In times of crisis it is those people who step up with practical support that you remember the most. The celebrated ELT publisher, Oxford University Press, really showed their true colours when they offered the opportunity for our teachers at International House Manchester to use all their intercative course book teacher guides. The school already used “English File” 4th edition, so it was a no-brainer when this kind offer cam through. What’s more, OUP are also gifting each of our enrolled online English course students a free copy of the “English File” 4th edition e-course book!
When the current Coronavirus crisis hit the UK, the IH Manchester academic team moved quickly. They were already starting to get ready for online teaching back in February. In fact, all the IHM teachers have embraced the opportunity to teach online and are relishing the new opportunities that using the virtual classroom brings. They have discovered that there are so many advantages in teaching English online and this has only fuelled their motivation further. Director of Studies, Marie, has been running regular teacher training sessions for the IHM teaching team and has been heartened by the enthusiasm by which the academic staff have approached this period of change.
“Our teachers have worked so hard to adapt to online teaching over the last two months and this has paid off as we have seen so many new bookings arriving in the classroom.” Enthused Marie.
Another advantage of online classes, that has come to light of late, is an improved nationality mix in the classes since IH Manchester moved to online learning. Without the uncertainty and bureacracy inherent in student visa applications, many more students from different countries around the world are suddenly able to enrol without fear of refusal. When you also factor in the lack of travel and accommodation expenses involved in online English learning, IH Manchester courses suddenly become much more accessible to many more students.
“It was a real team effort” says IHM Director, Peter Hayes.
“By communicating effectively with our trusted agent partners we were quickly made aware of the key factors when launching online courses. Our students are now in different time zones scattered all around the world. Also, not all our students had the time to dedicate to intensive courses.” Hayes continued.
This is why IH Manchester has completely rearranged its teaching timetable so that General English classes now begin at 3pm and run until 6.30pm British Summer Time. It soon became apparent that this was the optimum time slot appealing to most markets around the world. Similarly, the school took a much more flexible approach to the number of sessions that students could opt to take each week. It’s now possible to study from as little as one hour on two evenings per week all the way up to a very intensive 25 hours per week.
“Our valued agent partners have worked closely with us and guided us through these difficult changes. The resulting offers have been popular with students and agent alike. It is true team work at its best!” exclaimed Hayes.