Royal Business College prides itself on taking good care of students’ needs from the moment they set foot in New Zealand. They are met at the airport by a representative of the College, then taken to their homestay for introduction to their new host parents. Next day their homestay parent personally brings them to the College for a start to their academic life here in New Zealand.
The first class a student enters is the Orientation Class, a small class where the student meets other newcomers, and begins an orientation course of up to five days.
Towards the end of the Orientation course, each student is given a placement test to find his/her level of English to ensure that he/she is placed in a suitable class. The placement test consists of a 20-minute vocabulary test, four 15-minute grammar tests ranging in difficulty from Elementary to Advanced, and a 20-minute writing task. The test scores together with the orientation tutor’s assessment of the student’s listening and speaking skills are compiled by the Associate Principal who enters the scores on the student’s file, identifies the student’s level for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), and allocates the student to an appropriate class. The orientation teacher then introduces the student to his/her new teacher.
Royal Business College conducts General English classes over four levels: Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, and Intermediate. Classes are small (average size 8 – 10 students) and taught by well-qualified and experienced tutors who are skilled at motivating and encouraging students, no matter whether their level is pure beginner or near-fluent.
Teaching resources include regularly updated EFL text books, EFL videos and audio tapes, and supplementary materials from the College’s extensive Resource Library. Off campus visits are arranged with specific learning objectives in mind. Over the course of one term, classes might for example visit the museum, an ice-cream factory, the university and the Arts Centre, and carry out language tasks in each place.
A careful balance of each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) is taught, and each student’s progress in these skills is monitored and recorded.
Students are expected to advance one level each 12-week term. Weekly progress tests are given each class, and an end-of-term examination determines whether the students will be promoted to the next level.