FAQs for Home and Group Classes

Do I have to take attendance?
Attendance is not necessary for home classes. You and your student will take responsibility for coordinating missed classes. Intercambio only needs to be involved in the case that your student is not available for class on a day that was scheduled.

For group classes, attendance is more important. That being said, every group runs a little differently. Please communicate with the IC staff member coordinating your group to find out what the specific attendance procedures are. In general, group attendance is important – and we expect you to keep track of it and communicate back to staff – so that we can track who is calling ahead to excuse absences and who isn’t. Additionally, with some groups, we award for “perfect” and “almost perfect” attendance. We will need updated attendance records to be able to do this.

What happens the last day of class for group classes?
We will provide level completion certificates that you sign and hand out to your students. You are welcome to organize a potluck, or other celebration, for the last day. Please make sure that the facility that you are using allows the consumption of food.

How do I get my student certificate for home classes?
When you request materials for the next level for you and your student, staff will automatically print a certificate for you to give to your student. If you would like a certificate for your student, but don’t plan to continue to the next level, let us know and we will prepare one for you.

What about snow days?
Intercambio does not officially cancel home or group classes due to snow. However, you are free to make that decision as appropriate. You will be responsible for notifying your students of the cancellation.

How flexible is the schedule?
For both home and group classes, ideally, you will be able to stick to the schedule as it was initially planned. Our students do not always have flexible schedules. However, if you would like to make a change that will work for your home student, let us know and feel free to do so. Group classes may be less flexible as we need to be aware that the space we use is shared with others.

How long do we have to finish the book?
We expect you to complete the book in 20 sessions. This is important for us as we have no other way to measure student progress than through analysis of progression through the books. If you choose to not use our books and develop your own lesson plans, please let us know.

What fees does my student have to pay? (And, do I collect the money?)
Students are billed (by mail) on a quarterly cycle once they begin classes. First time students are charged $45. After that, all active students are charged a $15 quarterly registration fee. Books are billed at $10 each. Each book comes with 1 CD. Replacement CDs are $2 each. We offer a generous scholarship policy for students who cannot afford to pay for their classes. We do not expect teachers to be involved in the billing process and all billing questions should be directed to us.

What if my student’s neighbor wants to join?
Great! Please have him or her contact the office. All students need to register with our program. We also need to make sure that the new student will be at an appropriate level for the class.

What do I do if my student cancels all the time?
Some students may not feel comfortable letting you know they need to stop taking classes or that they’re not in a good place to conform to a consistent schedule. If your student is cancelling more than once every month, or so, please give us a call. We will talk with him or her.

Who do I contact if I need something?
Your main contact is Rachel or Debbie – the Academic Directors. For many student issues, the Academic Directors will forward this issue to a Program Director (Maria, Norma, Marisa). In general, the Academic Directors facilitate needs the volunteer might have, while the Program Directors are responsible for advocating for the student. However, we can handle sorting the requests. Contacting the Academic Directors is a good place to start.

What if I need to miss a class?
If you are teaching a home class, contact your student(s) and let them know.
For group classes, please notify the office. In some situations, we may find a sub for your group. Otherwise, we’ll ask you to cancel by calling your students.

Do I have to take a field trip?
Field trips are not required, but they are strongly encouraged. The field trip is part of the number of lessons we plan for. If you do not want to take the field trip specified in the book, feel free to come up with your own. The idea behind the field trip is getting your student out and practicing English. Simply leaving the “classroom” and walking around the neighborhood tracking words a student knows or recognizes can be a great field trip option!

What if I get off schedule?
The goal for the term should be to complete the book. We are experimenting with the schedule during the winter 2014 term with the hopes of setting a schedule that allows for book completion.

How are students placed into their levels?
New students are placed into levels based on results from the CASAS reading test administered at the beginning of the term. Returning students are placed into levels based on feedback received from the previous term’s teacher on their report card. When we score placement tests, we take into consideration whether we are in the “A” or “B” books that term. We allow students to change levels for the first two weeks of class. If you have concerns about a student’s level, please talk with them first. We can also support in making a change.

How do I play the audio CD?
The audio CD can be played on a CD player or computer (that the teacher provides). Tracks can also be played directly from our website with an internet connection or downloaded to your computer. You can also play tracks on a smartphone by downloading the Sound Cloud app and searching for “Interactive English”. Lastly, you can also read the script you’ll find in the grey shaded boxes throughout the teacher book.

What if I don’t have a copy machine, but want to use the reproducibles?website.