Teaching and learning English is not just about vocabulary and grammar. For Danny Hurst, who teaches English as part of our Internship Programme, learning a foreign language is also a question of confidence. Danny has been a teacher for twelve years, an actor for over 20 and you might also catch him in the middle of a stand-up comedy act if you walk into the right London venue at the right time. This talent for entertainment often comes in handy in bringing a smile to his students’ lips or encouraging them to take part in tasks or group activities. We spoke to the EFL teacher about the purpose and effects of the classes, his top London tip and how he best tackles his students’ concerns.
How do you think students benefit from taking English classes ahead of their work experience?
I think it’s excellent preparation as the students learn relevant vocabulary related to their work, as well as having the benefit of speaking English regularly rather than being thrown into a work situation unprepared.
What is the overall aim of the class?
The aim is to build the students' confidence and to teach them related expressions and vocabulary relevant to their future professions that they wouldn't necessarily come across in their everyday English studies in their own country.
How do you go about boosting their confidence?
I use humour and repetition to help them relax and constantly check their comprehension, particularly with new and unfamiliar topics. I’m patient and I constantly encourage them not to be afraid of making mistakes.
The students also tend to enjoy when we relate the work to their own experiences.
What is usually the most significant difference between their first and last lesson?
I find the students' confidence has grown considerably by the end of their course and that I have developed a good rapport with them.
What is your top tip for students to see and do around London?
I usually suggest Camden Town as it's the ideal place for teenagers or 20-somethings, as well as the museums and galleries as they are free.
The English lessons are part of our Internship Programme if your stay exceeds three weeks. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424.