Alpha College of English provides two junior summer programmes on separate campuses in the greater Dublin area. Both programmes focus on helping students to improve their level of English in a fun, dynamic and safe environment. We had an EAQUALS and an ACELS inspection in both centres during the summer and some of their comments are as follows: “Worthy of particular mention is the exciting syllabus operated on the junior programmes where various different strands interweave to create a dynamic overall experience. These strands include classroom English, preparation and feedback for cultural excursions, the following of a specific news story, a piece of drama created by the students and a project.” (EAQUALS) “The inspectors felt that the level of care showed by all members of the institution’s staff towards course participants, attention to detail and a constant striving to improve the services offered makes this (accommodation and additional services to students) an area of excellence.” (EAQUALS) “Teaching was of a very high standard with students clearly making progress in their language learning. Lessons were interactive; in some lessons students were practising for their performance. Where this was the case, rich learning opportunities were being created in the areas of vocabulary, pronunciation and language use.” (ACELS)
Classes, in both centres, are from 09:30 to 13:30 with a short break. Each centre has a Director of Studies who is responsible for ensuring that the curriculum and syllabi are followed and that classes cover all the language skills in a thorough but fun and relaxed manner. All teachers in our junior centres are university graduates with post graduate training in teaching English as a foreign language. Many of them have been teaching with us on our summer programmes for many years and are fully committed to delivering teaching of a very high standard in a warm and supportive environment. A teachers meeting takes place every week to discuss class and student progress and to ensure that class objectives are being met and that all students are progressing satisfactorily. All students read at least one book during their course and prepare a project every 2 weeks. The project takes the form of a class activity which is presented to the whole school as a theatre session and, as all students are involved, this is a very exciting way for them to develop confidence in their English speaking. Students receive a work folder which is used during their course to record their learning activities and exercises and serves as a journal of their course.
Each student receives an Alpha College Certificate upon completion of his/her course. Extra certificates are awarded to students who take examinations like the TIE (Test of Interactive English) or Trinity.
Excursions and Afternoon Activities
On both programmes Alpha College provides 1 full day and 2 half-day excursions each week, all by private coach. Our full day excursions are to places of cultural or scenic interest outside Dublin; our half day excursions include guided tours in Dublin city centre and visits to museums, galleries, Guinness and other places of interest in the greater Dublin area. Our excursions are designed to give our students a broad view of Irish history, culture and varying landscapes. On the remaining afternoons students stay on campus and participate in a wide variety of activities of a sports, social or cultural nature. We organise competitions and leagues in football, table tennis, rounders, volley ball, etc. as well as art and music activities.
Alpha College reserves the right to expel a student who is involved in theft, shop-lifting, aggression towards other students, anti-social behaviour or use of alcohol or drugs. In such cases parents are contacted and the cost of repatriation of such a student is the responsibility of the student’s family. No refunds apply in the case of a student who is expelled for any of the above reasons.
In Alpha College, we take the supervision of our students very seriously. We know how important it is to parents to have peace of mind that their children are being looked after and cared for while they are away from home. All junior students are met on their arrival at Dublin airport and accompanied to the airport on their departure. We provide Alpha Supervisors who organise the social and cultural activities and make sure that all students integrate quickly into life in the school. Alpha Supervisors always accompany students on excursions, make sure students understand the guides; know the meeting points and are all accounted for at all times. Each student has an Alpha College ID card which includes 24-hour emergency telephone contact numbers. In addition, we have been using the coach companies for both centres for more than 10 years and they, too, are committed to ensuring the safety of all of our students.