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The Octorial Course

A highly intensive study programme combining language skills classes, collaborative team training and communication workshops

27.5 hours per week

The Octorial Programme is an intensive course of study crafted to build English language skills for academic and professional development. The unique advantage of the course is that it offers a high level of individual attention with a wide mix of team work training and mentored independent learning sessions.

Students are taught in very small class sizes (restricted to an absolute maximum of 8) which creates a collaborative training environment with constant proximity to tutors. The very small class size allows us to focus on each student’s own intelligences and give extra coaching where needed. The school environment promotes discussion and inquiry which stimulates critical thinking and illuminates ideas. The course delivers a depth of language skill and a breadth of cultural awareness which gives you a cosmopolitan perspective and a natural flair for connectivity.

The course content

  • 15 hours of language skills lessons
  • 12.5 hours of communication skills workshops

How the course will help you in your mastery of the language

  • The course will increase you effectiveness in English by developing core language skills through materials and situations which build confidence, fluency and autonomy in English speaking environments.
  • You will gain the confidence to use English naturally and effortlessly which will make you comfortable in both academic and professional situations which demand the use of English.
  • You will develop techniques to create clear arguments in both written and spoken English and to communicate your message with impact and flair.

See how each session of the training day delivers the skills which contribute to your mastery of the language.

The Octorial Programme

Sample timetable

08.45 – 09.00 Morning Plenary

09.00 – 10.00 Spoken Performance Workshop

10.00 – 10.15 Break

10.15 – 11.15 Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric

11.15 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 12.30 Comprehension, Vocabulary and Précis

12.30 – 13.00 Team Project

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch 

14.00 – 15.00 Composition and text analysis

15.00 – 15.15 Break

15.15 – 16.15 Mentored Dissertation

16.15 – 16.30 Plenary session

The skills you will achieve

Morning Plenary

Each day begins with the Morning Plenary in which students contribute to a group discussion or deliver a personal presentation. This session is a warm up for the day ahead and builds the important skills of:

  • confidence
  • fluency
  • resilience

The session removes the fear of public speaking and is useful practice for the spoken session of an exam or for those who need to address an audience in professional situations.

Spoken Performance Workshop

The Spoken Performance Workshop develops verbal and non-verbal communication skills. You develop the ability to:

  • adjust the style and register of your language to the situation
  • express opinion
  • give verbal instruction
  • create persuasive arguments
  • achieve clarity of pronunication

In addition, there is a focus on other factors which impact your performance such as body language, eye contact, voice projection and the use of pause etc.

Grammar, logic and rhetoric

The Rhetoric lesson is designed to give you:

  • a wide vocabulary and accurate grammar which give you the confidence to be bold with your use of the language
  • a strong foundation which gives you increased scope in your spoken and written use of the language
  • essential core skills for exam success

Comprehension, vocabulary and précis

The Précis lesson uses a wide variety of authentic materials such as literary texts, news articles, research reports, current affairs audio and video to build new vocabulary and develop comprehension skills.

The art of editing and summarising is practised in order to test comprehension and develop vocabulary. You develop your speed of listening/reading, understanding, processing and reacting.

Team Project

The Team Project is a workshop of mixed level teams for authentic interaction.

Each week, students work in small teams to produce and deliver a project at the end of the week. This gives real-life practice in presenting and formal writing. You develop skills in problem solving, collaboration, organisation, leadership and project management.

The session builds your ability for problem solving and communication in cross-cultural situations.

Composition and text analysis

In the Composition lesson you master the skill of clear and structured written English. This is done using a variety of practice tasks such as:

  • creative writing
  • essay writing
  • reading and analysis of authentic texts
  • writing of reports, letters and emails

The tasks train you to structure your writing and develop a personal writing style.

Mentored Dissertation

The Mentored Dissertation is a piece of work which is personal to your study objectives and which is completed over the duration of your course.

It can include: a piece of research, a video project, a collection of essays, a piece of creative writing, exam practice texts and essay writing under timed conditions.

At the beginning of each week the Mentored Dissertation Tutor sets individual goals with each student.

Closing Plenary

The Closing Plenary session of each day allows you to review your progress and your personal milestones.

Homework assignments are given each evening. Using the flipped classroom approach, new content is sometimes set as homework so that lesson time can be used for analysis and consolidation.