Newsletter February 2018

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!

Tourism in North Wales

Last year was an exciting year in North Wales as we were named 4th in Lonely Planet’s Best Regions to Visit in the world. Fourth in the world! Lonely Planet is one of the first places that people will look at for inspiration or information about traveling and produces guidebooks and reviews in book form and online. This recognition put the spotlight on the area and had an incredibly positive impact on us all. The accolade has brought more tourists here to see our wonderful mountains, castles and attractions and given a boost to businesses like hotels, restaurants and food producers. We feel very proud that Lonely Planet recognised the unique combination of natural beauty, rich history and fascinating places to visit that North Wales has to offer and as a result more people in the world know it! We hope you will take a look at this video commissioned by Go North Wales and consider bringing your school group to this beautiful part of the world:

CLIL training in Chester

In addition to hosting students on language, cultural and work experience programmes, Conlan caters to Adult Teachers who require training in delivering their subjects following CLIL methodology. January hosted 19 Teachers from central and northern Italy who teach a range of disciplines from Sports to Philosophy and Art History. As part of their packed programme they job shadowed at local schools in Chester, improved their understanding of CLIL techniques, learned about the educational system in the UK and received a seminar on the topic from an academic specialist – Sarah Lister - at Manchester Metropolitan University, one of our partners in this growing niche –our own in house trainers scored a resounding 92% satisfaction whilst the educational visits got 94% from the group. TEAM4CLIL return again this month for what we hope will be an even better experience.

Image: Birley Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

Developing learner autonomy

As teachers our ultimate goal is to develop skills in students which allow them to go out into the world and be able to do things for themselves. It is often something which is overlooked in English classrooms around the world, but developing learner autonomy is becoming something which we should all strive for. Teaching students the correct set of study skills to allow them to develop their own linguistic skills outside of the classroom is something which is very important in today’s ESL classroom. If a student is having problems understanding a word in a text, giving them a definition (or worse a translation) does not help that student develop, rather it gives the word no context, no meaning, allows the learner to move on effortlessly, and that word will not be absorbed. Whereas, if the teacher makes the student work for it, such as encouraging learners to use an English only dictionary properly, they can look up the word, put it into context and understand it, then the next time they encounter an unknown word they can overcome the problem without the help of the teacher. The more we encourage autonomy, the more powerful the learner feels and the more they take ownership over their own learning experience.

Phrase of the Month – Gobsmacked /???bsmakt/

Adjective - Utterly astonished; astounded.
‘The locals were gobsmacked when us lot trooped in’
1980s: from gob + smack, with reference to being shocked by a blow to the mouth, or to clapping a hand to one's mouth in astonishment.
Gobsmacked combines the northern English and Scottish slang term gob, mouth, with the verb smack. It suggests the speaker is utterly astonished or astounded. It’s much stronger than just being surprised; it’s used for something that leaves you speechless, or otherwise stops you dead in your tracks. It suggests that something is as surprising as being suddenly hit in the face.