It’s an old story. You hear often that students joined a particular institute/training center for short-term classes but ended up disappointed after they commenced the course and did not want to continue it. Choosing the right place for short-term courses like the IELTS is almost as important as choosing as choosing the right university or college abroad. Here are some of the things you should look for when choosing an institute.
Pedagogy (Teaching Methodology)
IELTS is a test of skills. You are not tested on the whole of the English Language but on specific skills you need to do well while studying abroad. Has your course been divided into skills and are the most important skills being addressed in the classroom are some of the most crucial questions you haver to ask yourself before joining.
In addition, many teachers will use lecture-type teaching methods in which the teacher is speaking most of the time and the students are reactive learners. This is not useful for obvious reasons. Classes should be student-centered with the student the most important person in the room and not the teacher. The level of student participation should be very high.
Lesson Plans and Technology in the Classroom
The lesson plans of an institute are very important. Many institutes will not even have one for their IELTS classes. There is a great deal of ad-hoc activity in the classroom in places such as these. It is important for a teacher to have a pre-prepared lesson plan gthat addresses all the needs of the student.
Many classrooms in India are stuck in the age of the whiteboard and marker. This is not good because it is very time-consuming and pedagogically inefficient. Look for institutes that use display-based tech in their classes. Projectors and Interactive boards are the norm abroad because they are efficient.
Are the resources used by an institute adequate to prepare you for the IELTS? Do they have a library or self-access center where you can study after class? Do you have a structured assignment plan? These questions are all very important. Any good institute will have lots of IELTS books and tests and also additional study resources like dictionaries, thesauruses and books on grammar, writing and reading.
Support outside the classroom
What is the level of support outside the classroom? Are the teachers and support staff accessible and supportive? These too are important questions to ask yourself. Most institutes will offer ‘free counselling’ after you finish the IELTS course at their premises. However, this free counselling is only for students who have achieved the IELTS benchmarks and can now begin the process of applying for admissions and visas overseas. This is because of the commissions paid to agents by universities and colleges abroad. Any student who scores, let’s say, a 5.0 overall in the IEKTS will not get free counselling because their chances of getting admission and visas are poor.
So be careful in choosing an institute for your IEKTS preparation. However, if you want all the above factors in your favour and many more such factors, look no further than Unifees!