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1 year anniversary of the Personal Study Programme at IH Cape Town

Published on Friday, November 22, 2019

IH Cape Town 1 year anniversary

The 12th of November marked the 1-year anniversary of the Personal Study Programme (PSP) at International House Cape Town. This new approach to teaching has been a steep learning curve for all the teachers and academic staff who have created a great learning space for all students at IH Cape Town.

Gavin Eyre, the Managing Director, gave a speech in the PSP area thanking all the teachers and students for making this space so special and lively every day. A big thank you also went to International House Newcastle, the first school to introduce the Personal Study Programme, for their help and support in setting it up in our school.

We introduced this programme to our curriculum last year as we realised that a more individual approach would increase the learning experience and value for the students. Every student has 1 hour a day to work on specific English skills they want to focus on. This can be anything from improving listening skills on the computer, working on special presentations for their job, participating in Ted Talk exercises or doing their homework. Speaking sessions with a teacher is one of students’ favourite activities, according to Bronwen Bowmer, the PSP Project Manager. “We organise the students into groups of three for about 20-25 minutes, they engage in conversation with each other while the teacher monitors and gives feedback on their production. The students love this!”

Teachers can see improvement in their student’s language in a relatively short period of time due to the huge variety of materials and exercises and the freedom for students to choose what they prefer to work on. The student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1 offers the students enough assistance and interaction with teachers, in addition to the self-study environment.

Overall, students’ impression of PSP is very positive. “Some students have struggled with the notion of steering their own learning process and felt a bit 'lost' in the space. Others took to it immediately, appreciating the autonomy it affords them.  But, with the focused assistance of PSP teachers the ones who feel lost soon experience the benefit of having so many resources at their fingertips”, says Bronwen Bowmer. It also gives them the opportunity to meet more classmates than only in the small group classes.

We are very happy we added PSP to our regular group classes as it exposes the students to a completely different way of learning which no other language school in South Africa currently offers. 

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