A new year brings with it new challenges, good intentions and usually quite a bit of work! Many companies set training goals for the year with their employees around now and this is a time when lots of people decide to stop making excuses, and to register for that business English course they’ve been planning to take for months, if not years. It’s important to show new groups that you’re a professional trainer who has the skills and expertise to deliver quality training. This involves identifying needs, discussing materials and course design, as well as identifying learning styles and, where applicable, negotiating assessment.
I’m planning on getting my year off to a conversational start. I’ve developed a board game which I’ll be playing with my new B1+ – C2 groups, and which will help me in a number of ways. I’ll be able to find out who they are, where they’ve come from, how they like to learn and I’ll acquire a basic impression of which language learning objectives they have. Secondly I’ll get a clearer picture of their current level of spoken English, and can identify areas of language work which I believe the learners may benefit from. With tailor-made training a first day activity such as this helps create a relaxed atmosphere. Along with a thorough needs analysis, this should help you get to know your learners and establish rapport, getting the course off to a great start.
If you’d like to try this game out you can find a copy here. Please leave a comment and share your experiences. In my next post I’ll be sharing some ideas for carrying out needs analysis in a more dynamic and creative way. I look forward to getting 2013 off to a productive start and wish you all the same!