MEC April newsletter

24-Apr-2008

MEC Marketing Coordinator, Jane Petrie, writes:

The Moscow Institute of Linguistics – a Macmillan English Campus Case Study

The Moscow Institute of Linguistics (MIL) is one of the newest users of the Macmillan English Campus (MEC). MIL started using MEC in December 2007 and teaches students ranging in age from 12 to 60, at a variety of levels, from beginner to advanced.

We asked teachers at MIL to explain how they were using MEC and what benefits the implementation of a blended learning solution has brought.

A practical solution

Asked why MIL chose to adopt MEC, Vadim Klimachev, a senior teacher, says it provides the opportunity ‘to make language learning highly effective, interesting, up-to-date and diverse‘.

He describes the way in which, having been assigned to an appropriate course, ‘the students are asked to complete a set of tasks within a specific period (normally a week or two); typical difficulties and mistakes are analysed and discussed in class with the teacher’.

One of the things that the teachers highlight is the flexibility that using MEC brings. As one teacher says, MEC ‘can be used in accordance with students’ individual needs. There is plenty of listening, which is often the most difficult aspect for language learners, and it can be used both in class and at home.’

Other teachers, asked how they use MEC, highlight its usefulness for homework and how, once exercises have been completed, it often leads to further discussion in class.

Learner autonomy

Students benefit from being able to work at their own pace, completing supplementary activities if necessary. Those who happen to miss a lesson can ‘use MEC to go through material covered during a class they missed’ and MEC also makes it easy to ‘work on the aspects they need to revise’.

Other teachers also highlight the way that MEC ‘offers students the opportunity to work independently‘ and provides ‘a wide range of exercises on different topics’. They also note that many ‘students are carried away by the process of testing their English on the internet and fulfil much more than the tasks set by the teacher!’

In this context, the automatic markbook is really useful, with teachers commenting that students enjoy ‘the ability to check their results immediately and retry exercises’.

Teacher support

MEC also helps teachers to support students with greater effectiveness, due to its in-built monitoring facilities such as the markbook. Vadim highlights the ‘ease of checking students’ results and evaluating progress of their work’. Consequently, the time saved in lesson preparation and marking can be used to support students in other ways.

The approach taken by MIL works because of this complementary combination of face-to-face teaching and online resources.

Feedback about MEC and e-learning in general points to the fact that being able to use online resources increases motivation, and provides a structured and easy way to practise. In doing so, learner confidence is increased and results are improved. This produces a great result for the Moscow Institute of Linguistics!

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