Teacher Induction

There are seven parts to this induction; 1) Timetabling and Teaching, 2) Academic Programme, 3) Classroom management, 4) Day 1 Procedures, 5) Resources, Support and Development, 6) Excursion and Activity Programme, 7) Excursion and Activities: Our Expectations. You can move through these parts with the arrows at the bottom of the text. When you reach the end of the induction there will be a short test.

The aims of this induction process are:

  1. To familiarise you with the academic and excursion programmes, their purpose, and what is generally included in the programmes
  2. To alert you to the main responsibilities of your job and our expectations of you
  3. To demonstrate the types of support you will receive to do your job successfully
  4. To help you to help our students have a memorable time

Part 1: Timetabling and Teaching

How does the Academic Programme work?

We run a zig-zag programme in all of our centres. This means that students are divided into morning and afternoon groups labelled RED and BLUE. While one group does English lessons, the other does activities (or a half-day excursion). In the afternoon, the groups swap over. This means that full time teachers will teach both in the morning and the afternoon.

How many lessons will I teach?

Full time teachers will teach 3 lessons in the morning, and 3 lessons in the afternoon.

Will I have any breaks?

Yes. There is a 20 minute between lesson 2 & 3 in the morning and in the afternoon, and there is an hour and a half lunch break. Is this true everywhere?

Will I teach the same group of students every lesson?

No, lesson 1 & 3 in the morning will be with the same group, but lesson 2 will be with a different group. This is your swap class. Both groups will usually have a similar English level.

The lessons in the afternoon will follow the same pattern but with 2 different groups of students due to the zigzag programme. Again, we will attempt to give you the same, or very similar, level to teach in the afternoon. This way, you can repeat your morning lessons in the afternoon.

In some centres, once every two weeks, you will teach the same 2 groups for one whole day. This is drama day, so in the afternoon students will prepare and perform short plays.

Part 2: The Academic Programme

What will I teach?

All lessons should be communicative, enabling students to develop speaking and fluency, while interacting with students from other countries. Students should therefore be given plenty of opportunities to work in pairs and groups of mixed nationalities, where possible. Lessons should also introduce students to functional English which they can use during their time in the UK, and help students learn about the UK and British culture.

  • Lesson 1: In the first lesson, it is a good idea to introduce some new language and develop some language skills work.
  • Lesson 2: In the second (swap) lesson you will usually be able repeat the first lesson with your swap class; just make sure you have liaised with your swap teacher regarding lesson content.
  • Lesson 3: In the last lesson, you can review, consolidate, and develop language and work begun in the first lesson. This lesson can also be dedicated to Elac-specific lessons and project work.

The Elac Syllabus has been designed to help you deliver the most effective and engaging lessons to your students. Click here to open/download the document. Pdf link to the Elac Syllabus

What are ‘Elac-specific’ lessons?

Elac has developed a wide range of pre-prepared lessons at different English levels for you to use. Some lessons (*) are a fixed part of the programme and you have to teach following our lesson plans(*), and other plans are there for you to use if you choose:

  • Centre-linked lesson*: These lessons help students familiarise themselves with where they are in the UK, and learn about the local sights. They should be taught on the first teaching day of the course.
  • Curriculum pathways lesson*: These lessons should be taught to develop students’ language and skills even further, for example to develop debating and critical thinking skills. Students’ English is therefore used in a more academic and professional context.
  • Day 1 lessons: These lessons are suggestions for the first day, and include getting-to-know-you and ice-breaking activities which help you and the students get to know one another, and to ensure students are properly inducted on the course.
  • Evening activity-linked lessons: These optional lessons can prepare students for the evening activities and introduce them to some relevant key language.
  • Excursion lessons*: These lessons prepare students for their excursions, and should therefore be done before the relevant trip. These lessons are important as they are also often linked to the walking tours, and questions which Elac staff ask students during these tours.
  • Workbook-based lessons: These are suggestions for how to utilise the Elac workbook. The workbook must be used, but you don’t have to follow our plans if you have your own appropriate ideas.

Click here to see a selection of the pre-prepared Elac academic material made available to all our staff.

Why should I use ‘Elac-specific’ lessons?

