Our specialist group of English courses

These courses are aimed at closed groups who seek a specialist element to their studies, combined with English tuition. Somes courses may be available on a 1:1 basis. Please enquire.

The specialist courses are fun, practical and ensure maximum exposure to the kind of English you need for both work and leisure.

  • Photography: combines classroom-based, photography-related lessons with lots of photography field work and editing skills
  • Film Making:  engages you in the enjoyable and creative process of producing short video clips
  • Drama:  you work on pronunciation, stress and intonation, plus the necessary dramatic skills to put on a performance of a musical drama
  • Journalism: takes you through some of the key components of English-language newspapers and the creation of a group paper.
Dates Duration Prices Notes

Available on request (subject to minimum numbers)

Two weeks

Please request a quote

Maximum 10 students per class
Level B1 and up

21 hours a week
Individual tuition option
Executive accommodation options

Photography

A specialist course suitable for those who have basic point-and-shoot cameras or semi-professional SLRs. We cover the essential photography concepts: shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity and then apply the ideas to a number of practical photographic experiences.

Lessons focus on:

Portrait photography

Architectural photography

Nature photography

Fashion photography

Event photography

Advertising/product photography

Night photography

Lesson materials involve students reading, listening to and writing English texts and a good deal of collaborative speaking takes place both in the theory and the practical sessions. Some lesson materials have been adapted to reflect the style and format of popular English exams like FCE so that students can gain useful practice for these exams while having fun with photography.

The course also involves an introduction to photo-editing using Adobe Photoshop Elements, which students use to prepare and refine a set of photos for a presentation on the final day of the course. Students from levels B1 through to C2 can all benefit from the language component of the course.

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Film Making

A specialist course offering practical experience in making and editing video clips, which are eventually made into a DVD.

Lessons focus on:

Storyboarding

Dialogue and lip-synching with songs

Relevant technical vocabulary and phrases (needed for the sort of interpersonal communication the tasks require)

Use of professional television and film material.

During the course, you produce an instruction video, an advert, a dialogue, an interview and a pop video for a song of your choice, which you present to other students in the school on the final day of the course.

Course overview

Day Video skill Language / language skill Viewing material Project Computer skills
Day 1 Basic camera operation, precautions. Important parts of the camera. Establishing team roles. Instructions / precautions. Basic group co-operation language. In-house made instruction video for the camera and software. Make instruction video for other gadget: phone / camera / can opener / umbrella / dictionary. Basic uploading / use of the storyboard system for editing clips.
Day 2 Storyboarding / video planning. Movie narrative. Basic framing / camera angles. Adjectives and expressions typically used in advertisements. TV commercials for new products: compare two different TV commercials. Make TV commercial for unusual food products: cereal bars, cakes, etc. Practise uploading, editing / use of the storyboard system.
Day 3 Framing. Picture composition. Awareness of shot types. Names of shot types. Clauses of reason and purpose. Dialogue from Lord Of The Rings / The Island. Learn and plan a short humorous dialogue, to be shot over two days. Familiarising with editing techniques. Working from the script.
Day 4 Continuity. Shooting pick-ups (reshooting parts of a previous day's work). Redubbing where soundtrack quality is poor. Film set jargon, words and phrases typically used in the film and television industry. Previous groups' versions of the Yoghurt Dialogue. Finish shooting the dialogue that was started on Day 3. Editing dialogue. Applying new soundtrack of rerecorded speaking (over-dubbing).
Day 5 Camera movement: zooming, panning, tracking. Planning a series of shots to make up an extended video clip. Language used to express relative quality and quantity. Two pop video clips to be analysed with a checklist of different components. Shot length, number of wide / medium / close-up shots Start planning and filming a pop video clip for a song of your choice to be completed over next two days. Applying music to a soundtrack. Removing sound from live video. Fine adjustment of shot length.
Day 6 Special effects: use of green screen, speech bubbles, lighting effects, slow motion, speeding up video. Sequencing of steps in a procedure. Following written instructions. Pop video clips from previous groups. One more commercial pop video. Continue pop video project. Introduce more advanced elements. Focus on lip-synching scenes. Lip-synching. Special effects: slow motion, speeding up video, green screen.
Day 7 Final day of shooting. Completing a project to a deadline. Use of modals of obligation. Rule expressions. Language of presentations. Pop video of students on the course made by the course teacher. Spoken presentation to introduce the video. Complete pop video. Write presentation to read out when introducing the pop video at the talent show. Completing a project to a deadline. Creating DVDs containing all previous projects.
Day 8 Delivering spoken introduction to a video presentation. Optional: filming parts of a live event. Listening / speaking practice. Presentations of all groups on the current video course. Present video. Optional: take video of other parts of the talent show.  

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Drama

A specialist course offering practical experience in rehearsing and staging a musical.

Lessons focus on:

Choreography

Pronunciation of song lyrics

Acting and related language input areas

Staging elements

The drama courses are overseen by professional drama and dance teachers, who have an awareness of both the students' linguistic needs and production issues.

You have the opportunity to sing, dance and act, and on the final day you will take part in a live performance in front of the rest of the school.

