As an academic year comes to its end, every teacher and every student begins to plan their summer time. The key to a bright summer for both can be a summer compressed-format course. Intensive courses as opposed to extensive ones, which take place regularly on a weekly basis and help to achieve long-term language acquisition, deal with some urgent language training needs within a short period of time. The duration of such intensive courses is quite compact. For example, a course can last 2, 4, 8 weeks, depending on its aim and theme. Grammar revision courses are typically shorter than some lexical ones. Such aims as preparation for travelling can be covered in 1 month.
What are the benefits of summer intensive courses for students?
- Specific educational needs
Learners can improve particular skills, boost the vocabulary on some specific topics, get certain practical knowledge they need. Such intensive programs usually offer plenty of options that will satisfy any requests. Moreover, they might inspire students to try out new study opportunities.
- Independent learning
Summer courses often focus on stimulating curiosity and creativity. Educators place heavier emphasis on discovering students’ potential, as in summer they both don’t have to cram as much information as possible in order to pass the exams.
- Improving of grades
The extra study hours during summer holidays help to strengthen knowledge of the subject. It’s time to try innovative learning methods and approaches. Learners can concentrate on their weak points in the language, gain practical skills they didn’t have time for before.
- Boost of self-confidence
Success in completing a summer intensive course may become a good way to prove to yourself that you are able to reach any goals. Such a course helps to access true potential and get rid of self-doubts.
- Lots of fun and new friends
A summer course is often a very entertaining experience. The sessions are full of nice social icebreakers, tasks are about interacting, learning process goes smoothly and without stresses or academic deadlines.
As we see, summer intensive courses have a lot of advantages for learners. What about teachers?
What are the benefits of summer intensive courses for teachers?
- an audience of heightened interest
- an opportunity to experiment with one of the new teaching methods like Flipped Classroom, Design Thinking, Blended Learning, Gamification etc.
- a possibility to try something new in your teaching repertoire (outdoor classes, speaking clubs, project-based learning, etc)
- a chance to earn more money
What should a teacher consider if he/she wants to design an intensive summer course?
To create such a course, you need to:
- Consider timing and logistics (begin the process early, plan in details, order/buy/create all needed materials in advance)
- Recognize who your students are (take into account their prior knowledge, conduct needs analysis – here is a template to do it)
- Formulate learning objectives (clarify what you want the students to accomplish, articulate what they should be able to do by the end of the course)
- Identify potential assessments and instructional strategies (think about how you will present the content – lectures, flipped classroom; plan assignments and exams – tests, quizzes, open questions, etc.)
- Plan your course content and timetable (select the main topics to be covered, arrange them in a logical order, some more tips are here).
- Write a Syllabus (it should contain: course title, time; prerequisites; required materials; course topics; major assignments and exams; course policies; contact information for the instructor)
- Make up an expected semester schedule
- Make a marketing plan for your course (you may want to ask professionals to do that)
Teachers may want to use some online platform to tailor intensive courses for summertime. For example, udemy.com, wizzylab.com, teachery.co , etc. To launch your online course follow the steps recommended by the platform creators: decide on a delivery platform, outline your course, design your materials, publish the content, set up sales funnel, deliver the course and, finally, get feedback. More details are on the platforms, they will vary depending on the site you will choose.
Just because the school year is over, doesn’t mean students stop learning or teachers have to stop educating. Be sure, students are more focused, discussions are deeper, and relationships are closer in compressed courses. Use this summer as time to try something new and beneficial.