These lessons have been developed for a number of reasons:

  • to link the academic programme with the activity and excursion programme.
  • to ensure students at all centres are getting the same information.
  • to encourage students to communicate, to learn about the UK, and to develop their skills in a fun and challenging way.
  • to ensure that there is minimum planning for you; more than half of your timetable can be Elac-specific lessons which you don’t have to prepare from scratch. Using these lessons will save you time and energy to devote to the rest of your programme.

Do students have to do any tests? 

All students will sit a placement test at the start of the courses which will allow us to place them in appropriate classes based on their English proficiency levels.

There is no test at the end of the course, however we strongly recommend reviewing and recycling language throughout the course, as well as doing an end of-course class quiz on the final day which reviews everything that has been studied. Ongoing informal testing and revision motivates students, highlights what they have learnt, and helps you understand what language needs to be revisited. It will also help you when you complete the end-of-course certificate for each individual student in your main classes.

Some students are also entered for the Trinity Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) during their time with Elac. Preparation for these exams is done outside of class time; students will attend 3 one-hour lessons, usually after dinner. All teachers can volunteer for these classes, but the teachers chosen are usually those most experienced, and those who have previously prepared students for Trinity GESE examinations.

Part 3: Classroom management

How do I establish classroom rules?

Make a Day-1 contract with your class to cover at least:

  • Use of L1
  • Attendance and Punctuality
  • Use of mobile phones
  • Bullying
  • Respect

Students will also have to sign a ‘Code of Conduct’ during their induction; this outlines all rules at Elac, and consequences if these rules are broken. All students are therefore aware of expectations, and what kind of behaviour is not tolerated. Click here to see the Student Code of Conduct which students sign on their Induction day.

How can I ensure students only speak English in class?

  • Clear policy: Make your policy clear from the very first lesson: In this classroom we speak only English, and put up the English-only sign on the classroom door.
  • Seating arrangement: Make sure nationalities, and those with the same first language are separated as much as possible.
  • Break from speaking: Be aware that speaking and thinking in English the whole time may be new for students, and therefore quite tiring and intense. Give students a break after a speaking activity, by asking them to read or write, so they can have a rest before speaking again.
  • Language support: Make sure you give students enough language and scaffolding, so they do not need to refer to their L1 in order to communicate.

What do I do if there are any problems with my class?

  • Report problem immediately: Teachers should report problems immediately to their line manager- the Senior Teacher or/and Academic Manager. If students misbehave, there are steps which will be followed, and the Centre Manager and Group Leader may be involved in the discussion. You should not feel that bad behaviour in your class is your fault; it usually isn’t!
  • Report all concerns: Teachers should also speak to their line manager if certain students are tired in class, if they appear unwell or unhappy. The Elac team can then investigate the issue further to ensure the wellbeing of the students.

Part 4: Day 1: Induction day procedures

What do students do on the first day?

Students sit a placement test, attend a welcome talk, go on a walking tour of the campus, and participate in an induction lesson. This all lasts for half a day, so for the other half of the day, students visit the local town.

What do I do on the first day?

  • Test students: You will be assigned a group of students who have usually travelled together to the UK. This means that they will have mixed levels of English, and may all speak the same first language. You will need to explain the written test to the group, and conduct a speaking test. Students sit a 100 question multiple choice test which takes an hour, so during this time, as well as invigilating students, you will also conduct a speaking test with pairs of students sharing your attention equally between both.

The speaking test consists of a set of questions which gradually becomes more difficult, so when communication breaks down e.g. at Level B2, you record the student’s level as B1. Most students will fall into the range of A2-C1.

  • Mark test papers: There are transparent overlays to check the written paper answers, and the score is recorded on this paper, along with the speaking grade.
  • Teach the induction lesson: During this lesson, the ‘Code of Conduct’ is presented to and discussed with students. The rules, and consequences for breaking the rules, can be elicited, and once you are sure everything has been understood, students must sign the ‘Code of Conduct’ and give it to you. In some centres, you will then take students on a walking tour of the college, and in other centres (where the Activity Staff do the walking tour) you will do some ice-breaking activities with the class, and find out a little about the students.

