an outdoor excursion, and the weather would make the experience uncomfortable for your student, please consider an alternative indoor excursion instead. 

Suggestions for student activities on excursions

Here are three suggestions provided by our tutors:

  • Your student becomes a journalist, taking photographs / videos, interviewing, writing a follow-up article
  • Your student makes enquiries around town comparing accommodation prices, restaurants, etc. and then writes a report with comparisons and recommendations.
  • Your student becomes your guide. Having researched the city / museum / art gallery on the internet, your student acts as your guide during the excursion.

Activity Risk Assessments

To ensure the safety and security of all students, as well as any other adults accompanying you and your student(s) on an excursion, it is necessary to undertake an Activity Risk Assessment before each excursion takes place.

Generic Activity Risk Assessment forms are provided for a broad range of common excursion activities in the Resources area of the Portal. After deciding on an excursion with a student, download and print off the relevant Assessment, giving the student a copy to read.

Students’ personal capabilities should always be taken into account when making a risk assessment for any activity. If a student has disabilities or illnesses, or is pregnant, additional risk factors may be present.

When submitting Weekly Lesson Sheets at the end of a course, please note the numbers of the Activity Risk Assessment forms used at the top of the WLS.

Language for Work, Professional and Academic Language Courses

Recommended Resources:

  • A digital recording device
  • A whiteboard (possibly desk size) with colour marker pens
  • Reference books (dictionaries, grammar books, business / specialist journals etc.)
  • InTuition worksheet downloads or specialist textbooks
  • Radio, TV, video and websites (for the news, recording programmes of interest)
  • Newspapers & magazines (for topical text and visuals)
  • Company material for English for Work / Professional courses (student presentations and authentic reading texts)
  • Websites, CDs or podcasts with listening activities

The InTuition Approach

Key to the diagnostic process are the Pre-Course Planner and Dynamic Placement Test. Please use these on day one to decide:

  • Specific and realistic objectives for the course
  • What the main factor influencing the design of the course is 

Materials

Once you have decided the main thrust of the course, you can consider the range of materials which are available to you. Authentic materials adapted to your purpose are almost a prerequisite for a successful Language for Work / Professional course. To make such materials accessible to your student, remember to grade the task, not the materials. To find authentic materials relevant to your student, look in journals associated with their profession and their company website.

What your Student Receives:

From InTuition:

·         Online Student Pack

·         Online Pre-Course Planner

·         Dynamic Placement Test

·         Use of downloadable course materials

·         Online Certificate of Attendance

From you:

·         Access to a newspaper/journal – online is fine

·         Company visit (if appropriate / relevant)

·         Case study / project (if appropriate / relevant)

·         Personally curated materials

·         End of Course Report

End of Course Report

Professionalism extends to the End of Course Report. This needs to be clear, concise and written in the third person. Companies often require quick feedback on their employees, which we provide in a formal, typed report based on your End of Course Report, so it needs to be full and accurate.

Setting boundaries for a professional relationship

Some tutors fail to strike up a professional relationship at the start of the first class or meeting by devoting too much time to informal "getting to know one another" chatting. While this is an important ice-breaking activity and helps to create a relaxed and pleasant learning environment, it is not always perceived by businesspeople as a 'serious' way to conduct a class. The guidelines below may help you to stay on track.

Clarify goals and objectives

Beware of students who say they "just want conversation". They still need a structured programme with well-prepared input. They may also have language and skills needs that they do not recognise and which you, as a professional, should bring to their attention.

  1. Prioritise skills: Check if students are more concerned with speaking, listening, reading or writing. Discuss how much time should be devoted to each skill and how you will work with them. In the case of speaking, it is recommended to focus on accuracy during formal lesson time and develop fluency outside of the classroom.
  1. Present your programme outline: Be flexible and open to discussion. Provide a list of topics and themes to choose from and ask for student input and suggestions. Agree on an action plan.
  1. Discuss learner responsibility: Ask the students how they perceive their role in the language learning process. Negotiate how much time they are willing to spend on language learning outside the scheduled class time. Discuss effective ways to record new language.
  1. Empower the Trainee: Trainees bring with them two equally valuable resources
    • Their personal experience of the world of work, and
    • The specific contexts in which they use the language of study.

By using your trainees as a resource, you can use these topics to allow them to be experts in their own fields, thus freeing you to be the expert in the language field. This will also have the effect of empowering your trainees and giving them more confidence in other activities.

Business interests

Most good ESP (English for Special / Specific Purposes) training programmes insist on the importance of using authentic materials. However, to work successfully with authentic materials, the teacher must be genuinely interested in the subject and have a broad-based knowledge of business. It is essential to read business publications regularly.

Reading business-based publications with websites such as The Economist, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, or The Financial Times, enables the teacher to keep up-to-date with the world of business, as well as providing a source of authentic teaching materials.

Business dress

Please wear suitably professional attire when tutoring a Professional or Business Language course.

Punctuality

If your student arrives late in the morning, they may then expect you to teach longer to make up the missed time. It should be made clear from the start that you have a schedule to adhere to and that you cannot teach later than planned. This generally solves any punctuality problem and makes students realise that you, like them, have a professional approach.

You are a professional

Never think of yourself as only the teacher. No matter how important and well paid your business students are, their careers may depend on their level of Business language - and therefore on you. Speak with authority on those subjects where you are the professional - language teaching and the language itself. Your attitude is a vital part of establishing a professional image.

Library

Here is a list of recommended books, some of which you might like to buy to dip into. Naturally all teachers have their own favourite books and this list is intended only to offer suggestions. It is vital to have your own grammar books and a dictionary available.

The internet as a source of teaching materials

Tutors who use the internet to source lesson materials are already aware of the extraordinary variety and range of teaching material that exists online. In addition to dedicated EFL / MFL websites, which offer topics, ideas and lesson plans, the internet provides resources that may be updated on a daily or even hourly basis.

Some advantages of the internet over traditional teaching materials:

  • Unlike course books, which date very quickly, the internet has an almost limitless supply of contemporary material
  • It is possible to find material for all levels on the internet
  • Constantly updated articles, podcasts and video casts, some of them with the script included

Possible issues

  • Check who the author / publisher / institution is.
  • Check that the site still exists and if it is accurate and reliable.
  • Have two, three or four sites available before you go online with a student.
  • There is a problem where technology does not work for you so you need an alternative plan.

Do not be afraid to ask students to help you use technology if necessary. Younger students will certainly be very comfortable with it and will know what is current. They are with you for an language course, not a technology lesson, and will usually be very pleased to help out. 

Observation – Evaluating your Teaching

As part of our commitment to Continuing Professional Development, we ask you to carry out an observed lesson during your first booking with us, and henceforth on an annual basis. All observations are recorded, using Zoom, to minimise disruption to your lesson. We will provide you with the relevant documents and can help you plan the lesson. So that you get the most out of your observed lesson, we provide feedback soon after. Our aim is to give you as much support and encouragement as possible, so please look on this as an opportunity to develop!

Full details of can be found in the Observations Policy.

Complaints Procedure

We aim to provide each of our host tutors with exemplary levels of service, from the first time you enquire about registration right through to student placements, on-course support and after-course feedback.

If you are unsatisfied with any aspect of our services, our objective is to quickly and comprehensively resolve the situation.

Please contact Simon, the school Director, if you would like to raise any issues in this area.