Your First Day as an English Student at ELC

If you are wondering what your first day at ELC wil look like, and what you will be doing, we have summarised everything for you here.

Kirsten with Student | UCT English Language Centre Reception

Once you have done all the bookings, visa applications and flights, you will find yourself standing at our reception with the lovely Kirsten, waiting for your first day as an English student at the University of Cape Town’s English Language Centre to start. You may be a little nervous, and unsure of what is going to happen, so here is a short breakdown of what your first day will look like.

Kirsten will take a photo of you, if you have not already sent one via email to us. This photo will be used to generate your UCT student card which will give you access to all the building and facilities you will need at the University of Cape Town, including access to the free UCT bus service for students and staff. Kirsten will also take copies of your visa and passport, and complete some basic paperwork for you.

Monica, the Director of Studies, will then take you and all the other students starting their course on the same day, into the testing room. The testing room changes depending on the number of students starting. Sometimes, with big intakes we may use the Hiddingh library, or we just our ‘Fish Bowl’ located right next to Monica’s office in the Rosedale building. You will be doing a placement test which enables us to gauge your current level of English. This test covers all the skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as grammar). She will explain a few things about the test and how we use the results to put you in an appropriate class. The test takes approximately 2 hours in total because the aim is to be as thorough as possible.

Once you are done with your placement test, Monica will do a needs analysis with you, which will be sent, along with your test results, to your teacher.

After the test and needs analysis, Monica will do a presentation. This presentation includes information about ELC’s teaching style, how the courses work, and what your timetable will be. It also briefly explains who the staff members of the school are and what they are responsible for. Monica will also give you some tips on Cape Town and cover important phone numbers, safety tips, etc.

After this, you will be taken on a tour of Hiddingh campus where you will be shown the library, computer rooms, café’s on campus to get lunch/ drinks, coffee, etc. as well as all the different classrooms we use on Hiddingh campus. We also explain the social programme and sometimes even have time for a bit of the history of the campus. In this time, your placement tests will be marked and once we return to the school, you will receive your course book and begin your class for 12pm – i.e. conversation class. If you have afternoon classes, you will then have a lunch break after conversation and return for your afternoon classes, and if not, you are free to go home and return the following day ready for class at 9am.

Your teacher, fellow peers and all staff are readily available to assist you should you have any questions.

Waking up on your first morning to come to school may seem overwhelming, but we hope that by the end of your first and second day you will feel more comfortable and will have already met people from your class. Remember that every person sitting in your class had their first day once upon time. For some it would have been weeks or even months ago, while for others it would have been only a week ago.

We look forward to welcoming our new students every Monday morning and to welcome you into the University of Cape Town’s ELC family!

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