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An introduction to the high standard of care and service all our students receive
Our Philosophy, Methodology & Curricula
Our teachers are central to your experience at Hampstead School of English. They have a passion for teaching, and regard your success as their success.
Our teachers have professional teaching qualifications and are selected for their enthusiasm as well as their ability. Friendly and accessible, they appreciate the needs of students and take an active role in planning courses. The teachers make full use of a variety of learning materials, often using current events and life in London as a resource to bring the outside world into the classroom.
Our teachers work closely with the Academic Directors through discussion, communication and cooperation. Sharing ideas and materials on a day-to-day basis, our teachers aim to bring you the best and most inspiring teaching.
Find out more about our teachers!
We believe in providing a quality service and good value in all aspects of the organisation in order to support the academic aims of the school. We understand that students learn more effectively when they feel comfortable, cared for and challenged and work together to create a place of study that is friendly and open, with a sense of community.
The teaching in the school is founded on and supported by the following beliefs and understandings:
- Language learning takes place most effectively when English is used as the medium of instruction and relevant situations relating to real world experiences are introduced. By teaching grammar, lexis and theme within this context, students are more easily able to acquire and develop linguistic competence.
- Students progress at varying paces and respond individually to different tasks and methods. Our teachers are encouraged to use a variety of methods and techniques in order to cater for student needs.
- Students respond well to both a clear structure and flexible approach. In view of this we work with flexible curricula and syllabi, reinforced by weekly modules, end of week assessments, weekly plans and daily menus.
- Students value the importance of learning in a native-speaker context and benefit from the inclusion of culturally-specific learning materials, particularly those relating to London and the UK. We operate within a multicultural environment in which a culture of tolerance, understanding and encouragement is promoted.
The school is a serious educational organisation, with an emphasis on academic study. Teachers bring creativity and dynamism to the class; qualities considered important in supporting the school’s methodology. The syllabi accommodate teachers' own personal styles and approaches, while providing sructured progression.
The aim of the school’s methodology, and every other aspect of the academic programme, is to identify and address each individual student’s needs and to increase learning through motivation and the study of language in a realistic context.
Our methodology is based on and supported by:
- Needs analyses - Initial assessment is followed by on-going needs analyses in class, through interview, long term student programme and student feedback
- Coherence - syllabus of weekly modules designed to integrate so that there is no overlap and students can change levels without repeating grammar, lexis or subject matter
- Learner Awareness – weekly plans and daily menus for students
- Relevant & Functional Language – learning is approached in terms of what the learner can achieve and is always appropriate to her/his needs
- Communicative Emphasis – students are guided towards effective productive skills and trained in using English in real-life situations
- Assessment – through CEFR informed weekly tests and tutorials, end of level tests, aural/oral placement tests.
The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) influences our curricula in that it guides us to teach the English language in terms of what the learner can do rather than which grammatical and lexical points have been presented in any given lesson. Learners are encouraged to communicate using functional language and to be positive about their language development.
On most of our courses we offer tuition on a Continuous Enrolment basis where it is possible to start on any Monday with discrete weekly modules that are both independent and form part of a cohesive 12 week syllabus.
The curriculum for General English determines what students are taught at each level of the Common European Framework. Knowledge, understanding and ability in all receptive and productive skills, including exam strategy where relevant, are summarised at each level of the curriculum; teaching ensures that these areas are fully integrated.
Lessons are dynamic and interactive. Students are grouped according to their speaking, listening and grammar level, based on initial and on-going tests. Each course includes a continuous monitoring system and weekly assessments.
Teachers aim to give every student the opportunity to succeed and to achieve as high a standard as possible, to motivate and encourage by providing an effective learning environment where each student feels valued and a sense of progress is evident.
Copies of all Curricula are available to students at the school on request.
Our syllabi provide a twelve-week framework for each level or specialisation of the curricula. Each week is treated as a complete and discrete module and incorporates the knowledge, skills and understanding illustrated in the curricula. The syllabi accommodate both the teachers’ personal approaches and most importantly each student’s individual needs within the classroom environment.
The school offers courses on a continuous enrolment basis which means that students can start on any Monday for a course of one week or longer. Each weekly module is autonomous so that students effectively have a series of one week ‘blocks’.
The syllabi allow maximum flexibility in responding to student and class needs and also facilitate class changes to ensure that each student is always studying in the most appropriate level / class.
In order to ensure the ongoing relevance and high quality of the curricula and syllabi, both are subject to ongoing reviews in accordance with teacher and student feedback. Changes are also initiated as a result of the demands of external forces such as examination boards and resources available.
We aim to cater fully for our students’ academic needs and as such consider both the curricula and syllabi evolving documents.