Future Learning offers a range of innovative adult courses for the 21st century learner which focus on the development of their language skills through communication, collaboration, creative problem solving and digital skills. Courses take place at the Future Learning campuses in Dublin or Athlone. It is an opportunity for participants to experience Future Learning’s high-quality teaching which promises to foster development and progression as well as discovering Ireland, which has been famous as a centre of learning since it sent monks to bring the written word and the Christian religion to pagan parts of Britain and northern Europe.
This means that in our classes learners will work over several days individually or in groups to explore a topic and create a digital product (a blog, website, video or animation) which describes their experience understanding, opinion and / or interpretation of the topic. These projects set the students the challenge of working to discover what their topic is about, plan how they will show it, solve any technical problems and produce something that they are proud to publish. Technology is a tool in these projects, but it is in describing their plans and the process of realising them that their language skills are developed. The group projects means they work in collaboration with others from different places and different cultures meet the challenges they are set and solve the problems they encounter. The skills that they develop in the course of doing the group project is a key outcome that we recognise along with technology and communication skills.
This means that we only use technology when it can help to improve learning outcomes; to engage, inform and motivate learners, as well as to provide them with an authentic context for language practice. We see technology as an essential element of the modern communication skills which are our main focus. We do not teach programming or coding, we are simply recognising in our courses that technology is now an inescapable element of our learners’ lives, which is why we ask them to bring their own devices to use in our classes. Having learned how to use them with an educational purpose they can take those skills home with them, so that it is not just something they did in class. We are also conscious that incorrect use of technology can get in the way of communication, which is why devices need to be put away at times or shared to ensure learners work effectively together.
Content integration in language learning, usually known as CLIL, is the idea that learners benefit by being exposed to the language across different subject areas, making their lessons much more than an English class. We also link these afternoon activities to the morning classes wherever possible so that learners are helped to describe and understand what they see in the city around them. We recognise that our adult students come with a background of previous studies and professional experience and we aim to give them a chance to communicate that through English and to be the expert in something in class apart from the language itself.
21st Century Skills in English
The following is an outline of the 21st Century Skills in English courses that Future Learning runs at both Dublin city and Athlone campuses available to all international students. We believe that all learners choose to study English for a purpose and our courses are designed with a sense of that purpose; personal, social, professional and academic. We also emphasise the importance of learner autonomy, and our courses invite the learner to take responsibility for their progress, help them to develop their learning skills and the ability to develop themselves. Our adult course is divided into three main stages according to English language level. At each stage, the exit criteria are those specified in the relevant Integrated Skills Exam (ISE) set by Trinity College London.
Stage 1: Life Skills Through English
Levels A2 to B1
The initial stage of our course is designed to help people to make a life in Ireland through English and deal successfully with all the situations that will arise at home, socially and work if taking a part-time job. It aims to help develop communication skills that consider the cultural as well as the linguistic challenges to successful communication in English.
Learner Outcomes at Level B1
By the end of the course, participants will have
- improved their communication, collaboration, creative problem solving, and critical thinking skills to enable them to do the following in English and through technology in a personal context;
- understood the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, and day to day life;
- dealt with most situations likely to arise whilst living in an area where the language is spoken;
- produced simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest;
- described personal experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Stage 2: English for Professional Communication
Levels B1 to B2
The second stage is designed for professionals who are interested in developing their spoken and written communication skills in an international and technology-enhanced environment. The aim is to equip participants to communicate effectively in English in order to be able to progress professionally. Living as a global citizen many opportunities can arise in international technology companies who employ multinational teams to service global markets in the first language. The language of coordination and management in these companies is majority English. However, and in order to progress in your career you need to be able to present yourself well and communicate effectively in that language. Effective communication is about more than just the language, it is about engagement with the culture of the company in an appropriate way.
Learner Outcomes at Levels B1 to B2
By the end of the course, participants will have
- improved the communication, collaboration, creative problem solving, and critical thinking skills to enable them to do the following in English and through technology in personal and professional contexts;
- understood the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of professional specialisation;
- interacted with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular professional interaction with first language speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
Stage 3: Foundation for Study through English
Levels B2 to C1
The third stage is designed to equip people to make a success of studying in an English speaking country. The aim is to equip participants to communicate effectively in English in order to be able to progress academically. Effective communication is about more than just the language, it is about engaging with the educational culture in an appropriate way. It aims to help develop communication skills that consider the cultural as well as the linguistic challenges to successfully studying in an English-speaking institution.
Learner Outcomes at Levels B2 to C1
By the end of the course, participants will have
- improved the communication, collaboration, creative problem solving, and critical thinking skills to enable them to do the following in English and through technology in personal, professional and academic contexts;
- understood a wide range of demanding, longer academic texts, and recognise implicit meaning;
- expressed him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions;
- produced clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex academic subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices;
- used language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
Future Learning End of Course Exam – Trinity College London ISE (Integrated Skills Exam)
Trinity College London is a UK-based exam board which has been providing assessments around the world since 1877 and operate in over 60 countries worldwide. The Integrated Skills in English (ISE) is a multi-skills language exam designed for our times with a strong focus on real language performance and promoting the development of transferable skills for academic study and employability by assessing the communicative skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. It consists of two independent exam modules: Reading & Writing and Speaking & Listening. Future Learning has chosen Trinity ISE as our end of course achievement test because of its focus on to authentic communication skills. We are a registered exam centre.
The course is very well organized and along with the technology-related methodology helped me to learn easily. All the staff are very helpful and the teachers are excellent!
I believe that technology is a great tool to use between teacher and students, mainly because my old school was very weak and did not care about the development of each student. FL made me happy the most when we were in the communicative and dynamic classes everyday and taking a test every week to explore and develop our reading, interpretation, listening and writing. This helped me a lot in the process, I had very happy moments with the other students celebrating birthdays and projects.
I wasn't a number, they saw that I was there to fulfill my dream of learning English, is that kind of respect they offer to any student. That was crucial for me. I'm sure Future Learning was the right choice.
How to apply?
In order to be able to fulfil our commitment to our students, it is important that they enter at the right stage. As part of the application process students will be asked to submit a sample of their written and spoken English, which can be sent online from the link below, FL Adult English Level Assessment. We will use this to advise which is the appropriate programme for the student according to their level of English. They can also send any relevant certificates of previous studies to be considered when emailing the task.
- FL Dublin City Centre Campus Address: 25 Wolfe Tone St, North City, Dublin 1, D01 X9K7
- FL Athlone Campus Address: Deerpark Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 RR60