The focus of the language programs is to give the students the necessary skills needed to communicate in real life situations. Exercises are designed improve fluency and accuracy, and are combined with communicative activities. Very close attention is paid to the progression of each student from initial presentation of the new language to achieving communicative use of that language.
The Framework of the methodology used is provided by the Scale of Levels. The Scale of Levels is based on over 15 years of research and development, and have been further developed to produce the Common European Framework, and the related official European Language Passport.
Students need two components to achieve success in language learning:
1. Language Resources: Knowledge of the grammatical structures, the vocabulary, the turns of phrase and pronunciation necessary in order to be able to communicate.
2. Communicative Interaction: Experiential learning to get used to formulating what he/she wants to say, reacting spontaneously, finding ways around difficulties of expression.
Student progress is monitored through regular homework, a feedback session every Friday (used to discuss the previous week and the plans for the following week), and a weekly quiz on the language learned that week. At regular intervals, administrators talk to groups of students about their experience and progression in learning German. There are also regular and end of course tests given to each student to evaluate the language level reached. There are two tests:
1. Language Resources
2. Communicative Abilities
The Language Resources test is taken from a bank of questions testing knowledge of the grammatical structures, the vocabulary, and the turns of phrase necessary in order to be able to communicate at the student's level. This test may be taken on paper, or on computer in the multimedia learning center.
The Communicative Abilities test may not appear to be a test. Every week, the student has a longer communicative activity, which the teacher uses to spot strengths and weaknesses. In addition, the teacher uses a detailed set of criteria to evaluate the language level demonstrated by those students who are leaving that week. Teachers already have a good impression of what the student can do, but they follow a standardized assessment procedure, in order to ensure that their impression is fair. It is all part of the guarantee of quality teaching, based on proven methods and objective evaluation standards.