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Interview - Cambridge English for Life

Published
18/09/2014

Thank you for speaking to us. Can you give us a brief history on Cambridge as well as its history in Malaysia?

Of course. The University of Cambridge, which was established in 1209, started providing exams to students who were not members of the university in 1858. The first  overseas based exams were taken by candidates in 1863 Trinidad and later in Malaysia in 1871, but it was not until 1913 that the first exams for non-native speakers were offered. The Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) was originally a qualification for teachers, but was revised in 1930 to cater for all students who wished to improve their English skills and abilities.

 


I see. Such rich history. Currently, how many centers are there in Malaysia?

Established in 2001, Cambridge English for Life (CEFL) is the leading provider of accredited, ready to launch English language, Math and early childhood development programs. With close to 60 franchise branches (and more to be established) throughout Malaysia, CEFL provides high quality training that leads to the certified qualifications offered by the University of Cambridge English Language Assessments (CELA).

 


What is Cambridge’s mission and why do make this your mission?

According to their website, University of Cambridge’s mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. At CEFL, our mission follows similar objectives by providing professional education service in an innovative learning environment to enrich our learners and help Malaysia achieve international prominence as a center for educational services.

 


What are Cambridge’s values and objectives? And how are these implemented in your syllabus?

Cambridge’s values and objectives are the freedom of thought and expression and the freedom of discrimination. At CEFL, we place our students at the core of our educational mission and do our utmost to expand our students’ knowledge, enrich their culture and boost their creativity so that they can become well-rounded, responsible citizens and leaders of our society.

 


That is fantastic and great to know. What is the basis of your system? Can you tell us a little about your syllabus, examinations systems, teaching tools, educators and etc?

Our system is based on teaching all 4 English language skills, namely reading, writing, speaking, and listening in each lesson. Classes are kept to a maximum of 16 students to ensure that each student obtains the maximum benefit from the dynamics of a small group and lessons are taught in a happy and relaxed atmosphere using relevant and topical material.

Students’ participation is encouraged and we strive to make each lesson a happy and enjoyable experience for the students. Our teachers are both motivated and creative and are provided with training on regular basis to be up to date on new teaching methodologies.

At the end of the course, they have the chance to obtain a University of Cambridge Language Assessment qualification. Success in Upper Main Suite examination provides learners with a qualification which meets the English language entry requirements of colleges and universities worldwide.

 


Good to hear that. May I know what type of students and age group do you cater?

We cater to students from as young as 4 years old right up to adults and for all levels of proficiency. Preschool students (ages 4 – 6) are taught Junior English, primary school students (ages 7 – 12) are taught Young Learners English and high school students (ages 13 – 17) are taught Main Suite English. The exit level for the majority of students is the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), which is the equivalent of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) band 8.0.

We also cater to adult learners, where they can take Business English Certificate (BEC) and exit with a Higher BEC that has an equivalent of IELTS band 8.0.

 


Other than improving the English proficiency, what other aspects is CEFL looking to enrich in a student’s life?

Our curriculum exposes our students to subject matter that is topical, factual and up-to-date. These interesting topics have the added advantage of motivating the students to do extra-curricular reading and research on the topic presented. Speaking is also encouraged during the lessons, which increases the students’ confidence of using English outside the classroom.

 


Do you offer franchising opportunities?

Yes, we do. As I mention earlier, franchise opportunities exist throughout Malaysia, as well as internationally. A CEFL franchise provides you with excellent opportunity to become a partner in education with the full backing of CEFL’s expertise in promotion, teaching methodology, curriculum development, and school management.

In return, you agree to run the business according to the CEFL's proven methods and quality standards. CEFL will organize an orientation program designed to prepare you to start-up and operate your CEFL language center. For international associates, onsite training can be arranged.

 


I see. If a person is interested in joining CEFL’s franchise, what does he/she needs to do?

Yes, sure. If a person is interested in investing in a CEFL franchise, he or she needs to follow these 4 easy steps:

  • Complete the “Expression of Interest” form and return it to us,
  • You will be invited for an interview. Upon confirmation, you will be required to submit an application form together with the application fee,
  • Upon a satisfactory review of the location of your proposed center, we will send you a copy of the Franchise Application Form. Complete the form and submit it together with the franchise fee to enable us to proceed with the legalities of our new working relationship,
  • Two copies of the Franchise Agreement will be forwarded to you for signing; you return both copies to CEFL for our signing and stamping and thereafter a copy of the signed Agreement, which confirms you status as a Franchisee, will be returned to you. At the same, CEFL prepares your “Start-Up Pack”, and arranges delivery of resources and training


*For more information on franchising opportunity, interested parties can email franchising@cambridgeforlife.org 



Thank you for the explanation. Finally, what are the most prominent challenges in handling a center and also an education-based system?

The most prominent challenges in handling a center are to ensure that the education package we sell is the package we deliver on and to ensure that it lives up to parents’ expectations. This is achieved by monitoring the students’ progress by keeping records of classwork, monitoring homework, and doing regular progress tests.

The challenge in terms of handling an education-based system is to ensure there is a balance between exam based results and outcome based results.

 


Thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it.

You’re most welcome. Thank you for the opportunity.