English language tuition at Moorland Hall

General information
  • Tuition takes place in a dedicated classroom for 12 hours per week either in the morning or afternoon. More hours can be provided subject to discussions with the Director;
  • The age of students range from 9–17 although school groups tend to be one age class;
  • Classes take place from Monday to Friday with Wednesday set aside for cultural visits and/or outdoor activities;
  • Classes have a maximum of 14 students per class but this may vary depending on the size of the group. Each school group is split into smaller classes for English tuition;
  • All tuition materials are included in the price;
  • The length of the course can be from one to two weeks or as agreed with the Director;
  • Summer camp groups are based on ability (each young person takes an assessment test on arrival) and are multi-national.
  • Learners’ progress is monitored throughout the course and a final report is produced for every learner if requested;
  • Visiting school groups prepare and deliver a presentation based on a specific project at the end of the course.  This is usually filmed and the film is provided as part of the school report.
The focus

The focus of language teaching at Moorland Hall is as a result of many years’ reflection, research and feedback from learners and staff who have been to Moorland Hall. The language programme and resources are constantly under review to ensure that the course is relevant and at the right level for all individuals because, at Moorland Hall, every learner matters. Our aim is for learners to leave with greater confidence in speaking and communicating in English as well as having a greater ability to use the language correctly. Our English teachers are carefully chosen to ensure that all learners have a positive and rewarding English learning experience.

The syllabus is topic based and the topics have been chosen as a result of feedback from a large number of learners as well as through considerable research into the latest thinking on teaching ESL. The focus is on the skills of speaking, listening and pronunciation although reading and writing is also incorporated into the course. We use a variety of resources to achieve our aim including, music, film, stories, games and plays. One important aim is to provide a comfortable, supportive and encouraging environment in the classroom so that every learner gains confidence in their language ability.

Some examples of the focus of the course are given below:

  • Listening, Speaking & Pronunciation – Recorded songs, stories, film and news clips and poems are used to develop listening and comprehension skills. Pronunciation support is woven into the topic and encouragement is given to learners to listen to each other as well as debate issues. Recall time each morning encourages every learner to recount activities, their thoughts and what was interesting about the activity or visit.
  • Reading & Writing – We aim to provide stimulating and entertaining texts to read and debate as well as scenarios with which the learners develop their own creative writing, reporting and artistic skills. This could be in the form of developing a film plot or mystery story. Most days the learners write in their own journal. This encourages al learners to recall their activities of the previous days and describe their feelings and experiences.
  • Grammar – Lessons usually have a particular grammar focus which is encompassed· in the class activities. The grammar focus is developed through noting the common and frequent errors made by groups or through prior discussion with the leaders of the group or the English teacher of the visiting school.
  • Research and presentation skills – An important part of the English course for school groups is in developing research and presentational skills as well as the skills of working in a team. This has been developed effectively over many years’ experience and through project work which is undertaken in groups. The focus of the projects is deliberately ‘British’ and often relate to Dartmoor and the Southwest e.g. ‘Myths and Legends of Dartmoor’. All groups are provided with packs and sources of information which can be used in presentations to the staff and other learners. The presentation can take any form from theatre, to ‘television’ news reports, cartoons to posters but all have to be in the learners own words every learner has a role. Learners always seem to find this part of the programme great fun and some of the presentations have been of high quality and always entertaining.
Not only do the learners undertake a relevant presentation on British/Devonshire/Cornish culture, they have one day in the week on which they are taken on an organised trip. All trips are carefully planned to ensure that it is as much a learning experience as an enjoyable day out.

An example of this is the trip to Boscastle, the scene of the 2004 floods, but also an important town historically. Learners are given questionnaires and tasks they need to complete during the day. After every excursion the following day’s English Class starts with a recall of the day as well as debrief for the English teaching staff from the outdoor team to ensure a joined-up approach.