Newsletter February 2014

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!

Virginia, the new Marketing Manager of Conlan School, would like to introduce herself.

Let me introduce myself: my name is Virgina Landoni and I am the new Marketing Manager of Conlan School. I was born and grown up In Italy, namely in Milan and the vocational training/education have always been an important part of my professional career. At the beginning I taught in a high school and later on in a University based in Milan. I could say I followed in the family tradition because my parents both are teachers and they have handed down to me the passion for the teaching and the education of young people, as a basic mean for the growth of the society.
Another of my passions is the English language: I am an avid reader of books as well as I watch series in TV, obviously in the original language!
After my experience as a teacher, I worked for an Italian agency involved in the organization of courses of foreign languages abroad for young students, for short or long periods. I saw a lot of students to leave and, when back, I found them more mature and, of course, speaking a very fluent English.
I deem the study of languages of great importance and, even more, a complete education must include not only knowledge, but also open mindedness, interdisciplinary and multilingualism.
I like that young people may experience new ways with open mind, curiosity and enthusiasm in learning, exactly as I like to do.
And recently I joined Conlan School, an English language school that promotes the linguistic education through the most updated methodologies of the teaching. I am very happy and enthusiastic to be part of this team.
From now on I will be your reference for all the activities you may be interested in: languages courses, work experience, summer school.
Feel free to contact me for any information you may need in order to organize at the utmost your staying and I will do my best to meet your requirements.
I do believe we can work together to reach our main goal: to offer to young people a unique experience of life!

Let the Cat out of the Bag

This phrase means to disclose a secret, for example, “Angela didn’t want anyone to know that she was pregnant, but her colleague Gill let the cat out of the bag one morning.”
There are two possible origins for this phrase. The first is that it comes from the practice of substituting pigs at market for cats. If the trick was revealed, if the cat had been let out of the bag, so to speak, then of course it would indicate that the secret, or the forgery, had been revealed to all. Alternatively, it derives from the instrument of punishment called the cat o’ nine tails. This object was used to punish sailors and consisted of nine strands of rope that would scratch the back of those who were punished with it, but it is uncertain how the object could link with the meaning.
The first of these is the most likely, especially when one considers that there are similar phrases in Dutch and German that translate roughly as “to buy a cat in a bag,” meaning “to buy false goods.”
Have you ever let the cat out of the bag?

Teaching Online by Nicky Hockly and Lindsay Clandfield

This is a book written to educate those who are open-minded about technology but who need some inspiration about how technology can be used to enhance teaching. As technology advances, it is more and more difficult for teachers to ignore its significance, so this book lists some very interesting things that teachers can generally incorporate into their lessons or set up between lessons, provides web pages that specialise in these things and then gives specific examples of activities. So for example, the book tells us about online music players and specifically mentions Spotify, GrooveShark and Deezer. As a sample activity, it suggests that teachers choose three songs and make a playlist, and then write or talk about why they chose the three songs. Then students have to read or listen to the teacher’s and other students’ choices and offer a response. This can be done as an early activity in a course as a way to get to know everyone on your course. The book contains dozens of these kinds of ideas and many can be adapted for different types of class and different school subjects.
As well as giving lesson ideas, this book also informs teachers on ways to think about building IT into syllabuses, and tells us how IT sections of courses speed up learning, and it teaches some of the terms that are used to refer to all things online, that our students will probably know but which often sounds almost like a foreign language to teachers. After reading this book, you will feel motivated to visit the websites mentioned to try the different online tools, and inspired to build these things into your classes.

Staff Training

As Conlan School strives to maintain the highest standards in education, we are always looking at new training for all our staff. Recent training has focused on the safety and wellbeing of our students. We believe that it is essential that we always know what to do in any kind of emergency but just as importantly, it is important that we prevent any emergencies by careful consideration and planning. Staff training has been particularly important recently as we have been lucky to welcome two new key members of staff within the last month. All centre staff are First Aid trained (three day First Aid at work), all staff are trained in Safeguarding / Child Protection and both Directors of Studies are trained to deliver training in this field to all our teachers. Directors of Studies are planning workshops on the topic of Safeguarding for all teachers during February. In addition to this, we have arranged training in Fire Marshalling and Health and Safety (IOSH). Lastly, DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) courses are planned for both Directors of Studies starting in September.