Long-Stay Student Consultancy
Living abroad can be quite a challenge. That's why we have a Long-Stay Consultant at our Westcroft Square centre! She will advise you on how to develop your study skills, work closely with you to help maximise your language learning and be in regular contact to help you to stay focussed and motivated.
Hi there! Some of you may already know me as a teacher but let me introduce myself in my other capacity – the Long Stay Student Consultant.
One of the things that I really love about working at the London School of English is the number of ‘long stay’ students, that is to say students who study here at one or both of our schools for a period of sixteen weeks or more. Indeed, students’ stays can range from just two weeks to 10 months and more! Staying here for a long time allows us teachers not only to see how the students’ English progresses but also how they change as people through their experience of living abroad and meeting people from different cultures.
Clearly, staying in London for a long time has a number of benefits. First of all, students have time to see all of the sights and visit places both inside and outside of London. Once they have ticked off all the sights on their list, they can enjoy just soaking up the atmosphere and gaining a deeper understanding of British life, which tourists can often miss. In addition to these advantages, long stay students also have time to really benefit from their stay at the school. They will have more time to build deeper and long-lasting bonds with their peers, creating friendships for life and/or making new business contacts, and most importantly, in terms of their English, they will have more time to put into practice all the useful things learnt in class.
When you look at long stays like this, it seems that there are no downsides, and actually, there aren’t many! One of the main problems experienced by some students is connected to their English, not their private life. After a few months, students may sometimes begin to feel that they have reached a plateau and are not making any progress – this is a normal sensation, don’t worry! Students are always making progress; just sometimes it is more noticeable than other times. For more information on this, read Laura’s blog “Help! I’m stranded on the intermediate plateau” (dated 29/09/2011). Other problems faced by students are a lack of motivation and not having developed study skills that they can employ outside of the classroom to continue working on their English. This is where my role comes into the equation!
So what can you expect as long stay student?
Shortly after you arrive at our school you will receive a letter of introduction from me, with my business card (which has my contact details and a photo of me on it so you’ll be able to recognise me). In this letter you will be given an appointment date. If you cannot make this date, then it is now that you need to email to reschedule it for another time.
Our first appointment will last approximately 20-30 minutes. I will talk to you about your stay here and your aims and then we will discuss what you do outside school to practise your English further. In response to our discussion, I will provide some suggestions of ways to develop your study skills, which could range from how to record new vocabulary to ways of undertaking listening practice. You will also have an opportunity to ask me any questions related to your studies. Together we will come up with a sort of action plan of things that you can try out.
After a few months I will email you with a date for a shorter, follow-up appointment, this will last 10-15 minutes. During this meeting we will catch up on how your studies are going and if you tried some of my suggestions regarding study skills, whether they have helped. If you’ve tried them and they haven’t worked, we’ll look at alternative strategies. We’ll also reflect on which areas you’ve made more or less progress in and discuss how to balance your strengths and weaknesses.
I hope you will find these sessions useful – I am here to support you and you are welcome to ask me questions at any time outside the scheduled sessions too!
By Lavinia Beddard
to tick off sth. on your list (phr.) – to have a lot of things to do and to slowly work through them, ticking each one as you accomplish it
to soak up the atmosphere (col.) – to watch people and life happening around you
a bond (n.)– a close relationship between friends or colleagues
your peers (n.) – people around you in the same position, e.g. your classmates or colleagues
to put sth. into practice (phr.) – to try out something that you have learnt theoretically
a downside – (n.) a disadvantage of / negative side to something.
a plateau – (n.) a level which is flat
to come into the equation - (col.) to become involved in sth.
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