New Afternoon Class: Vocabulary through Drawing

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Our Vocabulary through Drawing students studying at Byron Bay’s Main Beach

At BBELS we like to explore new approaches to learning vocabulary. For this reason we have opened a new afternoon class called Vocabulary through Drawing. Here students get the chance to study English in a creative context where they learn new vocabulary to describe landscape, people, form, shades and textures.

Each lesson requires the students to learn new drawing techniques that develop their artistic skills. After each drawing session the students give a presentation of their work, in English of course, to the rest of the class.

The Vocabulary through Drawing class is a great way to develop your level of English. The class is taught by one of our favourite teachers, Andrew, who has a background in visual art. It is open to all full-time students from the Intermediate to Advanced classes. We hope to see you there!

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BBELS: Cambridge Results and student testimonials

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Results for our CPE students

The results from the March Cambridge exams have just been released and we are very proud of our students’ achievements. As you can see from the above graph our students did very well in the Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) exam. Congratulations to them and their hard-working teacher.

Below you can read some messages of gratitude written by the students to their CPE teacher:

Thank you very much for everything you did for me and our class. You were an amazing teacher and I am sure that you’re one of the main reasons why I passed the CPE. I remember doubting even trying to pass it, and now I nearly got a B-Grade! Thank you so much for believing in me. Just today, I sent in my application for uni and I’ve decided to become a secondary school teacher instead of teaching at a primaryschool. This gives me the opportunity to choose English as my main subject🙂

And another:

I passed CPE ! With 214 points (B). Thank you for all your support. And for pushing me!

 

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Results for our CAE students

Results for our Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) students were also fantastic! Every student passed. Those 10-weeks of preparation with their teacher really helped our students reach their goals. Here are some more testimonials from our appreciative students:

I don’t know how but I got an A in writing and passed with 191. This wouldn’t have been possible without you! Big thanks to you again!

And one more:

I passed with 196! :) I’m so glad about it, I think I’d have never passed with such a score without the help of your really good Cambridge course! Thank you so much for it 🙂

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Results for our FCE students

Finally a big congratulations to our Cambridge English: First (FCE) students. At the beginning of the 10-week course many students doubted they would pass the exam but with their determination and teacher’s guidance they achieved some great results.

These results show that Byron Bay English Language School is a great place to prepare for the Cambridge English exams. Our students get the chance to study with Cambridge teachers who have over 10 years experience in teaching English as a Second Language. One of the Cambridge teachers is a qualified Cambridge speaking examiner and so she can help our students considerably in this part of the exam.

Byron Bay is a beautiful town to live in and it is the perfect place to study. We hope to see you here for our next Cambridge Preparation Course start date on the 13th June.

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End of course exams at BBELS

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Students who enrol in General English courses at BBELS are examined every 4 weeks. This means in our 12-week courses you will be examined in week 4, week 8, and finally in week 12. The results from the tests allow the teachers to check their students’ progress. The tests also help students maintain a target of what they want to achieve each month as well as providing students with a way to evaluate their own improvement.

Each exam is divided into grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking sections. We understand that some students may do well in one section but may not do as well in another. The teachers are able to analyse the results in each section so that they can suggest ways to address any problems the students may be having. After each test the teachers spend time with each student on a 1-to-1 basis discussing their progress and areas that might need to be focussed on. Over a 12-week course the teacher and student can look at the results to see how they have improved.

Our students are particularly motivated to do well in the week 12 end of course exam. If students achieve high results they will be moved up to a higher General English level or they may be allowed to move into one of our IELTS or Cambridge preparation courses.

Over the period of a 12-week course we encourage our students to develop good study habits. These include:

  • only speaking English with classmates and friends
  • regularly doing homework and review actvities
  • participating in class
  • reading English magazines, newspapers, books
  • writing in diaries
  • listening to podcasts

Good luck to all of our students in your end of course exam this week. Hopefully there will be a lot of you who will move up to a new class and level next week🙂

 

 

 

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Meet the students: Renan from Brazil

 

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Renan, our 16 year old student from Brazil

In this post we will introduce you to Renan. Renan travelled to Byron Bay by himself to study English. He became a favourite student in his Intermediate class with both his teacher and classmates. He also became a popular house-mate in his Australian homestay house. In this interview Renan talks about his experience in Byron Bay as a 16 year old student …

Why did you decide to come to Australia?

I wanted to improve my English and I had two options. I could go to Australia or to Canada. But honestly, I think Canada is too cold. A friend of mine, who went to Australia before, showed me some pictures and told me a few things about the country. And I really liked it.

How long have you been studying in Australia?

