Tag: communicative approach

What to Expect from a Cactus Online Language Course

online language course training

What to Expect from a Cactus Online Language Course

Learning a language is an exciting and challenging experience. If your memories of learning a language at school are of the teacher speaking and the students not understanding, get ready for a different type of experience!

Cactus ensures that all language courses are fun, engaging and most importantly, interactive. Our online language courses are no exception and are delivered using the same proven method as our face-to-face courses. Here is what you can expect from a Cactus Online Language Course.

 

Our Teachers and the Full Immersion Experience

We believe the best way to learn a language is to listen to and to speak the language that you are learning. That’s why we employ the full immersion experience. This means that through all levels you will be taught by a qualified and experienced teacher who will primary speak the language being taught throughout the lesson. All Cactus teachers are native or bilingual speakers, and you can get to know your teacher on a more personal level by looking at our Cactus teacher profiles.

You will speak the language with your teacher and other students from the very first lesson. This gives you the maximum exposure to the language, and puts you in real life scenarios which give your the chance to express yourself in the language. You will also have the opportunity to practise your language skills in smaller groups through breakout rooms which are used during the lessons for pair work and group work.

Teachers will use gestures, visuals, and examples to convey meaning through video and screen sharing.  This form of clarity helps you follow the lesson content and gives you a visual reference point, as you would have in a face-to-face class. Everyone in the class is at the same language level, meaning everyone supports each other. If you have a question that you would like to ask the teacher privately you can do so on the individual chat function.

virtual interaction during online language course

 

 

Interactive Learning and Student Centred-Learning

At Cactus, we believe in lessons that are centred around the student. All of our language courses use the communicative approach. This ensures that you can fully participate in the lesson and are given an opportunity to discover the meaning and use of grammar and vocabulary through fun tasks and activities. We use a range of engaging activities in each lesson to keep the language learning exciting and to cater for different learner styles. From quizzes, games, presentations, to class debates, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the class.

online language course practical tasks

In-lesson language activities and tasks

The fun and engaging activities that you will encounter in an online Cactus lesson not only improve your language knowledge but also build the relationship between you and your teacher.

An entertaining, hands-on way of practising vocabulary that some Cactus teachers like to use for lower levels is ‘describe and draw’. This is where you chooses a friend, pet or room in your house, and describe it. Your classmates have to draw it according to what you tell them. The drawings are then compared through screen sharing and whoever has the closest image wins!

The teacher ensures everyone takes turns in leading the task, to allow the whole class the opportunity to speak as much as possible. Students have fun lightly competing against each other and are enthusiastic throughout the activity.

online language course learning activity

A task for higher levels includes students taking it in turns to do an interview on a topic such as their favourite artist, film or subject. The other students are the interviewers and everyone prepares their questions/topic for homework. Everyone enjoys these activities because they allow you to personalise the language you are learning, improving the vocabulary and grammar structures that are relevant for you.

They also prepare you for real life experiences for when you have conversations about your passions and interests in the language you are learning. Whether that is when you are speaking to locals when travelling, communicating with colleagues or clients at work, volunteering abroad or simply chatting with friends in another language. Interactive tasks are designed to prepare you for using the language in the real world, not simply in the virtual classroom setting.

 

Student Support Throughout Your Course

With Cactus Language Courses, support doesn’t end after you finish your language lesson. MyCactus is our online platform giving you a central point where you can message your teacher or the Cactus Team directly through the personalised message centre and message inbox. If you have any questions or concerns, teachers and the Cactus Team are always happy to help.

Language lessons offer a lot of information to take in therefore you can also access information about your course, schedule, lesson content and homework on MyCactus. This ensures you are always kept up-to-date with your course details.

 

Independent Learning and Homework

At Cactus, we encourage you to practise the language in your own time and homework is checked in class. Whether it’s watching a Netflix show in the language you are learning, or reading an interesting news article. Everyone is encouraged to use the language outside of the class time as much as possible and to discover more ways of improving language skills.

All students on Cactus Language courses are required to purchase a course book. The course books not only assists with learning during lessons, but also provides some online support through exercises, listening audios and more. This is a great way for you to continue learning outside of lessons and prepare before your classes.

access to mycactus with your online language course

 

Cactus offers online language courses for over 20 languages, so you can learn from the comfort of your home or desk. You can choose a course that meets your schedule and preferred learning pace.

ONLINE LANGUAGE COURSES

Further Information Online Language Courses

For more information on any of our courses, or just general advice on learning a language online, please call us on 01273 830 960 or contact us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 15 UK locations
Online language courses: over 20 languages
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world

What Language Teaching Methodology do Cactus Teachers use?

language teachers

 

Cactus teachers use full immersion and the communicative approach in their lessons. In order to explain exactly what this means we have broken this down into a question and answer section that will help you understand exactly what to expect on one of our language courses.

What is full immersion?

Full immersion refers to using only the language being taught, with no translations into the common language ie English. This encourages everyone in the class to communicate using the language they are learning, to really live the language and create an environment where students feel comfortable speaking and listening in the foreign language, and most importantly feel comfortable making mistakes and thereby improving.

What is the communicative approach?

The communicative approach focuses on the student doing the work rather than the teacher. This means that the students should be doing a lot more talking than the teacher and the students are given an opportunity to discover the mean and use of language through tasks and activities, rather than explanations from the teacher. This is achieved through lots of pair-work and group-work activities which allow students to learn from each other and have maximum input.

How do teachers use the Full Immersion approach?

The language course teachers can make themselves understood using a variety of techniques, even from beginner level. Typically teachers will use gestures, visuals, objects, and examples to convey meaning, and this always involves a context for the language.

What is the students role?

There are a number of tips that students should follow in order to get the most out of their language course. Students need to work hard in class and it is important that students participate fully. It’s also important to understand and recognise that speaking up and making mistakes is a completely normal part of the language learning process and that language correction by the teacher of their own and others mistakes is an integral part of improving.

What are the advantages of full immersion and the communicative approach?

1. You learn faster. As you become used to this way of teaching you will absorb vocabulary items more naturally and quickly.

2. You learn to speak more naturally, without analysing every word and sound. This method trains you to think in the language you are learning, and not to translate word for word.

3. You’ll have more confidence to use what you have learned outside of the classroom. Because you are living the language in the classroom, you will be better prepared to use it in real scenarios.

4. You will understand the language when you hear it outside of the classroom. Because you are used to hearing the language spoken, you will be able to understand it in real-life situations.

5. You will develop good pronunciation as you will get maximum exposure to the language. This will help you to develop correct speech patterns and native-like pronunciation.

6. Learning in this way is fun. You will be using the new language straight away, which is a lot more motivating and engaging than only studying grammar rules.

Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:

Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 15 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French

Cactus offers language courses to all levels. To book any of our courses please call us on 01273 830 960 or email us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

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