Why is Day 1 so important?

Not only is this first day important because the tests will indicate in which classes students will be placed, but it is also the first impression our students have of Elac, and of you as an Elac staff member, so make sure you are punctual and are dressed appropriately for teaching. It is vital that new students are made to feel welcome, and that all students get the same information about Elac and their course.

What happens to students who arrive outside the main changeover days?

These students will also sit a placement test, attend a welcome talk, go on a walking tour of the campus, and participate in an induction lesson. However, they will then be allocated to classes which will already be up and running. You therefore might need to be prepared for newcomers in your class.

What do I need to do to make newcomers welcome?

  • Consider seating arrangements: Ensure you place them in a small group or with a partner, so they are not left at the edge of the class because it the only available seat, and make sure that other students involve them in the tasks.
  • Do some revision: You might want to recap what the class has already done, and it is a good idea to ask the other students to summarise this to the newcomers.
  • Encourage some introductions: Briefly ask the new students to introduce themselves to the class; this way, you and the rest of the class can learn a little about them. You could even get some students to introduce themselves or a classmate, but make sure this doesn’t take up too much time.
  • Speak to the student: Find time at the end of the lesson to have a word with the new students, and check they feel comfortable in the class. Also make sure they know where to go after the lesson.

Part 5: Day 1: Resources, Support, and Development

Why is ongoing support and teacher development important?

Most teachers only work for Elac for short periods, usually in the summer. However, despite the brevity of the contract, Elac believes it is important to offer good on-going support to teachers in their day-to-day teaching, and opportunities for more general teacher development. There are key reasons for this:

  • Supporting you properly allows you to do a better job, and for the experience to be more enjoyable, and that’s good for the organisation.
  • Providing teacher development opportunities demonstrates Elac’s commitment to high-quality academic programmes.
  • Teachers come back to us year and year in part because of the support and training which we offer, and that improves the quality of what we provide.

What resources are available?

  • Course books & Supplementary books
  • Drama, Project, and Pronunciation idea bookles
  • Elac lesson materials
  • Photocopiers
  • Computers, Audio tracks, CD players
  • The world outside the classroom

What support is available?

  • Academic Manager and Senior Teacher. Your Academic Manager and Senior teacher are available for academic support before and after class, be it lesson planning, ideas for communicative activities, guidance on classroom management, and how to teach multilingual classes. They will also offer short weekly workshops to share practical ideas and lessons plans.
  • Other Management Staff. Don’t forget that most key management staff, such as the Centre Manager and Assistant Centre Manager are also EFL teachers who have previously taught at summer school, so they can help with both academic and non-academic issues. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for some advice; everyone is more than happy to help!
  • We recommend working closely with your swap teacher as you will be teaching the same students. However, the whole teaching team is a supportive environment, and we encourage all teachers to share ideas with one another. This way both the less and more experienced teachers get the most out of the experience.
  • Elac Academic Support Manager. The Elac Academic Support Manager will support your Academic Manager, but will also support you with help and They will conduct lesson observations (see below) and give you constructive feedback. They will also deliver evening teacher development seminars.

What training is offered?

  • Teacher & whole staff induction. You will be inducted with all other Elac staff, so you will have the opportunity to meet your colleagues, learn about the centre, and ask questions about the summer. This will be followed by the teacher induction, during which you will learn more about the academic programme, your role and responsibilities, and guidance with regards to teaching teenagers, managing multilingual classes, and creating communicative lessons.
  • Ideas for lessons. The Senior Teacher and Academic Manger will be on hand to share ideas for interesting and challenging lessons. There is an optional workshop after the teacher induction session, during which you will get ideas for the first day of teaching, and leave with the whole day planned. Often, returning staff also participate in this session and share what has previously worked well for first day lessons. Depending on the centre, a similar workshop is held before ‘Drama day’ so that everyone feels prepared for this different teaching day.
  • Daily tips. Each day, during the morning meeting, the Senior Teacher or Academic Manager will share a teaching tip of the day. This will relate to what is being taught that day, or summer school teaching strategies. These tips will also link to some teaching tips which you will be given to put on your desk in the classroom, so that there is always a reminder of good teaching practice.
  • Weekly workshops. The Senior Teacher or Academic Manager will run weekly 20-minute-long workshops. These will give you practical ideas for lessons, as well as some lesson plans. Not all workshops are obligatory so you can choose which ones best suits your teaching needs.
  • Teacher development evening workshop. This workshop is run by the Elac Academic Support Manager, and which focusses on both theory and practical teaching ideas which you will be able to apply to both summer school and year-round teaching. It will also give you plenty of opportunities to discuss and share ideas with other Elac teachers, and English teachers who have accompanied their students on Elac courses.

