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Virtual classroom launched to prepare for IELTS on the go

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2019

Candidates brainstorm and participate in group activities in this virtual classroom, writes Sharangee Dutta

Keeping up with the approach of online learning and enabling candidates from every nook of India to receive quality training for clearing the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, British Council has launched a virtual classroom.

Known as ‘IELTS Coach,’ this virtual classroom is a blend of app-based learning and live online classroom sessions. Aimed at training individuals who have an intermediate level of English knowledge, IELTS Coach omits the need for such aspirants to physically attend a class. 

Therefore, students from tier II and tier III cities, who cannot afford to relocate to a metro city can also get proper coaching on clearing IELTS. In addition to this, candidates can take classes even on the go and as per their availability of time.

Why a virtual classroom

Launched in March 2019, IELTS Coach has seen more registrations from tier II and III cities till date. Currently, 55% of the aspirants are from tier II cities such as Jalandhar, Thane, Guwahati, Vizag, and Kozhikode. Among the metros, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata have produced most registrations. Talking to Education Times, Beth Caldwell, head of Blended Learning, British Council India, says, “We saw a need in India, both from tier II and III cities where people did not have access to world-class resources. Hence, we needed to be accessible to test-takers all over India.”

With candidates from different backgrounds and places of India connecting to one another and attending a virtual class simultaneously, there remains a window to exchange thoughts and communicate better. This, in return, helps an aspirant augment their English knowledge too. IELTS Coach comes with an app of the same name, which consists of study material, quizzes, etc.

The virtual classroom focuses on interactive and communicative learning, consisting of poll questions, activity-based questions, etc. that keep students engaged. During the live online classes, the 20 candidates are split into groups and send to different virtual classrooms. Each group is given tasks to do such as a discussion on a topic, etc. within a stipulated time. These tasks are aimed at polishing students’ reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. 

Challenges faced

Rajul Goveas, English teacher, British Council, says that the biggest challenge for them is to keep up with the goal of IELTS Coach. “Each candidate has different needs that in return, test our teaching quality. Hence, engaging all of them equally is a challenge for us.”

To register for IELTS Coach, applicants must appear in a short online test. After that, they will have a telephonic consultation with one of the advisors of the British Council to discuss the relevant course options. The IELTS Coach app is accessible on mobile phones and tablets while the live online classes can be accessed from a computer or a smartphone. The course fee for the programme is Rs 9,500.
 

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