The 4:1 Programme

This programme is designed for students from 11 – 17 years of age. It is an intensive two/three week English language course where students are immersed fully into an English language situation. Classes are a maximum of four students to one teacher and take place in the teachers’ home. Tuition is from 10.00hrs to 13.00hrs and emphasis is on the spoken word and teachers are encouraged to use everyday resources such as newspaper articles, TV news and documentaries, magazine articles, operating bus timetables, choosing menus, articles of local interest, etc. as well as the formal textbooks. Teachers are encouraged to place students into conversational situations such as making a telephone call, speaking to the local postman/milkman, etc.
Lunch takes place in the teachers’ home with the teacher and the family between 13.00hrs and 14.00hrs. Again, students are encouraged during this time to speak English.
Afternoon activities take place between 14.00hrs and 16.30hrs with the teacher. Teachers must include at least two cultural activities per week (e.g. visit to a local museum, castle, heritage centre, city, etc.). The other afternoon activities can be more informal (e.g.. visit to an aquarium, shopping trip, art/cooking lessons, visit to lake/mountain, seaside, etc.). Again, conversational situations are encouraged such as students asking questions on visits, paying entrance fees, buying from sales assistants etc. Teachers are also encouraged to relate activities in the afternoons to classes in the mornings.
Students will have two/three full day excursions each Saturday where they will meet up with other students for cultural visits and shopping opportunities.
Students will be placed in a host family situation within easy travelling distance to the teachers’ home. Teachers may also host a student. Students will only be placed with families well known to the school and only one French/Spanish/Italian speaker per family. Rathdown Language School will place students in families where there is a family member of roughly the same age as the student where requested.
All our teachers are highly qualified and experienced and hold the necessary qualifications as set down by the Department of Education and Science for teaching EFL in Ireland.