Part 6: Excursion and Activity Programme

Only residential teachers are involved with excursions and activities as part of their contract. However, we sometimes ask non-residential if they are available to help out. Often non-residential teachers ask to go on excursions and do some activities. These sessions offer a great opportunity to see students outside the classroom, to interact with them in a different context environment, and allow you all to get to know one another better.

Why do students go on excursion?

The purpose of the excursion element of the courses we offer throughout the summer is to introduce students to British culture, history and society and to enable them to practice their English in a truly authentic environment. And, of course, to have fun!

Where do our students go?

The destinations we offer for excursions varies from centre to centre. Some centres closer to London, might offer more trips to the Capital, whereas centres further from London will provide something for students who want a different cultural experience. You can find information about the excursion destinations for each centre on www.elac.co.uk by clicking on the centre you are interested in and going to the tab called “Activities & Excursions”.

What do the students do on the excursions?

Our excursions nearly always include a short walking tour of all the important sites on the visit. Many excursions also include entrances into attractions, such as the Brighton Pavilion, the Jorvik Centre and Cardiff Castle. Towards the end of the excursion our students usually get supervised free time where they can do some sightseeing, shopping or just relaxing in small groups. Instead of free time, some groups might choose to do a visit to a museum or another place of interest. Excursions are organised by train or on a private coach. On optional excursions the itinerary is organised between the Group Leader (the adult accompanying a group of students from abroad) and the Assistant Centre Manager, before it is passed on to you.

How often do students go on excursions?

Most students go on three full-day excursions each 2 weeks. In some courses there are also half-day excursions, which can be in either the morning or afternoon. There is usually a “free day” with no programmed lessons or excursions. On this day students can choose to go on an “optional excursion”, where they can choose where they want to go from a range of options. If they don’t want to go on another excursion, Students can choose to stay at the course centre to do activities and/or relax (or to spent time with their hosts if they are on a homestay programme).

What are you expected to do an excursion?

On excursions, your responsibilities include organising and supervising a group of students (usually with another Teacher or/and Activity Leader) to ensure their safety and wellbeing. You will also be expected to guide the students on walking tours and engage with them; asking questions, conversing and helping them to learn about British culture.

This begins with their behaviour on the coach/train and towards the driver if travelling by coach.  Although the Group Leader knows the students well, and can be relied on to give instructions in their own language from time to time, you cannot rely on them entirely, as there may be different cultural expectations that they are unaware of regarding safety, noise, conduct etc. – use this as a teaching opportunity. Don’t shout, but be prepared to point out (firmly if necessary) to students the expectations that we need them to conform to. It is particularly important when travelling by coach that we retain the goodwill of our coach providers. On trains, ensure your students are safely seated and not blocking doors.

Always be aware of how many students are in your group and continually look out for stragglers if you are taking them on a walking tour. Ensure they know how to cross roads safely. Do frequent headcounts. If there are two Elac staff members, then don’t walk together: one near the front, one near the back. When students have supervised free time in a particular location make sure they understand the instructions about where they can go and when and where to meet back etc., and allow the Group Leader time to translate if appropriate.

The students should only be allowed to go off in small groups with the permission of you and the Group Leader. They must always be in groups of at least 3 rather than alone. Groups should also not be too big either as this can cause problems. They should be told to meet back at a clearly defined spot well in advance of when you need to move on. You must have a mobile telephone number for at least one of the group, and they must have your number if possible and Elac’s emergency telephone number. You should also exchange mobile numbers with the Group Leader. Elac’s emergency telephone number is printed on the students’ Elac Emergency Contact Card, which they should carry at all times.

