Tell us a bit about you and your institution.
ILS International Language School is a private language school in Milan, Italy. We focus on corporate language training for a variety of languages. The majority of our courses are English language courses for Italian adult students. We hold lessons both at our school and in company. We have a network of partner schools around Italy.
My name is Peter Luntz. I am responsible for the English department and look after placement tests, teacher training and course management.
How do you use the Macmillan English Campus?
We use Campus in conjunction with face-to-face courses in blended learning programmes. We have both individual and group courses. Some courses follow a more structured programme using Macmillan coursebooks to allow for maximum face-to-face and online integration. Others are assigned an online programme that is appropriate for their level, but not strictly related to their in class materials. We generally give students 3, 6 or 9 months access. It is useful to have their Campus access finish a month or two after their face-to-face lessons: this gives students a chance to review and continue contact with the language.
How has Macmillan English Campus helped your institution, your teachers and your students?
It has been a good way to modernize our courses and add an online component. It satisfies requirements by some companies for blended courses that must have an online component. It offers an up-to-date learning experience for students. It is easy to use for teachers and requires little effort on their part as teachers are often very busy. Students can have nearly endless possibilities for extra language practice outside the classroom.
What’s your favourite thing about Macmillan English Campus?
That we can set up students and teachers with all the information from the beginning. We assign their course programme, provide access information and they are self-sufficient from then on. The online programmes and student progress must be monitored and followed up on to assure quality, but in general students can follow the programmes by themselves. Our school and the teachers can go in and monitor student progress at any time.
What has been the feedback on the new student design of the English Campus?
Students have actually been pretty consistent in giving us positive feedback on the new layout. They say they find it easier to navigate.
You’ve been using Macmillan English Campus for telephone English courses. Tell us a bit more about your experience of using the English Campus for these lessons.
Our Telelanguage + Campus courses can be structured in different ways. In general, students have a 25 minute telephone lesson with their teacher either once or twice a week (or even every day). They have access to Campus for the duration of their course.
For longer more structured courses we tend to supply a coursebook like Global and assign the matching course from Campus. This type of learning programme follows much the same logic as face to face lessons.
For shorter courses we often base the telephone lessons on reading and discussion of Campus news articles. The student reads the articles before the lesson, discusses it with the teacher and then does online exercises after the lesson. During the lesson, the teacher takes notes in the Campus messaging system on the students’ specific errors and new vocabulary. Then the teacher sends a Campus message after each lesson. Alternatively, the teacher takes notes on a Word document and uploads it to ‘My Files’.
What’s important is to find the right e-learning mix and programme for each student.