In this article I’m going to focus on a few points that will help you understand the importance of live classes and how much they really help you to improve. If you’ve not done so yet, I recommend you look through the student guide to better understand how these classes work and what they are like.
The first factor you should understand is that in order to learn how to speak a language, you need to practise it. It seems redundant to say so, but you learn to speak by speaking. It’s normal that you don’t feel comfortable, or you feel embarrassed at first, but it’s the most effective way to improve, and you’ll see results fast. All of the students who take these classes are in the same boat. This helps generate a feeling of empathy; something that is very helpful in any learning environment. Absolutely everyone wants to learn, and everyone will make mistakes when speaking. Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process, and there is nothing better than learning how to correct them in a context where you won’t only be learning from your teacher, but also from the experiences of your classmates.
In order to better monitor your progress, it is important that you understand the difference between group review classes and conversation classes. Group review classes form part of your progress through the course and are linked to the four previous units that you have just completed. In these classes, you can confirm what you have learnt and reinforce it with the help of your teachers and other classmates who are at the same level as you. You can always check any queries with your teacher and ask for advice. What’s more, by doing so, you’ll be sure to help your classmates answer certain questions they have that could otherwise go unanswered. You will all help each other out. By practising everything you have learnt, you’ll be able to check if you’re progressing enough. We recommend that you take two units per week and therefore take part in a unit review class every two weeks. These sessions, just like the rest of our course, follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the natural method, based on learning through practise and very much focused on speaking, only checking the theory behind it when necessary. Don’t forget that to take part in these classes you need to check the available time slots and sign up to book your spot.
As for conversation classes, these can be found in the menu for extra activities. They are very practical in nature and are designed for you to be able to put your speaking level to the test in sessions held in various formats (debates, grammar, culture, pronunciation, Q&A, etc.) and on very varied topics with a focus on current affairs, so that you can broaden your vocabulary by covering topics that are relevant for everyday life. They are primarily recommended from Intermediate level and above, since you will already have a certain amount of fluency when speaking, although students from all levels can join in to listen. You do not need to book to join these classes; meaning that you can take part in all those that are available each day, it’s unlimited!
Some frequently asked questions:
- Why are live classes so important?
Without a doubt, the best way to confirm what you’ve learnt is to practise it. In order to ensure that the learning process has been truly effective, there is a unit review class every time you complete four units. Like this, you’ll be able to check that you have properly understood and taken in all the content and clear up any remaining questions with your teacher and other students who are at the same level as you. What’s more, we offer unlimited conversation classes for you to join in with so that you can continue to improve your English in a fun way while practising using current topics. These classes are always guided by a teacher.
- Are the classes recorded?
No. Group classes are live sessions with an ABA English teacher. You’ll be able to ask any questions you may have and get to know other students from all over the world, all from the comfort of your own home and at the time that’s best for you.
- What should I do if I am embarrassed to take part?
It is of utmost importance for you to understand that you cannot learn to speak a language without practising it and making mistakes. ABA English has designed a group class format with excellent teachers who are understanding, very patient and who will help you at all times. What’s more, you’ll soon realise that since all of the students are in the same position, there is no pressure when it comes to making mistakes. The sooner you get used to taking part and getting involved during the classes, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits of doing so. Classes like these are designed to help you check you are progressing well and for you to be able to considerably improve your English level. You decide when to take part, we will always encourage you to actively participate.
- Do I need to turn on my camera?
Only if you want to. It is up to each student to decide the most comfortable way for them to take part. Don’t forget that even if you decide to turn it on, we never record the sessions, in accordance with the image rights of participants.
- Do I need to prepare anything before the class?
For unit review classes, it would be best if you have completed the four previous units. Remember that these classes are there for you to confirm and reinforce what you have learnt. Therefore, in this sense, the contents should at least be fresh in your mind and you should have any questions ready for them to be answered during the session. Besides this, we recommend that you find a comfortable and quiet place. Although you can of course follow the class from your mobile or tablet, we suggest you do so from a web platform in order to have a better visual experience. Apart from that, having a good attitude and the desire to learn is more than enough!
- Will I be able to keep up with the pace of the classes if I have no prior knowledge of English?
Of course. Here at ABA English, we are aware that many of our student have not yet taken their first steps with English. Don’t forget that all of our teachers know when something has not been understood and they know how to solve this in a simple way. What’s more, for the first three classes in the Beginners level, you’ll have teachers that can provide support in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese if the students need it. From then on, only English will be used. Although you may not feel comfortable with this at the beginning, you should understand that the only way to learn and take in a new language is to use it and participate in real conversations. You’ll notice your progress in no time!
- How many participants are usually in each session?
The number of participants varies a lot depending on the day and the time; therefore, it is difficult to provide an estimate. In any case, we manage the classes so that they always flow well and include time for questions and to clear up any uncertainties.
- Can I speak with the teacher during the class?
Of course you can! In fact, this is what you should be doing in order to get the most out of every class. Just remember to use the chat function to write any questions down. The teacher will address all the questions and comments in order. You can also indicate that you want to participate. In this case, wait for the teacher to unblock your microphone and camera; activate your microphone and camera via the relevant icons in the upper right menu on the screen; and when you have finished, remember to mute your microphone. Apart from that, be friendly and have fun.
- How long do they last for?
Group review classes usually last for 60 minutes and need to be booked from the available time slots after completing the previous four units. As for the conversation classes, which last for approximately 40 minutes, you can take part in them every day and in all levels. They are also very dynamic and cover a wide variety of topics and are held in various formats.