It’s Friday evening about 18:00 and I meet a very nervous student in the reception of the hotel. He is wondering how he can possibly speak English for 2.5 days one to one with an experienced teacher at his side for 13 hours a day! He has had a busy week at work and after a short drive has arrived at the hotel, checked in and come downstairs apprehensively to see who I am. We greet each other and immediately the intensive English programme starts.
We begin by walking together around the hotel and its beautiful grounds. It has a large reception with comfortable sofas and a large sunny terrace with large soft sofas to relax in the sun on. Off to the side is the breakfast room. Outside there is a beautiful lake, with a little bridge crossing over the lake, with a small family of ducks waddling by.
At night falls the lamps begin to light up making it look very romantic and inviting. We wander through the sports area past the padle courts and we see 3 large swimming pools, one for swimming lengths in, one for relaxing in and a kiddies’ pool. There are changing rooms nearby and some small wooden parasols and chairs to relax in. Nearby there is a separate building where we have lunch and dinner every day.
We return inside and choose one of the sofas to start our course. We discuss the Pinfield rules and regulations, we learn a new method of learning new vocabulary and we go through the Student’s pre-filled in form to review the students grammar quickly and to clarify their English and programme needs. Then without wasting a second it’s time for the first grammar and vocabulary class. Grammar on a Friday evening?! Luckily time flies because we are having fun using the Pinfield material. It’s full of grammar tips, social and business vocabulary and pictures and easy to remember tips to make it interesting. We then watch a news video learning some new vocabulary and phrases.
Before we know it, it is time for dinner. Dinner is in the restaurant. There are plenty of choices including salads, soups, fish, pork, duck, and beef with the menu in English (and French and Catalan). We practise social conversations during dinner discussing anything including cultural differences, education, recycling, Brexit, hobbies, politics, technology, mortgages, the elderly etc. Then it is time for bed.
We meet each day at 9am sharp. We have breakfast from the buffet of cold meats, bread, cereal, fruit, cakes, cooked breakfast of eggs, sausages, bacon all washed down with fresh coffee, tea or chocolate, whilst practising our social conversations and reviewing our new vocabulary. We quickly brush our teeth then we get down to grammar and vocabulary including practising our listening skills. We then have a change of teacher and go for a walk in the nearby park in the shade. Now the student talks business. We talk about problems at work, changes or challenges in the workplace, bosses, teams, machines, finance, Human Resources, IT and any business related topic. We return to the hotel and run through a phrasal verb or two.
It’s already time for lunch. Another amusing, social conversation. A quick break and then we start a chosen Business workshop. This is based on Business Socialising or a specific topic the student requires. Eg. Telephones, Meetings, Conference calls, Presentations, Sales, Negotiating, or Human Resources. Pinfield offers a list of 18 different workshops. We work on the workshop for two hours practising pronunciation, learning vocabulary and phrases which we then put into practise by acting out real-life scenarios based on the Student’s own job. This is our most popular workshop as it teaches the student to learn how to meet a stranger, a supplier or client and gives them topics and ideas and the practise of how to make a conversation in all of these situations. We then change teachers again and stretch our legs outside walking round the grounds of the hotel. We return refreshed and then do a vocabulary quiz. Next we learn how to describe in detail what we do in our own job using some key verbs and vocabulary. We then watch a business video and discuss it making a note of new vocabulary and phrases. A quick 5 minute break and it’s time for dinner. The student goes to bed exhausted but surprisingly happy. They are improving fast and already have made excellent progress and can’t believe they have been speaking in English all day. And maybe even dream in English!
Sunday morning after breakfast and checking out, it’s time to put into practise some of the things we have leant. The student is prepared and quickly taught some useful new phrases and is left to prepare a mini presentation. They then present a brief slideshow to the teachers explaining all about their company, and what they do making the most of their new vocabulary, phrases and verbs. The teachers then give some feedback. The student then can keep this as a useful presentation they can use when meeting new clients or suppliers. We then go for a final business walk discussing our experiences of good and bad presentations. We have our final lunch together with the conversation flowing more easily and the student able to offer their opinion of many topics in a confident manner.
It’s then time to do some useful, strange but common Business phrases and to read a newspaper article together. We finish up by doing some common grammar and vocabulary exercises. To wrap up the student is given some useful tips to continue their learning at work. The weekend course has flown by. The student leaves as happy as Larry, fully confident they can now speak more fluently, able to make conversations using a range of social and business. Time really does fly when you are having fun!
If you want to come and experience a Pinfield intensive programme please visit our website for more details or contact us. We are taking bookings for September and would love to help you to improve your English, Spanish or French. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Do you know the vocabulary and phrases in italics?