International Students: Improving your English

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IELTS (The International English Language Testing System) alongside TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are no doubt the most well-known English language tests as they are the top picks for educational institutions, professional organisations and employers across Australia. So it’s no surprise that all Australian colleges and universities accept IELTS and TOEFL as the minimum English language requirement.

Read more: How to Score in IELTS, IELTS vs TOEFL

Mainly, you will find the general minimum English requirement for the Australian student visa and most Australian universities stated below:

  • IELTS – overall score of 6.0 to 6.5 (no band less than 5.5 to 6.0)
  • TOEFL – overall score of 60 to 90

Contact us to know the English requirement for your dream university!

Now, for students who live in a country where English is not the first language spoken, it might be difficult for them to be fluent in it and it takes time and energy to invest in order to enhance their English language skills in terms of Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening.

But of course, when there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Here are the simple, fun and effective ways to practise English at home;

Simple Ways to Practise English at Home

1. Listen to English Songs

“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” – Keith Richards

I guess by now it’s safe to say that everyone loves music simply because most of the time we can connect to it emotionally. Aside from the melody and the beat, the lyrics hold the meaning of an entire song. 

It’s important for you to listen to a song and understand the message that it implies in order for you to be able to connect to the song. That’s the exact reason why listening to English songs will teach you not only how to listen better but also to pronounce better. 

You’re free to choose the song according to your preferences, so it should be a self-fulfilling task for you.

2. Listen to English Podcasts

Podcasts are the new hobby these days. Easy access and informative. 

Although listening to podcasts might not be as rhythmic as listening to songs, apart from training you to be a good listener, podcasts will give you the privilege of gaining information that you will need in order to make a good essay. It makes sense because we focus better when we’re listening without a visual. 

Start with finding a good piece of English podcast and take your time to finish one. Once you have mastered the act of listening to understand by using podcasts, you’ll notice the difference in the way you listen, and the way your mind views things.

3. Journaling

Who says writing needs to be boring and difficult? Why don’t we try journaling in English? 

It doesn’t need to be more than 300 words. It just needs a little bit of your time and a little bit of writing. You can write as many as you want, it can be two lines per day, it can also be one page per day if you have so many things to write about for the day, which is good. 

Writing needs practice and it’s an exercise for the brain. You need to get used to it to be good at it.

4. Practise with a partner

Speaking in English is so much fun when you have someone to practise with. 

Of course, it can also be good to practise speaking in front of the mirror talking to yourself, but having a partner can help boost your confidence to speak in front of other people and can help you interact smoothly in English because that’s how you learn to speak better, by making sure that you as a speaker is able to deliver your message clearly to the listener. 

So get your family or friends to learn English together with you, it’s going to help you a lot in improving your English.

5. Watch Movies/Series with Subtitles

We can’t deny how subtitles have been helping us understand the content of  movies all this while. It helps you in terms of reading, pronouncing and listening. 

And with that being said, we also don’t realise how much subtitles have been doing the job in expanding our English vocabulary and enhancing our word structures simply by enjoying an English movie or series, in our pajamas, with the comfort of being at home. 

Not everyone can stand the subtitles, but there’s a subtitle in every movie for a reason; to understand. As much as you hate subtitles, if you’re not a fluent English speaker, subtitles help you a lot in improving your English.

Read also: 15 Netflix Movies & Shows Worth Watching for Students

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

Alternatively, you can attend English courses offered for international students for that matter. Professional help always comes in handy when you aim for excellence.

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students or known as ELICOS helps to prepare international students or tourists to adapt to the English-speaking culture in Australia. ELICOS provides a wide range of English programs for specific purposes: English for business, general English, courses for teachers, etc. 

They emphasize on English courses for academic purposes, specifically IELTS and TOEFL preparation courses. Take note! A demonstration of your English proficiency is required not only to apply for a university program, but also an Australian visa.

Get in touch with us now to know more!

Recommended Institutions

1. Navitas English Institution

Navitas English Institution has numerous branches all over Australia, stretching across popular locations like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. They provide different English courses for different purposes. In the case of university entry, we recommend students to take their Academic English class. 

  • Navitas English has more than 60 direct entry higher education partners, opening pathways towards master’s, bachelor’s, diploma, and certificate programs.
  • If you’ve successfully completed their Academic English class, you do not need to sit for the IELTS test to prove your English proficiency to their direct partners
  • This course teaches valuable, yet versatile skills in academic proficiency and literacy in English. 
  • They provide excellent online learning portal – myStudy. It includes learning resources like fixed tutorials and extra learning materials.

2. Sacred Heart International College

Sacred Heart International College provides a General English class. They offer 4 levels of carefully constructed General English to enhance speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students may find the experience fast and enjoyable, as the courses are made to be as high quality as possible.

They also provide sufficient resources and materials to aid students throughout the course: student books, practical activities, MyEnglishLab online tutorials, bilingual support, computer labs with technical support, etc. 

Assessment methods will include: portfolio, reading activities, writing activities, questions, role plays, learning plans, interviews, research, computer tasks, and presentation.

3. Edith Cowan College (ECC)

Accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, ECC’s English program combines modern resources and materials to enhance student’s learning experience, while providing different assessment methods to track students’ learning progress.

The program is designed for students who plan to study in Australian universities. Their English program upholds students’ future by teaching them cornerstone skills such as essay writing and reading skills, academic English language, and academic discussions and presentations skills.

4. Griffith English Institution (GELI)

Student’s needs are GELI priority. They use smaller and focused classrooms with the intention to provide a more personalised learning experience for the students. They also provide high quality learning opportunities, high quality resources, and an excellent support system to shape students’ English proficiency in the best way possible. 

This program has four sections of learning: 

  1. Reading (understanding information from academic and general texts)
  2. Writing (writing essays under exam conditions)
  3. Listening (understanding information presented in academic and general settings)
  4. Speaking (participating in academic/general discussions and presenting information)

Additionally, students can gain direct entry into Griffith University programs upon completing their English program.

Read also: Study English in Australia for International Students

Not sure which institution would be suitable for you? We are here to assist you, consult with us now for FREE!

Contact us to find out more!

International Student enquiries:

Email: [email protected]

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Nurul Nadira

I am an English undergraduate student who reads and listens to bands.

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