Whale Watching Excursion

Students from Germany, Japan, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Thailand at the lighthouse. (Thanks to Julika for the photo).

It’s whale watching season here in Byron Bay! We love this time of year. From July till early November Humpback Whales swim past Cape Byron during their northern migration to Queensland. We are so lucky here because Byron Bay is one of the best locations in Australia to see the whales. Great viewing spots are at the lighthouse and Main Beach.

 

At Australia’s most eastern point. This is one of the best places to see whales.

This week our Intermediate class spent a couple of hours watching and counting the whales from the Byron Bay lighthouse. They had a beautiful morning in the winter sunshine and saw quite a lot of whales close to the shore. We love providing our students with the opportunity to study together in the outdoors. It encourages learning in a natural context and helps them understand a little more about the local culture.

It’s not too late to join us here during the whale watching season. If you would like to know more about our courses please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

 

 

Excursion to Broken Head

Summer may have finished but there is still a lot of sunshine to be enjoyed here in the Byron Bay region. This week our pre-intermediate class spent a beautiful morning at the Broken Head nature reserve where they learned new vocabulary to describe the plants and animals found at the beach.

Looking north to Byron Bay

The class walked through the littoral forest (beach side forest) and then walked into the sunshine where they had a great view to the neighbouring beaches. It’s always such a great experience to take the students outside the classroom and show them the different areas around the region. It is both refreshing and encourages a new type of learning.

If you would like to know more about our courses please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

 

CPE results. Congratulations to Femke.

Femke with her teacher Kat

A big congratulations to Femke, our lovely student from the Netherlands, who completed the CPE Boost course of study at BBELS. She has just received the happy news of her success in passing the exam.

The Cambridge proficiency exam is a demanding exam and she was nervous about getting through it but Femke worked hard with her teacher to prepare. Well done Femke and good luck with your further studies.

We would also like to  congratulate Kat, our CPE teacher, for all the hard work and dedication that she directed towards Femke during the course. Kat always receives such positive feedback from her students for her caring approach to her classes.

If you would like to know more about our Cambridge Proficiency preparation classes or about any of our other courses please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or visit our website.

Afternoon Elective Classes at BBELS

 Prue in her Business English class

As part of our General English program we offer full-time students the chance to study “elective classes” in the afternoons. These classes are open to full-time students in the Intermediate – Advanced levels. The classes are very popular as the subjects combine English with practical knowledge and skills that can benefit students in their careers or university courses.

The elective classes that we regularly teach include: Vocabulary and Speaking, English Structure, Australian Studies, International News and Presentation Skills, Hospitality and Tourism, IELTS preparation, Cinema Studies.

This week we have added a new elective class: Business English. Using one of the Cambridge Business Vantage Exam preparation coursebooks this elective focuses on vocabulary and information relating to business and economies in the modern world. It teaches students how world economies operate and helps them acquire the knowledge they need to communicate effectively in a business situation.

If you would like to know more about our classes please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or click here.

Tell me about you: BBELS student interview

Noelle and Cassandra

This week our “Upper-intermediate A” class has been studying reported speech. The students perfected their understanding of the grammar point while getting to know their classmates through an interview project.

In this interview Cassandra (Italy) interviewed Noelle (Switzerland). Here is her report:

Noelle is a very nice girl from Switzerland. I asked her whether she currently had a partner and with a big smile her answer was “yes”. She has been with her boyfriend for four and a half years. She added that he was living in Switzerland.

My second question was about her academic life. She replied that after 9 years in a “regular’ school, she had begun studying while working in a travel agency. She worked there for 3 years. She added that she finished her studies with an interesting course directed towards children with disabilities.

After that I wondered if she was practising any sport and how she spent her free time. She explained that she went jogging, that she could play the violin and that she spent her free time with her boyfriend and friends.

My following question was about what the most important thing in her life was. Noelle’s short and poignant answer was her family.

I concluded my interview by enquiring whether she had a dream. Her shining eyes replied for her. She said she had many dreams but the biggest one was to travel around the world.

An Excursion to Brunswick Heads

Walking along the wall at Brunswick Heads

At BBELS we encourage our students to use their language skills in real contexts. For this reason we have regular excursions to towns and villages near Byron Bay.

Today our Upper-intermediate class visited the beautiful seaside village of Brunswick Heads. It is well-known for its surfing and fishing beaches, excellent cafes, and for its river with dolphins and turtles.

At the end of the wall looking north to the Gold Coast region

 

Our students always love the excursions that we organise. They get to see parts of the Byron Bay region that only locals know about. They also get to speak English in a relaxed environment with their classmates and local people. As you can see from these photos, it is a great way to learn English while sightseeing around Byron Bay.

 

 

 

Study IELTS at BBELS

Our next IELTS course starts on Monday June 19th. It is always one of our most popular courses and our students have achieved some really great results. This post will explain a little bit about the IELTS exam and answer some of the common questions that our students ask.

What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an exam that tests your ability in English. More specifically, it examines your levels in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The IELTS certificate is recognised by 10,000 institutions around the world.

There are 2 types of IELTS tests: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

IELTS Academic is suitable for students who want to study at universities and colleges. It is also suitable for professional accreditation in certain jobs, these include: healthcare, accounting, engineering, law, tourism, finance.

IELTS General Training is suitable for students who are interested in applying for visas. It is especially helpful for students who want to migrate to Australia, New Zealand, the U.K, Canada. We often recommend our students to take this exam if they are interested interested in getting an internationally recognised certificate which shows their level of English.

What is the test format?

The test is divided in listening, reading, writing, speaking. The listening format is the same for both Academic and General.

Listening (30 minutes):

You listen to 4 different recordings of native English speakers. These will include: a conversation between two people; a monologue in a social context; a conversation between up to 4 people; a monologue on an academic subject.

Writing (60 minutes):

Academic test: You will be presented with 2 tasks. Task 1 requires you to describe a graph or diagram. Task 2 requires you to write an essay.

General test: Task 1 asks you to write a letter in a semi-formal or formal style. Task 2 asks you to write an essay.

Reading (60 minutes):

Academic test: includes 3 texts from books, newspapers, whose vocabulary and topics are suitable for those at a university level

General Test: includes texts from books, newspapers whose vocabulary and topics are suitable for those who understand English on a general level.

Speaking (11-14 minutes):

The speaking test is divided into 3 parts. You will be asked to talk about yourself; speak about a particular topic; extend a discussion by expressing ideas and issues.

 

Our IELTS courses are a great way to improve your English level. You don’t have to do the exam, you can simply study in the class, however we do recommend it. We always receive great feedback about our course.

If you are interested in joining our next IELTS course (June 19th start date) please come and speak with us at reception or contact us at info@bbels.com.au.