The composition of short-term courses at Windermere International Summer School in the Lake District is that provision is varied and capitalises on the fact that students have a shorter timescale in which to build up their linguistic skills, explains Angela Fergie.
There are three course options available to overseas students, all of which take place during the summer. Programmes consist of a topic-based English for Academic Learning (EAL) syllabus comprising 17.5 hours of teaching and a daily educational workshop. She adds, “The courses are evolving annually – including the calibre of EAL teaching staff, the content of the EAL lessons and the addition of examinations such as Trinity.”
At Brooke House College, a co-educational, international boarding college based in Market Harborough, students can register for short-term courses throughout the academic year, asserts Robert Price, and these vary in length from one month to one year. “Courses are fully bespoke and adjusted to the particular needs and requirements of the student,” he says.
The short-term academic programmes offered at CATS Colleges, part of the Cambridge Education Group, are ideal for students in search of a little extra preparation prior to starting A-levels, the International Baccalaureate or a foundation course at the beginning of the UK academic year (September). CATS Canterbury and CATS Cambridge both offer April start dates for their Academic English and Pre: Programme, while Canterbury also accepts Pre: Programme enrolments in July.
Academic English (available weekly to four terms) provides an introduction to the vocabulary required for pre-university study, details Rob Hayes, while the GCSE level Pre: Programme involves students studying between seven and 10 subjects over the course of one, two or three terms and includes coaching on future study pathways.
This summer, CATS College is also offering three unique programme options (Oxbridge Preparation; Careers in Law, Business and Finance Taster; and UK Education Taster) for those aged 15 and above. “These three-week courses are a perfect way for students to get a taste of what the UK has to offer for longer-term study,” notes Hayes.
There are a variety of reasons why overseas students may choose short-term academic options. “Some may not want to commit to a full academic programme. A summer course will give them an idea of whether it is a route they want to take,” says Hayes. Meanwhile, Fergie notes that students are primarily looking to fine tune speaking skills prior to mainstream immersion.
“About 75 per cent of our students already have a place at British boarding schools,” notes Peter Etherton at Etherton Education. “Our job is to give them the best possible preparation so that they start their next school feeling confident and well-informed about what they must do to get good results,” he adds. The remaining 25 per cent are made up of students looking for short-term taster programmes giving them a flavour of life at a UK boarding school, says Etherton.
Four- and eight-week academic prep options in collaboration with two of Etherton’s partner schools are available: a pre-GCSE course for 13-to-16 year olds at Wellington School in Somerset and pre-A-level/pre-IB courses for 16-to-18 year olds at Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire.
A well-rounded activity programme complements the school’s short-term provision, says Fergie, with students enjoying activities that are varied and focus on fun and core skills such as leadership, teamwork and communication. Faie Gilbert at The American School of England (Tasis) in Thorpe notes that sports and excursions are an integral part of their three- and six-week English language course (comprising 25 hours of tuition per week) and their three-week summer enrichment course (20.5 hours of tuition and coursework).
Boasting a large campus in a safe village environment, the school’s close proximity to London means exciting excursions to the capital are a frequent fixture, adds Gilbert. Marketing its programmes through student fairs, education agents and recruitment trips, Gilbert notes that Russian, Turkish, Italian and Saudi students are typically drawn to their summer programming.
“We welcome students from around 25 countries every year,” says Etherton. “We expand our marketing each year to target a wider range of diversity. More and more agents now see the real advantages of sending students on a four-week academic course instead of a short holiday English course.”
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