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BlogWhy We Think Students Benefit from Multiple Instructors—And How We Make it Work

Why We Think Students Benefit from Multiple Instructors—And How We Make it Work

Written by E-QIP on November 21, 2019

From the beginning of E-QIP’s history, through rapid growth, changing faces and new spaces, a couple of things have remained constant: our one-of-a-kind teaching methods and the high calibre of our instructors. 

We think our teachers are so great that we’re committed to making sure our students get to experience working with as many of them as possible. The way we look at it, not sharing them around would just be plain selfish. 

Most of our students are thrilled to experience different teaching styles and work with instructors from a range of backgrounds, but some question the need for the switch. “If I love my teacher, why would I want a new one?” 

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A study from the University of British Columbia looked at the advantages and disadvantages of using multiple instructors per course to identify the effects of such courses on their own students and teachers. The study found that the advantages of multiple instructors were more likely to outweigh any perceived disadvantages when instructors collaborated to create a class with cohesive aims and expectations. Student-reported drawbacks of sequential teaching—in which one teacher at a time is present in class—typically have to do with disorganization; an understandable issue in large university lectures. 

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E-QIP has always utilized multiple instructors per student or class. Many of the key ingredients for success mentioned in the UBC study are present in our methods, but for us, it’s not about mitigating any disadvantageswe’ve only ever looked at having multiple instructors as an advantage, and we’ve developed our system accordingly.

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Our small classes and private lessons are designed from inception to be taught by multiple instructors, with the grammar lessons and conversation topics covered in each class or lesson explicitly outlined in students’ files. Teachers have at their fingertips a detailed history of their students’ learning journeys, including suggestions for future lessons and pages of raw data straight from the students’ mouths—far more than most language teachers, whether they’re sharing their classes or not, have available. 

Many people still harbour negative memories of school days of yore, when a teacher’s unexpected absence and replacement by a sub meant a day off from learning at best, or full out chaos at worst. But with the organizational issues out of the way, we believe that introducing students to multiple instructors is the best way to help them experience teachers with a range of styles and backgrounds. 

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It’s inevitable that students will connect more with some teachers, and we love it when that happens, but we also love seeing students widen their knowledge of slang, benefit from different approaches or encounter new regional dialects. 

The way we see it, good instructors are inevitable at E-QIP…  what if your favourite teacher is one instructor change away?

 

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