If you know other people in your local area who are learning English why not set up a study group? We know that distance learning can sometimes be a bit lonely and we are, of course, always here to help you. But, often, time differences make it difficult for us to be available when you need us. And, the nature of home study means that you have no-one physically there to chat though problems with. A study group could potentially address these issues and has some other positive benefits too!
How to set up a study group
It’s easy! All you need is an area where you can sit together. If you can find a space that allows you all to sit at a desk, even better, but it’s not necessary. It would also help if you had access to a power point to plug in a CD player or access to a computer in the room, but again these are not necessary. You can have perfectly successful study group sitting on the floor working by candlelight if you have to! Put up flyers in your local area inviting others to join you. Your flyer should contain the information others need to find you, such as time, place and your contact details – this is also great writing practice for you. And, don’t forget, you can also leave messages on our facebook page and in the forum here. If you don’t have access to the forum simply email email@example.com with your student number and they’ll set it up for you.
What could you do?
Study groups are a great way to practise and improve all your English skills, meet new people and learn from one another. You can:
• practise speaking using role play – this allows you to choose roles for yourself and is great for introducing new vocabulary into your speech. You can practise for specific events, such as interviews, or just practise language that’ll help you in your day to day business
• set each other work to complete for additional practise – as well as completing the work in your course, why not set yourselves extra work. For example, write a letter to an important member of your local community inviting them to participate in your group, making it formal and using the correct layout. Then the next week you could write a letter to a loved one in an informal style. When complete, you mark the work collectively, discussing any points you disagree on in the group
• have films nights – you could set film quizzes to test listening comprehension. One group member watches the film and compiles a set of questions that can be answered by watching the film. And a fun way to practise speaking is to take scenes from your favourite films and re-enact them
• learn songs together – set up your own Karaoke nights. Simply find the lyrics to your favourite songs from websites such as http://www.songlyrics.com/ and learn them, making sure that you look up any words you do not understand
• read together – share your favourite books by reading passages from them aloud to the whole group. Or decide on a book to read and take turns reading passages from it together
These are only ideas, see what else you can come up with and please do let me know what you get up to.