Our General English Courses are designed to offer students the opportunity to take top quality English classes and have the flexibility to experience all that makes Dublin so special.
Standard Course: Standard courses consist of 20 lessons tuition per week (with a coffee break of 20 minutes each day). Classes are available from 09.00 – 13.00, Monday to Friday inclusive. Intensive Course: The intensive course consists of 25 lessons tuition per week – 20 morning lessons as above, Monday to Friday inclusive + 5 lessons per week, 14.00 – 16.05 Wednesday and Thursday. Super Intensive Course: The Super-Intensive course consists of 30 lessons tuition per week – 20 morning less as above, Monday to Friday inclusive + 10 lessons per week, 14.00 – 16.05, Monday to Thursday.
Standard Course – Ref. GE01
Course Organisation There is a detailed syllabus for each level and a course book and supplementary material are used in conjunction with the syllabus. The syllabus covers the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing as well as pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar activities. Classes are generally task-based and always interactive with students and teachers continually working together to improve language output. Class work includes individual, pair and group work, teacher-led discussions, debates, presentations, written tasks and listening exercises. At the beginning of each week the language objectives for that week are posted in the classrooms so that students can see what language areas and activities will be covered.
Students take a progress test at the end of each week on aspects of the work covered during that week. The first class each Monday morning is a revision session which focuses on language covered during the previous week and in particular on areas of the previous progress test which may need some extra clarification or practice. The new material for the week is introduced in the second period of the first morning when a new module of the course book is started. In addition to the course book teachers supplement up to 50% of the course with materials relevant to students’ needs.
Each week a project topic is introduced to the class and in the second class on each Friday students present their project work to the class. The 12-week project syllabus includes mini-presentations, discussions, reviews, readers, news stories, problem solving, investigations, newsletters, excursion planning and debates. The topics for the projects include contemporary issues and news items, films, books, work and travel-related issues – all topics which will help students assimilate new language and use their English confidently in a practical context. At the end of the week students are given a signed copy of the week’s language objectives provided they have met the attendance and progress criteria. In this way students can build up a portfolio of the work they have completed while in Alpha.
Intensive Course – Ref. GE02
Mornings + 2 afternoons. For students who are at Pre Intermediate level or have completed A2 level and above Course Organisation The morning classes are those of the Standard Course GE01, as described above. The afternoon classes are Fluency Development classes and the class time is divided between speaking and listening tasks with an emphasis on vocabulary and pronunciation development. Fluency Development classes are provided on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons There is a 12-week syllabus for the afternoon programme and much of the supplementary material is drawn from current media sources.
The topics in these classes are contemporary and as relevant as possible to the student group. Language and fluency are developed through debates, discussions and presentations and students will cover language skills such as justifying opinions, agreeing and disagreeing, supporting arguments, appropriate responses, describing and talking about photographs, talking about notable people, problem solving, discussing new ideas and innovations.
Issues of grammar and language analysis are addressed as they occur during fluency development tasks. Students can expect to get feedback on their oral language skills and guidelines for improving them.
Super Intensive Course – Ref. GE04
Mornings + 4 afternoons. For students who are at Pre Intermediate level or have completed A2 level and above This course is a combination of GE01 + GE02 + GBE02 Course Organisation The morning classes are those of the Standard Course, GE01, as described above. 2 of the afternoons are the fluency development classes as described above in GE02, at an appropriate level of language competence. 2 of the afternoons include the General Business English course,GBE02, as described below.
Afternoon General Business English lessons are provided on Monday and Tuesday afternoons The purpose of The General Business English module (Ref. GBE02) is to help students to understand and practise the fundamentals of effective business communication through English. It is aimed at students who have a professional need for Business English, i.e. people in or training for jobs in the business world. It is not intended to be a specialist module covering one particular area in great depth. It is designed to cover, in a practical way, the English needed in everyday business or work situations.
The topics covered are from a range which can include management, enterprise, job interviews, leadership, environmental issues, standards and ethics, advertising, telephone and email English, presentations, branding, marketing and sales, customer relations management. Students work individually, in pairs and in groups to discuss, debate and present their views. The focus is on vocabulary building, effective reading skills and building confidence in speaking fluently in English in a business/work related environment.
There is an 8-week syllabus with a wide range of supplementary materials which include video/dvd clips, audio tapes, written material from up-to-date sources. Students making presentations of a business nature have the option to have some of their presentation work filmed for future reference if they wish.
Classes are offered at the following levels:
Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced.
(Council of Europe Levels A1 – C1)
Students at Elementary to Advanced levels may commence a General English Course on any Monday throughout the year
(except when a public holiday occurs on a Monday. In such cases we provide an excursion on the Monday and classes commence on the following day).