I have already been here for three months. And I really would like to stay for a longer time. But I have to go back to Brazil, because I only took a break from high school.

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Meeting the wildlife on a school trip to the local wildlife sanctuary

 What do you like most about BBELS?

The methods of teaching are very interesting. It is never boring in class. My teacher does a lot of different things with us, and we also do excursions or just have a class outside. We went to the Currumbin zoo, to the lighthouse and to some cafes in Byron Bay.

You are one of our underage students. What did you experience about being one of the youngest students at school?

All students and staff at school really take care of me. On orientation day I made a lot of friends from different countries already and everybody helped me. So I do not feel homesick at all.

The only thing that is a little bit different is going out in the evening. I am not allowed to go out, and I have to be at home when my homestay family wants. But I understand it because my homestay family and the school, are responsible for me.

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Renan with his homestay family and housemates

You live in a guardian home stay family. Tell us a little bit about it.

My family is amazing. They care a lot and help me with everything. We really have a good relationship. And they cook for me what I want. There are 5 other students living in this big house, and I really feel like home in a big family. And they help me with my English.

Can you also tell us about the activities you do here at school?

 I like to play volleyball and go to the beach. It is good to meet the other students and become friends with them. I also took some surf lessons with the school. And now I go surfing a lot. And I like the school parties of course, because these are the only parties I can go to.

 

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A big family meal at the homestay house

What do you like most about Byron?

The people here are very friendly and open minded. In my first week here, I was lost. I could not remember the way home. So I asked a guy in the street and he was very nice and just gave me a ride home.

I also love the beautiful beaches here. You have good waves and good places to surf.

Check out this interview with Renan and another teenage student Laura in Portuguese

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20 reasons to study English at BBELS in Byron Bay

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The BBELS school building

Thinking of studying English in Australia?

Here are 20 things that show why BBELS in Byron Bay is a great study destination for you!

  1. Location – BBELS is in the CBD – heart of Byron Bay

It will only take you a few seconds to be on Jonson Street, Byron Bay’s main street with plenty of trendy cafes, restaurants, and shops. And only a few minutes to be at some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. We have it all just around the corner!

  1. Class hours

We offer 22.5 hours of face-to-face tuition with highly-qualified teachers. All of them are native speakers, and have been working at BBELS for many years.

  1. BBELS Job Club

Brian, our Job Club Manager, can help you find a job in Byron Bay. During his Job Club workshop he will also show you how to create a CV in English, apply for your TFN, and set up an Australian bank account.

  1. Owned by a long-term local family- BBELS is a beautiful and charming boutique school

If you are looking for a school with a laid-back atmosphere which is also very professional, then BBELS is the ideal place for you!

  1. BBELS has 2 dedicated people to activities and travel desk

Max, our activities coordinator, organizes activities for our students each and every day. Whether you’d like to combine your English course with surfing, yoga, or some music lessons, you will surely have a ball in Byron Bay!

Reuben, our travel advisor, can help you with the booking of some Aussie tours including accommodation and flights. This way, you will have the chance to explore the rest of this amazing country just before you head back home.

  1. BBELS offers a supervised school party evening every 2 weeks at the school

The school parties on the BBELS balcony are legendary! The students easily make friends at these functions, and enjoy the evening with some live music.

  1. BBELS offers Buddy BBQs every 3 months

Each student joins the FREE barbeque with another BBELS student from a different country.

Our English only policy is a must during this fun event, and you will enjoy meeting people from all over the world.

  1. BBELS has its own licensed café- Café Oska

We have a school party on the balcony every second Friday, and a Buddy Barbeque every 3 months.

What happens when we don’t have the school parties? Then the fun goes on at Cafe Oska!

Besides special live-music events during the weekends, Cafe Oska offers some delicious breakfast and lunch specials with a great student discount. And yes, there is also a happy hour from 3pm until 5pm.

  1. BBELS has multi-lingual staff to assist low level students (we speak Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean at the school)

 We understand that our students might struggle with the language barrier during their first weeks in Australia. That’s why we are here! The team at BBELS is fluent in many languages, and we can assist you with anything you might need to know in your mother tongue.

  1. BBELS building is solar powered

Because here in Byron Bay, we like to protect our environment!

  1. BBELS is an IALC school

We have all the accreditations that Australian language schools require, but one accreditation is a bit special. IALC consists of a network of language schools world-wide that „have individual character and a real connection with their local community. All IALC language schools are quality assured and boutique, providing guaranteed professionalism, personal attention and an exceptional learning experience.“

For further information about IALC, please check their website here.

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One of our Cambridge classes on graduation day

  1. BBELS is an authorized Cambridge exam centre in Byron Bay

This means you can sit your Cambridge exam at BBELS, there is no need to travel to any other testing centre up the Coast.