What should you do in an emergency?

If you are unsure then ‘phone for advice.

  1. A Missing Student: this is the most frequent cause for concern. This is usually because they are late back to the meeting point, and this is usually because they have lost track of the time. If they are very late, and the coach/train is leaving, one member of staff will need to remain behind (with money to travel back). Keep in contact with Elac until the student is found and then travel back independently.
  2. An Accident: deal with the accident as appropriate, either yourself if it is minor, or by recourse to the emergency services. Contact Elac as soon as possible to inform us of the situation.
  3. An Incident (e.g., shoplifting): Contact Elac for instructions.

Whatever the emergency, assistance is at hand. Be ready to give your on-the-spot assessment of the situation and proposed course of action. You are in the best possible position to know this and your Centre Manager will take on board your advice and support you. It is essential that these matters are reported, however, because ultimately the Centre Manager has to take responsibility.

What do I do on excursions?

On excursions, your responsibilities include organising and supervising a group of students (usually with another Teacher or/and Activity Leader) to ensure their safety and wellbeing. You will also be expected to guide the students on walking tours and engage with them; asking questions, conversing and helping them to learn about British culture.

To help you lead successful, cultural and safe excursions;

  1. Your Induction day will include information about the excursion programme. You will be guided through a mock excursion, told about our procedures and given some example scenarios. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions.
  2. Pre-excursion meetings. A day or two before an excursion, you will have a meeting with the Activity Manager and/or the Assistant Centre Manager, who will provide you with all the information you need for your excursion. You will also have the opportunity to meet with the Group Leader of the group you will be accompanying. You will be provided with an Excursion Kit, which will be put together by the Assistant Centre Manager before each excursion. The kit will have the following items; a risk assessment for the excursion destination, a risk assessment for unsupervised students off campus, excursion tips & a “what to do if” procedure sheet, a register of students in the group & a list of students with any medical/dietary needs, a mini first aid kit, voucher(s) for entry to the excursion venue (if necessary), and any emergency contact numbers you might need.
  3. Our Group Leaders will be asked to complete an Excursion Feedback form at the end of each excursion about their experiences. This will provide us with valuable information to help us, and you, deliver successful excursions over the summer.
  4. A sample of our walking tours for the excursions we offer are available here for you to look at before you start work in the summer. There are also quizzes and information about the excursion destinations for you to share with your students, which will enable them to practice their English as well as learn about UK culture.

What about the activity sessions?

One of your main responsibilities with regards to the activities is to facilitate enjoyable and safe activity sessions for groups of students on our courses. You, along with the Activity Leaders provide structure to the activity sessions, ensuring that the they run smoothly and are a valuable use of the student’s time. You should encourage all students to mix with students from different countries, to make new friends, and to use their English as much as possible.

Part 7: Excursions and Activities: Our Expectations

Any programme of activities and excursions, no matter how good it looks on paper, can fall flat if those people involved in supervising and facilitating it approach it in the wrong way. We want the activity and excursion programmes to be full of life, energy and fun – and, just as importantly, so do the students and leaders. It is not something that you can do half-heartedly in order to earn a little extra money.

We expect that you will be enthusiastic, friendly, responsible and will show some initiative and demonstrate a bit of common sense.

We expect that you dress appropriately for the task. If you are helping with a sports activity; trainers, Elac t-shirt, shorts/tracksuit etc. If you are going on an excursion; comfortable shoes, appropriate clothing for the weather etc. Flip flops are rarely suitable and ripped jeans or t-shirts with inappropriate slogans or images are never acceptable attire.

We also expect that you will be punctual for meetings and for the start of excursions and activity sessions.

This is the end of the Teacher Induction. You will now be asked a series of questions about the information you have just read. You can see how many correct answers you have answered at the end of the tests, but you must get at least 90% (18/20) before you download the certificate and send it to us. If you don’t get 90%, don’t worry, read back through the information and take the test again! Once you complete the test successfully, please send the certificate, together with the Safeguarding Certificate and All-Staff Induction Certificate to hr@elac.co.uk so it can be added to the other documents you have sent us.