At Venture, we invite students into a uniquely invigorating and stimulating atmosphere of learning.
At Venture, each participant is placed into a class that will develop the student’s language, communication and concentration skills to their maximum. We focus on integrating the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing with language initiative, logical sequencing, accuracy and social skills. We give particular attention to these areas in every lesson, as experience shows that this is where most help is needed.
Unusually, our Venture classes fall into the four following categories; individual, duo, group and multi-level.
Individual lessons are provided for those students with specific goals. Often those goals are examination related, but they may also be for interviews and for overseas orientation.
Venture also assists students with unique requirements. Sometimes these needs are linked to physical issues such as gross motor skills or hearing. Venture teachers also have experience of helping those with learning challenges such as recall difficulties and dyslexia.
Most recently we have become involved with young people displaying the tendencies of giftedness. To meet their needs, Venture has developed, and is continuing to do so, programmes geared to their very individual learning capacity.
These classes have a maximum of two students. Frequently, a learner feels the need to have close contact with the teacher, yet wants to share the learning experience with another person. In these cases, a favourite friend or a sibling joins the class. The duo class works very well as it allows for pair work, and adds an element of competitiveness that many find a motivation to learning.
There are many benefits to group classes. They allow for a very full interaction between the teacher and students because of the vibrant exchange of ideas and opinions. Furthermore, the multiple personalities of the group add an extra dynamism to a lesson.
Within one group there may be an introverted character, who prefers not to draw attention to himself by asking questions. The more extrovert, however, is bolder and so the quieter personality learns through his more outgoing classmate.
In our well-managed classes, our teachers ensure that the louder student works not only as a leader, but also as a team player, taking time out to allow others to take on the more masterful role.
From an academic perspective, we learn through mistakes – our own, and those of others. Thus, in a group, students are exposed to learning from the errors of their classmates and so their learning curving is speeded up.
The group class allows students to work in pairs, teams and as a whole class, so the dynamics can be varied from lesson to lesson.
How multi-level learning works
In most of our multi-level classes, there are a maximum of four levels of students, although we have a total of 9 levels. Within each group we have approximately four to six students using materials designed and produced by Venture. The materials at each level follow a very strict format and cover essential linguistic areas, in addition to fulfilling the criteria mentioned earlier.
Why multi-level training is a powerful form of learning
It is clear that the majority of students learning through the multi-level method develop the skills of concentration, knowledge absorption, and progressive language usage faster than those in mono-level classes. Evidence suggests that this progress is the result of students learning both consciously and sub-consciously. That is, whilst they are working on their own tasks, students absorb information being passed to the other groups. In the event of the other groups being lower, the information the students are hearing acts as reinforcement to existing knowledge and thus strengthens their accuracy and confidence. On the other hand, if the students hear information being given to those in a higher group, this knowledge is absorbed so that when they, themselves, reach that level, the information is not “absolutely new”. Thus the learning process of the new information is reduced, enabling the student to go very quickly from the learning stage to the practice stage.
Is multi-level training the best method for all students?
For most students this is an excitingly motivating form of learning. However, this method of training is significantly different from any other in which the students may have participated. It usually takes a few sessions for the student to acclimatise to the system. For this reason, we require that a student study with us for a minimum of a month of lessons before making a final decision concerning future classes using the Multi-level learning method.
The number of sessions per week
For those students in the first three levels (kindergarten), a commitment of two sessions per week is required. At these lower levels, we concentrate on phonetics and in order for small children to effectively master the sounds, it is essential that only three or four days pass between sessions. If a full seven days is allowed to pass, the student cannot easily recall the sound and so the first minutes of the subsequent session are spent with the young student’s mind reminding itself of those lost sounds. Thus the student loses valuable class learning time, which restricts his or her learning ability.
For those students in the higher levels, who are finding English difficult at school, and whose vocabulary is very limited or who lack confidence, we also recommend two sessions per week. Otherwise, however, one lesson a week will usually suffice.