Campus at International House World Conference in Prague, Czech Republic


Director/DOS IH Pisa, Chris Powell, writes:


‘You’ve got to be on your toes when you’re facing 130 IH school directors! There’s a miscellaneous mixture of expertise and innovation that’s difficult to beat. So it was with a certain awe and trepidation that I set out to expound on how positive Campus has been for IH Pisa in a session entitled “Getting the best out of Campus”.

My main points (see PowerPoint presentation) were that to get the best out of Campus you simply need a combination of imaginative marketing and integration.

Imaginative marketing in terms of the “blends” you’re suggesting. Schools should be offered a variety of teacher contact/online combinations and the HR manager should be made fully aware of how the system works.

Integration in terms of making sure that Campus is fully slotted into your course programme. It’s not enough to say “Right, here’s your online component. Enjoy!” In we have a cyclical model whereby the weekly Campus online work is verified and revised using “Campus support activities” in the teacher contact lesson. These vary from traditional fill-the-gap exercises to more dynamic vocabulary or functions based activities. The students’ Campus assignments are also an integral part of end-of-course assessment and are referred to in the end-of-course exam.

An IH Pisa model that attracted particular attention was our one-to-one Campus-SKYPE course. Our star pupil here is Luca who works at the Italian Embassy in . Twice a week Pisa and Tashkent meet up through SKYPE and Luca has an hour-long teacher contact session with Campus used as a springboard for communicative work at a distance. He then has Campus assignments to do by himself, obviously with follow-up from lesson to lesson.

There are 40-odd IH schools already using Campus and plenty of fresh interest was shown by other schools who’ll be coming on board soon.

What other blends are there out in ? Let us know! Do you have any other ideas on how to combine Campus with the latest online technology?’

Here is Chris’s PowerPoint
IH Pisa Prague IHWO IH Campus.ppt (99.5 KB)


  • Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us. We are receiving more and more requests from MEC users asking how they can use MEC with remote teacher support, so this SKYPE model is a very useful one. I enjoyed your Powerpoint presentation – and I’ll be sure to drop in next time I’m in Tuscany!

    Best wishes,

    Posted by Emma Shercliff on May 16th 2007
  • Hi Chris,

    Very interesting! Your lessons using SKYPE remind me of discussions with teachers at The Club, Cultura Inglesa Sao Paulo’s business-focused branch, about their ‘phone plus MEC classes’ for busy business students. (They started using MEC in pre-SKYPE days.) I’m sure they’ll be interested in what you’re doing. I won’t say any more now but will contact them to ask one of them to write about their experience.

    Many thanks

    Posted by Fiona MacKenzie on May 17th 2007
  • Hello Chris and Fiona,

    Here at Cultura Inglesa São Paulo the e-Campus ( that is how we call the English Campus) is widely used both as part of the regular curricula and also for remedial work.

    As regards our business English students, the e-Campus has been used along with two distance courses run by The Club, our business executive unit.

    One of these courses is called emailing and helps students develop their writing skills. On this course students are emailed activities which require them to write business emails and reports and subsequently submit them to a teacher at the unit. After analysing the student’s text, the teacher replies with comments and suggestions for improvement.

    The other course is called phone classes. On this one students schedule a time to practise their English with a teacher over the phone, and the main focus lies on spoken fluency. Prior to the scheduled day and time, the student receives a text to read or a task to work on, such a product presentation. During the conversation on the phone, the teacher makes notes of the student’s performance and proposes a course of action for improvement.

    In both cases the e-Campus is used to provide activities to help the student with the language needed for his writing or phone conversation, to provide topics from the headline news for conversation, to provide remedial work for the aspects identified by the teacher during the analysis of the student’s written or oral work.

    The improvement achieved by the students as a result of their e-Campus practice can be assessed in future written work or phone conversations.


    Vilson Coimbra de Oliveira Filho
    Cultura Inglesa São Paulo

    Posted by Vilson Coimbra de Oliveira Filho on June 05th 2007

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