Our DLD Academic Preparations Course is a course that prepares a student for a main course of study in the UK. The contents of the academic preparation course are not fixed but will normally include a majority of English Language lessons with some taster classes, study preparation and educational trips.
This course can precede any level of course and the academic level of the preparation courses is based on level of English Language that will be studied (CEFR B1-C2).
The programme is designed to prepare learners during the academic year prior to them joining GCSE, IFP and A-Level courses. In addition to strengthening English language skills, the preparation course helps students familiarise themselves with the challenges of learning in a typical British classroom environment. This includes skills development in areas such as pair work, group work, independent reading and discussion work. In addition to a prominent focus on the development of English language, there is also an ‘enrichment’ element of the course, designed to enhance the experience of studying in central London. This enrichment programme involves a regular interactive session (often in the form of an external excursion) that requires the students to explore, and interact with, aspects of British culture. For example, students attend local art galleries and museums to enrich their understanding of British history, creativity and innovation. These sessions also provide an abundance of opportunities for the students to practise their English in real-life contexts, helping them grow in confidence and feel part of the local community.
As well as English lessons, academic preparation course students also study Maths, Social Sciences, Humanities, Citizenship, Drama and Art. These classes help the learners develop essential academic skills, while, at the same time, they are gaining an in-depth understanding of the variety of lesson content that will become available to them after they have successfully completed the course. To help the students develop into healthy, responsible and socially aware young adults, Sport (in conjunction with the GCSE students) and Personal Health and Social Education (PHSE) also form part of the Pre-Sessional curriculum.
Overall, the aim of the academic preparation course is to give students a solid foundation of academic skills and academic expectations, to familiarise them with the demands (including pastoral needs) of a UK-based study course.
In terms of Reading, 2017-2018 has seen the introduction of three new reading initiatives. Firstly, students make weekly visits to a local library where they choose a book to be taken back to college and read as part of homework. After reading their chosen book, they must complete a review before the next week’s library visit. The second initiative has been an online library that the students have used to broaden their range of reading while making meaningful use of e-technology and on-screen information. Thirdly, the students have used a weekly magazine to stay in touch with world events as they develop their reading skills.
All of these activities aim to diversify the range of educational experiences; they also enrich the range of language contexts to which the students are exposed. The increased range of contexts and vocabulary building this promotes, helps students get ready for their IELTS test as it prepares them to express themselves on variety of topics.
Students have regular tests in the four skills (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking) and sit an IELTS exam at the end of the summer term.
Progression depends on English scores and previous studies:
(* Students must have 5.0 minimum in reading and writing components)
4.0 IELTS equivalent or B1 in the OPT.