Holiday English Tips with Becky

Are looking for ways to improve your English over the holiday break? Becky, the Director of Studies at our Noosa campus, has passed on some ideas that will help.

GV Noosa's Director of Studies, Becky chatting to some students

Students always ask me how they can improve their English over the holiday break. Here are some ideas.

Read
• Christmas cards.
• Newspapers – local papers are delivered free to every house. keep a ‘new vocabulary’ log-write and down every new word you read
• Magazines and junk mail (also free)
• Borrow a book or two from our library or join the local library – it is free!
• Read the subtitles on your favourite movies

Write
• Keep a holiday diary
• Christmas cards and/or happy new year cards
• Write on your facebook in English and impress your friends

Listen
• Movies- always great new films out at Christmas time
• Carol concerts- check your free local paper
• Christmas CDs

Speak
• Australians love to chat – start up a conversation with the person next to you on the bus/beach/supermarket queue/bus stop
• Sing Christmas songs with your friends
• Go to a Karaoke Bar
• Check out Website: http://www.volqld.org.au and join a volunteer group

Lastly, don’t forget the great interactive CD Rom that comes with your student text book. Catch up on all those lessons you missed!

Have a great holiday break everyone and remember: Use it or lose it!

Patty’s Study Tips – Keep a Study Journal

Patty, the Academic Director for GV Caloundra, has passed on some great study tips to help you get the most out of your time whilst at Global Village.

Patty, the Academic Director for GV Caloundra

Learning a second language can be fun and easy for some but difficult for others. For most of us it doesn’t happen over night and it takes lots of practice.

We all learn differently and have preferred ways of studying but one thing that would really help you improve your English is to keep a study journal. It’s an easy way to monitor your progress. It allows you to assess what works and doesn’t work for you and it makes you take responsibility for your learning.

I am sure you have your own ideas about how you like to study and the types of activities you enjoy doing and don’t enjoy doing.

It is important, however, to think about whether or not you have been successful doing these activities or if you should try something new, if you should use different strategies to help you reach your goal. If you are serious about trying to improve in a particular area you should set an achievable goal and then think about how you are going to do it.

If improving your listening is your goal then think about which area of ‘listening’ you are weakest in.  Do you need to improve; listening for specific information or general ideas? Once you have decided there are many different types of exercises you could do.

(There are even lessons and questions provided if you are interested. This website would probably suit Pre-Intermediate to Intermediate students.)

  • For something a little more challenging you can access the following website for IELTS – listening exercises http://www.ielts-exam.net

(This would be suitable for Intermediate to Advanced students.)

  • Of course, there are fun ways to improve your listening like watching movies, DVDs, (but without subtitles because the purpose is to improve your listening not your reading) and downloading lyrics to popular songs and creating your own gap-fill exercises.

You can use the template below as a starting point. It can be as detailed as you choose it to be.

Remember we are here to help so ask your teacher for some advice!

Enjoy Caloundra on the free Christmas Holiday buses!!

Sunshine Coast Council’s free holiday bus services are all set for the busy period from 26 December to 3 January.

All the buses on Route 600 from Caloundra to Mooloolaba and on to Maroochydore, ending at Sunshine Plaza, will be free.

Why not take the opportunity to get out and about, and visit some parts of Caloundra you haven’t visited yet?

For more information on the free bus services, click here.

IELTS Test Tips with Justin

Justin, the Director of Studies at GV Byron Bay, has passed on some tips to help when preparing for the IELTS exam. Here is some handy information about the speaking component of the exam.

Justin, GV Byron Bay's Director of Studies

Justin, GV Byron Bay's Director of Studies

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is a globally recognised test of English communication. It can be used for University entry and emigration/ immigration around the English-speaking world and beyond. It measures your ability to communicate across the four language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking through authentic and challenging tasks. With over 700,000 people taking this test annually, it is one of the fastest growing English tests in the world, trusted and accepted by over 4,000 organisations and faculties worldwide.

How to Practice Phrasal verbs.

A phrasal verb is the combination of a basic verb and a preposition. When a basic verb and a preposition are put together and the meaning of the verb changes, we call that a phrasal verb.  To sound more natural and fluent when you speak English, it is a great idea to try to learn and use them.

Have a look at this example:

Pick = to choose

Up = the direction of moving vertical

Pick up = to get someone or something from a location

Notice how the meanings of “Pick” and “Up” are changed when they are put together.

How to practise for the Speaking test:

When you are studying a topic in English, try and learn all the phrasal verbs that go with it. We have lots of worksheets that we can give you in GIL, so please feel free to use them or ask your GIL teacher for some more.

A good way to study for the speaking test is to make a list of them. For example, if you are learning about crime, make a note of:

To beat someone up.

To get away with a crime

To make off with some cash

To break into a shop.

To get away with cheating

To hold up* a bank.

To tip off* the police.

Grammar point.

*These phrasal verbs can be separated. You can say:

He held up the bank.

He held the bank up.

He held it up.

But not: He held up it.

We hope this helps, and if you are interested in doing an IELTS course please come and speak to the Director of Studies at any time.

A Day In The Life Of An FCE Student – Bianca Colombo

I have been here in Caloundra for 8 weeks and my English is improving from week to week. It is due to my teacher Yvonne and the interaction with my hospitable home stay family.

My daily rhythm has changed in comparison to my life in Switzerland. I get up earlier, but I go to bead earlier as well. My morning usually starts with a great breakfast, which includes tropical fruit and just relaxing or occasionally I go for a swim.

Then at nine o’clock lessons begin and we practise the five parts of the FCE Certificate all day, including Reading, Writing, Use of  English, Listening and Speaking. It is very intensive! However, I guess it is good to have a challenge, so as a result it never becomes tedious.

I am really tired after 5 hours of school and I allow myself a break. I go for a walk to the beach to enjoy the local scenery. I had a special experience on my first day when we spotted a few whales on Kings Beach! The local fauna and flora are so different to Switzerland, from the beautiful lorikeets to the cuddly kangaroos. My new favourite animal is the kangaroo! I regret not having more time to see other parts of Queensland.