Background I, Richard Osborne, am a self-confessed geek. I love technology, automation and anything with flashy lights. I’ve always been fascinated by the world of apps – handy made-for-purpose tools on your phone that solve some particular problem or inconvenience you have in your life. One of my own favourite examples is a French public […]
I was recently asked to write a guest blog post for ELTjam about the factors that can lead to the success or failure of an eLearning project. Since language trainers today are being pushed more and more towards replacing face-to-face lessons with cheaper digital alternatives, as well as having created my own digital language learning […]
The 5th Annual International Student Survey was answered by more than 62,000 students. It was meant for students who want to study abroad to find out what is important for them, but I think that there are many parallels that can be drawn with language students.
Quality and price are obviously important criteria, but it could be argued that it would be the same in the use of any product or service around the world. Who wants to buy something that is expensive and crap?
So the most interesting thing you can see in the pie Venn Diagram below (never thought I’d use that in a blog) is welcoming and safety. Students want to be made feel welcome, and they want to be safe.
Throughout my career in language training, quality is a word that comes back again and again. In this profession we’re becoming beholden to auditors, labels, clients and governments who wag their fingers and assume we don’t know what we’re doing unless we have the correct procedures in place. Apparently, if we slavishly follow these procedures, then we know that our training is working properly.
This is a load of rubbish. Utter cobblers. You could take a certified ELT teacher, and train him once a month, and make sure all the paperwork is filled in after each lesson, and make sure the hygiene and security protocols are in place, and make sure a test was taken at the beginning and at the end, and make sure the materials and lesson plans were fully prepared each time.
However, none of this means that the lessons will be any good and that the student will reach his learning objectives.
A language lesson is not a checklist. I’ve worked on language training plans including hundreds of students for large companies and some had enforced lesson plans with 10-minute sections for each activity. The quality and purchasing managers loved it. The teachers hated it, as did the students.