After Class for Students by Spring School of English was born due to our belief that many traditional ELT classrooms fail to provide students with the opportunities they need to fully develop their communication skills. Why? Because too much time is spent talking about the language and not enough time is spent talking in the language.
After Class is led by Matt Prior and Vika Stankovic.
Matt is from England. He’s been an English teacher and teacher trainer for over 12 years, living and working in the Czech Republic, Spain, Switzerland and Greece. He holds a BA Honours in Psycholinguistics and a Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (DELTA) and is also a Cambridge English and IELTS Speaking Examiner.
Vika is from Serbia. She has been teaching English as a foreign language for 17 years in Serbia and Greece but also in multicultural contexts in Switzerland and online. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature and is a Cambridge English Speaking Examiner. She is also the founder of Spring School of English.
With After Class it is our objective to help students activate the knowledge they have and become the confident, proficient speakers they want to be.
Our sessions, each comprising no more than four students, engage participants in conversation on a variety of stimulating topics for the duration of an hour in an online environment. Apart from the feedback we offer at the end of a session, a record of the language that emerged is sent over for students to revise at their own pace.
We have so far held a little over a hundred successful sessions with both adults and young teens.
Our first trial sessions, which are completely free of charge, have, without fail, convinced students they are in the right place.
We are constantly searching for fresh new topics, relevant to our groups, whilst keeping up to date with technology and world news, never failing to incorporate a cultural component into our sessions.
We are well aware of the fact that students, especially adults, lack the necessary confidence when it comes to making mistakes in a foreign language, something that we find essential in the learning process. Much attention is therefore paid to boosting students’ confidence while at the same time creating a positive, safe environment for language acquisition to take place.
Here is what some of our students have said about After Class:
“I think that my English has improved since I joined after class, because I’ve learnt new words and phrases and I have also the opportunity to use the English language and realize my weaknesses and check them again. After class also helps me with pronunciation of words, (I used to feel very insecure about this.)“
“I feel that I have to think less before I speak it which is great ! And I am very happy for that.”
“After Class is enjoyable and makes me more confident!”
“After Class is so enjoyable and dynamic! Really I always have a very good time and that is why I would like to thank you very much!! ( it is not flattering, it is true!)”
“I love the record of language you send us because I tend to forget things very easily! and I have always the words/expressions there to be able to review them. And also because you have there the expressions from the other students that you would miss them or forget them if it wasn’t for this doc!”
“I think the methodology is very good, the number of students is perfect and you two are great , funny and really nice.”
After Class for Teachers are sessions where fellow language teachers share ideas, vent frustrations or simply practise their own communication skills. In these hour-long sessions we throw ourselves into informal chats on a range of ELT topics.
Teachers and language school owners from around Europe have joined us for various reasons.
As far as language owners are concerned, some have just opened their schools and want to set the right tone and high standards for their teaching staff. Others feel they are stuck in a rut and wish to regain their creative flow.
Some want to ensure their teaching staff’s professional development and help them to keep up with the latest tech teaching tools.
Most want to show both parents and students an image of a school that cares about education.
More and more want to take their schools from local to the international level. Some simply want to address specific problems their teachers have expressed in class and asked for help.
As for teachers, some have just begun their teaching career and feel they need some guidance and an extra confidence boost, others are in teaching for a long time and are feeling stuck in a rut.
Some want to ensure their own professional development and keep up with the latest tech teaching tools.
Most teachers simply want to bounce ideas off each other concerning specific problems they have encountered in class and need help.