Benefits of informal teaching style in some UK classrooms

Technology | Samuel Chan 11 Jun 2019

something that's often underestimated by students who get in touch with us at Britannia StudyLink, is how different education in the UK can be compared to education in Hong Kong and Asia.

More than just a different set of courses and different qualifications at the end of it all, the actual style of teaching and the atmosphere of the institutions can also be very different to what we have here.

King's Education is a good example of what I mean. This education group has international colleges across the UK, in London, Oxford, Brighton and Bournemouth.

It has a good selection of flexible courses available, including various foundation courses for students that serve as a pathway to British universities.

However, what's significant about King's Education is the teaching style they use and the general approach to learning that you always find in their colleges.

Informality is at the root of what they do.

There are no uniforms and no formal terms of address - no use of Sir, of Mr, Miss, Mrs or even Ms; instead, they just use first names for teachers.

This does not mean to say that the teachers are any less professional or less respected than those in a school or college in Hong Kong.

It just means that everyone can relax and focus on learning without feeling inhibited.

It also means that you often get more than just that basic teacher-pupil interaction, with teachers giving personal advice and stories that go beyond the subject matter.

When it comes to the lessons, they are generally more focused on active class interaction than passive sitting and just absorbing the information that is presented to you.

Conducting lessons this way has several benefits. You develop a more personal connection with the material you're being taught - exploring and questioning it instead of just memorizing.

You build personal confidence - having to speak up in class, using your English skills, to say what you think about something can be challenging.

It also means that you're listening to other people, developing an understanding of how others think and a tolerance of opinions that are not your own.

There will be students from all over the world in a typical classroom, including local English students who have grown up in the area. That's a good range of experiences and points of view to come to terms with and a lot of diversity in one group!

What stands out is that King's Education uses the CAT 4 test to help teach students more effectively.

CAT, which stands for Cognitive Abilities Test, works out how students learn best.

For example, some students are more visual while others are stronger verbally. If a teacher knows which style of learning best suits you, then that information can be used to tailor each lesson so that everyone gets the most out of it.

Something to note about this example is that King's Education does not have the sort of impressive sports facilities in their colleges that you'd get in a typical British boarding school.

Its argument is that this results in their budget going into the latest teaching tools and that students who are keen on activities outside the classroom can use nearby facilities in the city. While this might not be ideal for really young students, for those of 16 and above it works well and is another example of the kind of thinking that makes King's Education strong.

For more information on what to expect when you study in the UK, get in touch with me and my team at Britannia StudyLink by visiting www.britannia-study.com.

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