English language experts answer your queries

International students, who couldn’t attend the ME Alliance International Student Seminar on the 11th of June, 2015, sent us their questions about English language tests. We contacted Lexis English Teaching Team to answer the questions.The Lexis English Teaching team in Noosa, Queensland, sat down and discussed the following questions over steaming cups of coffee. The team cumulatively has over 250 years of experience between them – and, as they put it, “they are still learning!”
What is the best way of mastering English for everyday professional use?
Read magazines that target your particular trade or industry for example: Accounting, Design, Engineering, Tourism, Transport magazines – in English!  Do a Google search for “Professional and Trade magazines” to find a magazine for you. Look for online discussion forums or online lectures that you can join and contribute to or simply follow.Join a professional organisation – you will receive news about your profession and there will be workshops and lectures you may be able to attend. Volunteer to work in an organisation – this is a great way of making contact with people in the same profession as you, networking for the future and improving your English!
Do you think international students and migrants need to focus more on their overall English skills rather than just worry about test scores?
This is a question our Academic team at Lexis loves to discuss!If your goal is to attain a certain test score for future study or work, then a focus on achieving this score is vital. However, achieving a certain test score doesn’t always mean that you can function in your new course or job.Our team strongly advises students to focus on overall English skills as well as exam strategies.  This combination helps students to improve their test scores and function in their new environment.One of the best courses to achieve the above is a Cambridge English exam preparation course.  At Lexis English, Cambridge courses are something of our specialty.  We strongly believe that by studying in a Cambridge Exam Preparation course students will improve all skill areas – reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, speaking and listening.

We use sample exam questions and help students develop strategies to achieve the best possible results.  Students study in classes where everyone is working towards the same goal – a formal qualification that is recognised by employers and educational institutions worldwide.

How can one develop confidence in one’s language skills?
Students and migrants often feel shy or afraid of making mistakes when they speak to native speakers. Everyone makes mistakes – even native speakers!
Be BRAVE!  Be a Risk Taker!  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – in fact, mistakes are great – it means you are learning!Try to immerse yourself in the language, get involved with clubs or volunteer work.  Speak to the local people – ask them to correct your mistakes.  Our students love having their mistakes corrected, this means that someone is listening to them and again – they are learning!
What is the minimum time one needs to devote to learning language skills in order to get better?
This again depends on your goals.  If you really want to see an improvement, a full time course is best.  A Cambridge English exam preparation course ranges from 10 to 12 weeks.  If you need to pass an exam, then a minimum of 2 to 3 hours homework is a must!Remember to use what you learn immediately and at every opportunity.  Some of our best students leave the classroom and try out new vocabulary or expressions on their friends at coffee break and lunchtime.Learning is a lifelong process and language learning especially does not happen overnight.Remember – there will be good days, when everything you want to say comes easily – and bad days, when you will even have trouble saying something in your mother tongue!
The most important thing is – NEVER GIVE UP!!!

The Lexis English Teaching Team that answered these questions consists of Phil Egan, Lize Holroyd, Michelle Previti, Dionne O'Dwyer, Anjali Sheppard, Suzie Tindall, Eileen Thompson, Annette Sievert, Anne Potter, Charmaine Prosser, Tanya Heywood, Becky Cantor and Nina Schiller.


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