The A Mark Training IELTS speaking course is divided into 5 preparation modules containing a total of 39 lessons. Each preparation module precedes one live class. Students complete every lesson in the module, request feedback and attend your live class with an expectation of how and what you are going to teach.
You charge students for your time and collect your tutoring fee directly from them. Your students pay the PFT website for access to the full course, and you access their lesson results from your class list. Your class list is populated in one of two ways:
1) Your student has already paid for full access to the website and is identified as a PFStudent. They fill out a form and request to be added to your class list after contacting you for classes. You then add the student to your class list through the appropriate form.
2) You purchase PFCredit from the website, receive a PFCredit Code (or a link to one) and activate your student. You collect the activation fee directly from your student in addition to any other tutoring fees that you would normally charge. After activation, your student is upgraded to a PFStudent and is added to your class list by the PFT website.
All teaching materials are available from the Train page at the end of each preparation module.
The live class follows the A Mark 30 Live Class model. It consists of three stages. At the Preparation Feedback stage, you and your students work through issues that both of you feel are necessary before going on to the next stage. In the Training Session, you run through assessment tasks that your student wants to do and that you feel are necessary. The focus of this stage is to provide feedback on language that your student has prepared to use prior to attending the class. In the last stage, the Assessment Feedback section, you provide a physical copy of feedback along with suggestions for further improvement and development.
Each live class is 30 minutes.
Your preparation for class comprises of:
- Checking and marking (click a button) your student's online preparation lessons, which result in a display of a combination of green, yellow and red flags on their notebook page. (~5 min)
- Filling out the PFT Assessment Sheet with information from your student's feedback page (~2 min)
- Thinking about and reading through the teacher notes, which tells you how the student has prepared in order to promote shared expectation (as long as you need).
You need to bring with you to class:
- One copy of the PFT Assessment Sheet (available on the Train page at the end of each module)
- Your laptop or tablet (the screen must be big with no text message or phone call interruptions) with the Train page open (all class materials are accessed from this page)
Your student needs to bring to class:
- A pencil and a copy of their own pre-filled out PFT assessment sheet (students identify what they think they need before class and you can see this on their feedback page...but it is good practice for students to do this on their own)
- A positive attitude
- The tuition fee for your class (if applicable or appropriate)
I strongly suggest that you first spend a couple of weeks working through Module #1 by yourself. After that, study the teacher notes for Module #1 in detail. Once you have done this, acquire a student on your own initiative, tell them how to register for free, have them complete Module #1 and arrange to teach them using the A Mark 30 Live Class model. If they are not on your Class List, they will need to bring their own PFT Assessment Sheet (since you will not be able to access their Notebook or Feedback Page).
Once you have one module under your belt, you will feel more comfortable with the format of the classes for Modules 2 and 3.
The teacher notes are meant as a hint for how you can better prepare for your live class. They contain all of the content in the student section of the lesson minus the videos, notes under the answer boxes to make language noticeable to students, audio message at the end of the lesson and capability to submit and post answers to the feedback page.
I have arranged the extra comments in sequential order. These are not meant to be an exhaustive presentation of teaching methodology or language clarification techniques. They are intended rather to provide a running commentary on aspects of teaching and learning within the context of Prepare Feedback Train and the A Mark 30 Live Class model in order to help you better prepare for your class.
I urge you to eat the fish and spit out the bones as you trawl for new ideas and insights into your own teaching practice. Let's not get caught up in the "My lesson plan is better than yours" game. It is one of the big reasons I stopped teaching formally in schools with a staff room. I will continue to focus on my teaching practice and you focus on yours. Then perhaps we can learn from each other and collaborate to do something even more important in the future.