March 7th, 2012
When you arrive at CIE at 8:30 in the morning, a little early so you can have a nice cuppa before the day starts, the scene you find is often quite hectic. People in a queue for the photocopier, new students wandering around looking a little lost and other students in the kitchen getting a hot drink to start their morning off with.
9:00 comes around and the teachers bustle off to their classrooms, arms full of books, and students flop into their chairs. After half an hour, the classrooms are alive with chat laughter and the sound of discussion. If you sit in the common room, in the middle of all the classrooms, you will hear a whole host of accents, levels and topics.
During the first coffee break the common room erupts again. Some students are still a little blurry eyed, “It’s only 10:00, I’m sleepy…” It’s back to class 15 minutes later. The anticipation of lunch time is building. There is a debate in the upper-intermediate classroom as to when exactly we use the third conditional.
After an hour the second lesson draws to a close at 11:15 and the teachers relocate to their third hour class, fluency and learner training on their minds for the third hour. In the common room, with a fifteen minute break ahead of them, one of the teachers sets up a “Jenga” game. Most of the students and teachers are involved, waiting with baited breath, knowing that soon it will be their turn! CRASH! Somebody loses their nerve and the tower falls.
The students return to class at 11:30, and make themselves comfortable, as they are greeted by their third hour teacher. One of the classes is greeted by Adele singing her famous, “Someone like you”, for their first activity.
12:30 strikes! Lunch time. Some have brought a sandwich that their host family has made for them, some dash out to Sainsbury’s or the local Chinese restaurant for some food. Sitting together in the common room the students and teachers start up the very philosophical conversation starter of, “If you were a fruit, which fruit would you be and why?”
Before the debate gets too heated, the 1st of the two 1 hour lessons of the afternoon begins at 1:30. Minds back to study; one student is having a one-to-one lesson, to help prepare him for his IELTS exam that he will be taking in a month’s time. Everyone is rooting for him.
In the break between the two lessons, one of the students notices that it’s a Tuesday and that the activity poster for today is displaying a bowling ball and some bright white pins: bowling after school!
Each lane forms a team and the competition is fiercely high. After a quick lemonade to quench their thirst after the game, they all head back to the bus stop to catch the bus back to the city centre. It’s been a long day. Everyone is tired but looking forward to supporting or playing for the CIE football team on Thursday against another language school in Oxford. Lyrics to a possible new CIE football team chant start to gain popularity on the bus ride back to the city centre. By Thursday lunch time it sounds great.
Amy C. Williams, EFL Teacher
Want to know more? Why not check out this video made by one of our teachers, Sophie Clifton-Tucker: A Day at CIE.
Don’t forget to check out the funny ‘bloopers’ too: A Day at CIE – Bloopers.