There are a number of distinctives we have at OLS, such as our small class size and emphasis on conversation. Additionally, there are a number of curricular activities that are special in that they come once a week or once a quarter.
First of all, at OLS we encourage our students to engage with media that’s in English. To this end, every week one student will present on a video, podcast, article, or something similar to the rest of their class. Not only does this help our students practice listening or reading as they engage with the material, they also practice listening as the other student presents. Moreover, the student who’s presenting gets to practice speaking in the context of a presentation.
Next, and this is a crucial part of our curriculum, students get to participate in Culture Week the last week of the semester. We take them on a field trip every day of the week that encourages them to use English in common situations outside of the classroom. Our field trips for our last Culture Week included the Outlets of Orange, a local movie theater, and the Lazy Dog restaurant. This gave our students the opportunity to practice English as they shopped, as they watched a movie in English without subtitles, and as they ordered food at a restaurant, all with the guidance and encouragement of their teacher.
Finally, during Culture Week we bring in a guest speaker to talk to our students. We bring in someone who doesn’t work as a teacher, such as a lawyer, doctor or business person. This gives our students the opportunity to interact with the guest speaker about their profession and to learn about it. Additionally, they get the opportunity to hear someone speak English who they don’t usually interact with, and in so doing, they get a wider exposure to the language.
It is our goal through each of these distinctives to prepare our students the best that we can for everyday life in America by encouraging them to use English in a variety of situations.
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