Course overview

Day Drama focus Skills Materials Tasks / input
Day 1 Starting to look at the script and to focus on the roles that they will be performing at the end of the course. Analysing the way in which the characters deliver their lines. Game-based activities are designed to allow more confident students to show what they are capable of. This will play a role in the selection of students for specific roles. Homework: learn your part for tomorrow! Lots of speaking as they break the ice with each other and get familiar with what they are going to be acting out. Listening to the film dialogue and the songs. This is quite casual at first but will become more focused and intensive as the lesson progresses. Writing summaries of the plot which helps them to select the most important scenes and to identify why they are important. Reading each other's summaries of the plot. Scene scripts, DVD, handouts for warm-up games and drama games Warm-up games: (focusing on getting people to perform and feel comfortable being the centre of attention), Adjective names, Piggy in the middle, Fruit bowl, Anyone who, Trust circles, Trust Obstacle, Trust launch, Drama games (expanding on the idea of performing): Adding to the improv, Guess the character mime, Choose 3-5 scenes from the film and create a short summary of the plot.
Day 2 Mini-auditions to select students for roles. Singing songs from the film, solo and as a chorus. Acting out sections of dialogue in character. Different combination of students will be used here.Choreographing the opening movement piece using blue backdrop. Again, lots of speaking is needed both In and out of character. There is a focus on pronunciation, as the lyrics have to be comprehensible and the dialogue has to make sense. Reading is mainly done as reading aloud, which can be quite daunting but should lead to students learning their roles and not needing the text. Lyrics for all songs to be sung. Scenes 1, 4 and 8. Handouts for warm-up games, DVD Vocal warm-up:Shake out, Chewing gum, Breathing/humming exercises, Reflected sounds, London's burning, Read-through. Movement games: Traffic lights, Different mediums/slow and fast motion, Character wake-up/meeting with Grease track.
Day 3 Working with blue sheets. Looking at how these can create the idea of the sea. Creation of a seaside tableau and adding on noises. Direction of first scene: Danny and Sandy.Choreographing of movements for the chorus parts. Finalize dance and perform. Their listening here is partly for detailed instructions and partly to see how well they have created the seaside scene. They also watch more of the DVD in detail and focus on meanings of lyrics. They will need to write down what they see. Read through of scene 2 and checking understanding. Matching meaning: vocabulary from the song DVD, scene scripts Warm-up games: Topics, Doorways, Change the space. Movement warm-up: Octopus, Freeze-frames of movements from the song.
Day 4 Do a run-through of scenes rehearsed so far. This should include vocal work on the songs and movement work on the choreography. Dialogue repetition to help with pronunciation and improve comprehensibility. The speaking and listening skills are starting to come together now as students have to react to one another in character and out of characters for making suggestions for improvement or changes. Read through of scenes 3 and 4, focusing on the meaning. Scenes 3 and 4 plus activities to check if students can follow language used, DVD Warm-up games: Anyone who in character, Musical statues with Grease soundtrack, Walk past with central gesture (individually), Vocal warm-up, Shake out, Chewing gum, Breathing/humming exercises, Reflected sounds, London's burning, Read-through.
Day 5 Choreographing the dances for 'Sandra Dee' and 'Greased Lightning'. Lots of singing, some of it solo, depending on strength of voice and confidence. Choreography of dances for the two scenes. As the students have to negotiate what they want in the choreography, there is a lot of speaking and listening needed in this session. The two groups also need to comment on each other's work. Both groups, Pink Ladies and Thunderbirds, need to read through the scenes and check understanding. DVD, scene scripts handouts Warm-up games: Shake out, Plasticine, Atoms, Musical machine. Concentration game: Pass the pulse.
Day 6 Students are now focusing on how the production will look. They will need costumes and these need to be brought in tomorrow. Movement of rollercoaster . Choreography of 'You're the one that I want'. Practise singing 'You're the one that I want'. Reading through scenes 8 & 9. By now, students should be used to the read-throughs and it should be possible for them to answer fairly detailed questions about what they have read. Again, lots of negotiating, so lots of speaking and listening. DVD, scene scripts Vocal warm-up: Breathing/humming, Scales, Teach 'Doe a deer' from Sound of Music, three-scale notes reflected back by others.
Day 7 This is a mini-dress rehearsal, so the students should be getting fully into character for the first time. Resolving difficulties with costumes, checking exits and entrances and other stage business with furniture, etc. Assigning somebody to help Sandy with her costume change between scenes 7 & 9. It is hoped that by now everybody knows their lines, so the emphasis is on speaking and listening, not on reading.   Warm-up: Full-body warm-up, Breathing / humming, Summer Nights
Day 8 Full dress rehearsal. This gives the students a chance to run through the whole performance before the audience arrive. It must start promptly and it is good to have students there to help with setting out chairs, setting up the sound system, posting the running order, checking costumes, etc. Performance! Authentic production of English before a live audience. Scripts in case of nerves, lyrics Warm-up: choose the two warm-ups which best suit the group and use these before the dress rehearsal.

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Journalism

A specialist course offering practical experience of producing a class newspaper in English, incorporating many of the typical features of an English-language newspaper.

Lessons focus on:

English headline patterns

Editorials

Lead stories

Sports writing

Gossip columns

Horoscopes

There is reference to both print and electronic media. You will gain an awareness of the grammar and stylistic components of various article types and many of the words and phrases commonly used in British journalism. At the end of the two weeks, your work is presented to other students in the school in the form of a class newspaper project.

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