  1. Excellent Cambridge exam preparation courses

Cambridge teacher Ash has been working at BBELS for 11 years, read an interview with him here.

Cambridge coordinator Kat has been working at BBELS for 8 years, read an interview with her here.

If you are still wondering why you should study Cambridge at BBELS, then read this interesting article here.

  1. Excellent IELTS exam preparation courses

IELTS teacher Liese is also an IELTS examiner, and has been working at BBELS for 9 years. Read her interview here.

Are you not quite sure what the differences between our IELTS and Cambridge exam preparation courses are? We explain this here.

  1. Own student housing close to school

We also have our own shared-accommodation for our students. All student houses are close to the school, so you can simply walk or ride by bike to BBELS!

  1. Lovely homestay family accommodation

Many BBELS students also choose to live with an Australian homestay family in Byron Bay. This is the perfect way to practice your English with some locals after classes while getting to know the Aussie culture.

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Satomi, one our Japanese studenst, volutnerring in the Northern Territory

  1. Own volunteering programs

As a volunteer you won’t only make a positive impact, but you’ll also have the chance to meet the locals, improve your English language skills and boost your CV!

Read an interesting article about the benefits of volunteering here.

  1. Academic Pathways with Southern Cross University and TAFE NSW

After successfully completing their English studies at BBELS, many students decide to continue studying at an Australian university or TAFE. BBELS offers an Academic Pathway with the Southern Cross University and TAFE NSW, which means you won’t need to sit an IELTS* exam. As long as you enrol for a General English upper-intemediate/ advanced or IELTS exam preparation course and you pass the English test with our Director of Studies, we can give you a reference letter confirming the direct entry to SCU or TAFE NSW.

*Direct entry is not accepted for the Bachelor of Nursing and Interpreting Services. Direct entry might also depend on the assessment level of the student visa application.

  1. Teen programs during Aussie winter months

 We understand that teenagers would also like to experience the fun at BBELS, and have therefore created a customized teen program which includes a General English course in combination with some typical Aussie activities like surfing, playing the didgeridoo, bush walking, and a lot more.

  1. Great nationality mix

Students from all around the world come to share the same experience at BBELS:

Study English and have fun with some typical Australian activities in beautiful Byron Bay!

 According to the BBELS motto: Learn to Live!

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Teen Program

Teen Activity Program

Every year in July and August, we offer a special teenager program here at BBELS. For the duration of 2 to 6 weeks, international teenagers between 15 and 18 years can enjoy a special time in Byron Bay. Our “summer camp” style teen program includes a part time English course during the week and afternoon activities every weekday and one day at the weekend.

Teen bushwalking

Walking through a local rainforest

The teenagers take General English courses from 9am till 12.30pm during the week. Afterwards there are some special afternoon activities from 1.30pm. At the weekends there are exciting activities during the day. We offer different sport activities, like volleyball and golf, art activities like Indigenous painting and craft working and of course some interesting and fun trips like bush walks and sea kayaking. All of the arranged activities are guided by one of our supervisors.

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Teen skateboarding class at the Byron Bay lighthouse

The students live with guardian home-stay families and experience Australian life as a part of the family. The teenagers have a single room in a house close to school, including 2 meals every weekday and 3 meals during the weekend.

Teen snorkelling photo

Snorkelling in the sub-tropical ocean at Byron Bay

The price of our program includes the airport transfer to Brisbane or the Gold Coast airport, all tuition materials and a free BBELS T-shirt.

So come to beautiful Byron Bay, and become a member of our big family!

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Friday afternoon classes at BBELS

At BBELS full-time students have the option to study in our Friday afternoon clubs. Students can attend a conversation club; a homework help club; a resume writing club. These clubs are a nice change in routine for our students.

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In our conversation club students from different classes and levels are encouraged to sit down in a relaxed environment to discuss various topics introduced by the teacher. Our students love this club as they can finish the week practising the vocabulary they have studied in class and also learn new vocabulary from other students (and of course the teacher).

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The homework help club is another popular class that our students regularly attend. In this club students can ask for extra help on certain points that they may have had trouble with throughout the week. It could include grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. This club is usually small enough for the teacher to give personalised help to the students.

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Finally, the resume writing club helps students who are looking for a job to write a clear and professional resume in English. Our Job Club manager can then assist students to find a job here in the Byron Bay region or in other areas throughout Australia. It is a valuable service to our students.

The BBELS clubs are held from 1:15-2:45 each Friday and are open to all our full-time students. They are a great way to improve your English while making friends from other classes.

 

 

 

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