What is Academic English?

Using English for our everyday lives is one thing, but using it for study and schooling is something entirely different. Academic English is important for giving students the skills necessary to discuss complex problems, read texts for deeper meaning and write structured arguments and narratives. This is the focus of the curriculum and teaching at Athena Academic English. This involves much more than just communicative language teaching, but involves the teaching of 3 main areas of education that will push students as the move through their academic careers: academic reading and writing skills; 21st Century skills; and the skills of learning how to learn by themselves. Read more to find out how these are integrated into Athena’s curriculum.

Building Reading and Writing Skills

Reading and writing skills are crucial for students to be able to compete successfully at their schools.

Students need to be able to read different kinds of texts and respond to them with insights that connect ideas. At Athena we expose our students to different genres of texts. We begin by giving the students the foundation skills of reading, followed by teach students how to understand what they’re reading and how to discuss and relate to the texts.

Good academic writers aim to be as clear, precise and simple as possible. They need to understand structure and organization, as well as how to express their own voice with detail, using complex vocabulary. Athena’s courses guide students through these skills and help them produce writing that motivates them creatively and challenges them academically.

21st Century Skills

We live in an age where technology has advanced at a rapid pace, and continues to do so. Most children in primary schools today seem to have a natural predisposition to engage with both the hardware and software of the digital age. The challenge of the 21st Century is learning how to utilize those skills both inside the classroom and beyond. Having a classroom that incorporates 21st Century Skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, complex problem solving, cross cultural understanding and media awareness, paves the way for a co-operative partnership between teachers and students that has important gains in students self-esteem.

At Athena Academic English we encourage our students to become creators of their own content by allowing them to make creative choices in their classes, and with our older learners, we invite them to participate in group projects that hone their skills with technology, arts and sciences, while thinking through solutions to real-world problems. The group dynamic to our classes pushes their communicative and collaborative skills, and the choices they are given push them to think critically. It’s important for us as teachers to guide them to their own understanding and help them make their own decisions. If you think you have the skills for this, apply now! athena.hr@athenaca.com

Learning to Learn

In order for our students to go out into the world beyond our classrooms and apply themselves in their education, they need to learn how to learn by themselves. At Athena Academic English we feel it’s important to help our students not only with learning the language, but also learning the skills that will help them decode things for themselves, infer meaning from context and draw conclusions independently from their teachers.

This skills based approach is drawn into our Athena curriculum from the beginnings of our phonics programs, right through to our highest grade level courses.

If you’d like to learn more about this way of teaching, and want to try it yourself, apply here!