After school Language in the Curriculum (LinC) course
The Basingstoke Language in the curriculum (BLinC) after school course offers additional provision to advanced EAL learners from local secondary schools.
The aims of the course are:
- To support students to develop their writing skills, specifically to move them from conversational, informal English to more academic English, linked to GCSE English.
- To reduce the number of students having to re-take GCSE English, or sit IELTS to obtain a C/equivalent at college, or delay study of their chosen course due to poor English skills.
- For students to understand some of the language demands of different college courses and increase awareness of subject choices at college at an early stage.
- To familiarise students with what is on offer at the two main Basingstoke colleges.
- The course aims to create a fun and relaxed environment in which students do not feel inhibited to take part and where learning is enjoyable and stimulating. Joint agreement of ground rules in Session 1 focus on the need to respect other members of the group and to allow quieter students to feel confident to speak.
- Although the main focus is on writing, the language needed for writing is practised and consolidated through a variety of interactive speaking and listening activities. The aim is to provide as much oral rehearsal as possible prior to writing.
- Students’ first languages are seen as a valuable resource.
- LinC is curriculum-related and aims to practise and develop the English needed in the classroom. We do not use decontextualised exercises – for example grammar or vocabulary exercises - in isolation.
- LinC runs in partnership with local colleges.
- ICT, particularly internet access is essential, as students often use online translation sites/dictionary sites and use a variety of media to produce pieces of writing creatively.
Course content and curriculum
Teaching is usually arranged into 6 week blocks focusing on schemes of work which are written around a central theme linked to students’ experiences or interests. Activities aim to develop students’ use of English in the skills and knowledge required for Grade C and above in GCSE English. Cross curricular links (for example the relevance of particular language structures and vocabulary) are made clear and discussed by students.
Often, visiting speakers are incorporated into activities to enable students to ask questions and learn from a range of individuals.
Schemes of work generally culminate in an activity where students showcase the work they have been doing. Sometimes, other teachers and/or parents are invited to these sessions to celebrate students’ achievements.