Language and culture classes at Erasmus Language Sharing are different from the ones focused on the European Framework (CEFR). This means that upon completion of a course at ELS, students will not receive a certificate of having obtained a certain level (e.g. A1, B1). However, this also means that for ELS classes, there is no final exam to be taken. Instead, during each lesson, (new) elements of vocabulary, grammar, and culture are discussed and practiced through interactive exercises and games.
As ELS classes are not officially certified and we focus on interaction and culture in our classes, it is difficult to compare our bases to certified levels. Also, we do not conduct exams. Therefore, we explain the levels of our bases based on the different skills students acquire in the specific base and the knowledge they are expected to have before the start of the trimester. Naturally, base one is a preparation base for base two, and base three is the follow-up base for base three.
If you have no prior knowledge of the language, this is the base for you! The first base corresponds to a beginner level, which means that you can attend these lessons without any prior knowledge. We also advise you to sign up for base 1 if it’s been some time since actively studying a language.
Depending on the complexity of the language, you will achieve a clear understanding of basic grammatical concepts such as the present tense, pronouns, adjectives, articles, regular verbs, adverbs, time, and gender. Also, vocabulary to enrich everyday situations such as introducing yourself, ordering food in a restaurant, and buying train tickets will be introduced. Moreover, new vocabulary and grammar topics will be applied in engaging and interactive exercises, both conversational and written. Writing skills depend on the complexity of the writing system of the language. To put it simply, when the language requires learning a new alphabet (e.g. Arabic, Russian, or Korean), the focus of our lessons is not on perfectly learning the new script. Rather, how you can apply this in basic situations. Moreover, the first base is also focused on familiarizing students with simple cultural themes associated with the studied language – think of hospitality, family traditions, food etiquette, travelling, and so forth. Generally, the lessons will be taught in English, but as the trimester progresses, the coach will start speaking in the studied language more frequently. This will also be an ideal preparation to advance to second base in the studied language.
The second base follows up to the content of the first base. At the end of the second base, you can speak in different tenses and have general knowledge of the language's grammar. Most important, you are able to communicate in the studied language in everyday conversations. This base prepares you for the third base, in which classes will be fully taught in the language itself. In the second base itself, classes will be taught as much as possible in the language itself, but when necessary, the coach can switch to English. The second base follows up to the content of the first base. If you already possess a fairly good understanding of basic grammatical concepts (for example, the present tense, regular verbs, etc.) and are familiar with vocabulary to carry out simple conversations, then the second base is for you!
Note: There is no official intake test to determine your current proficiency
Depending on the complexity of the language, you can expect to have a general knowledge of the grammar at the end of ten weeks. Some of the grammatical topics treated are order of sentences, conjunctions, the past tense, and irregular verbs. To reinforce the new vocabulary and grammar taught in each lesson, games, songs, videos, and dialogues will be used. Most importantly, at the end of a ten- week trimester you will be able to communicate in the studied language in daily-life according to the typical manners and acknowledging relevant aspects of the country's culture. The second base is also focused on familiarizing students with intermediate-level cultural themes corresponding to the studied language – think of shopping, humor, urban lifestyles, and so forth. Generally, classes will be taught as much as possible in the language itself. Only when necessary the coach can switch to English. In this way, base two prepares you for the third base, in which classes will be fully taught in the language itself.
The third base is the most advanced level offered at ELS. The set-up of lessons is different compared to the first two bases. The focus of base three is completely on interaction. If you already possess a good understanding of intermediate-level grammatical concepts and can carry out everyday conversations in the studied language, this is the base for you!
Note: There is no official intake test to determine your proficiency
The focus of the lessons will be entirely on interaction. This means that during the lessons, the focus is on learning by speaking and listening. The coach will engage you in activities such as debates about current affairs, preparing an elevator pitch, and group discussions. Also, reading and writing will be adequately covered through news articles and other forms of text. While there is no specific focus on vocabulary or grammar, the coach will strive to clarify grammatical concepts that students find difficult or if a situation/topic arises, using exercises. As such, it is important that you are comfortable in participating in discussions and debates in the language that you’re studying. If you feel like you’re lacking the vocabulary/grammar to do so, please consider signing up for base two.
Moreover, complex cultural themes corresponding to the studied language will be discussed in the target language itself. Think of business-related issues, literature, and environmentalism.
At the end of ten weeks, students can expect to have a thorough understanding of the studied language in terms of grammar and vocabulary, and be able to confidently and effectively communicate in it in complex situations that require linking ideas and elaborating on them.
If you are still uncertain which level you should subscribe to, an overview of the subjects that are generally taught in each base can help you decide. Try to complete the practice exercises for the base you consider applying for. If you’re having difficulties filling these out, consider applying for a less-advanced base. The overview can be found here.
Period: January - March 2023
- We offer online and offline courses during this course period.
- The registration deadline is January 20th
The maximum would be 15 students per base. If the minimum number of students per base which is 4, is not reached, it is not guaranteed that the course can take place. In this case, students who already paid will be refunded within a time span of 15 working days.
There are a few requirements to signing up for a course at ELS.
- During the whole trimester you have to be and remain a registered student at Erasmus University.
Further, it is not required to purchase teaching material. Your coach will send you all the relevant material before the start of the trimester.
Lastly, we have a cancellation policy that allows you to be reimbursed the costs of the remaining 9 lessons. After the second lesson, refunds will not be possible.