IELTS evening classes at BBELS

IELTS evening classes will begin at BBELS on the 29th April. The classes will be held each Monday and Tuesday from 5:00 – 7:30.

This is a great opportunity for people living in the Byron Bay region who need to sit the IELTS exam for immigration or academic purposes. More specifically, it is good for those people who work during the day and cannot ordinarily join our day classes.

If you would like to know more about our IELTS preparation classes please contact us at info@bbels.com.au or contact us directly on 02-66808253.

Meet the students: Jules from New Caledonia

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Meet Jules our New Caledonian student. He studied in the IELTS class and received a fantastic result in his IELTS exam. Jules could often be heard playing his guitar outside the school each afternoon but now he can be found working in one of Byron Bay’s Mexican restaurants. Jules is an example of how it is possible for our students to study and find work here in Byron Bay. Read below to learn more about this interesting man …

Why did you decide to come to Australia?

I wanted to start travelling the world, and Australia looked like a good starting point, I can work on my English, and enjoy the sea.

How long have you been studying in Australia?

I studied in Australia for 8 weeks, to pass my IELTS exam.

What do you like best about BBELS?

Meeting new people from around the world, discovering new cultures, the mood and feelings around and in the school, playing music with a lot of different musicians.

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You are working in a restaurant and you worked at the markets. Tell us about it.

Working in a market is hard. It starts early in the morning, you have to work a lot to be ready for the never-ending waves of people coming, you are paid depend on the selling. That was pretty hard. On the other hand, working in a restaurant is only hard the first month. You have to learn everything, remember a lot of different stuff. When you are ready, it’s always the same thing, so it’s not that bad. Good money, anyway.

Can you also tell us a little bit about your passion for music?

I’ve been playing music for all my life, as far as I can remember. Started with piano, for 15 years, and then I started touching everything, try new instruments. Now, I’m working on my guitar playing and singing skills. But yeah, music is pretty much all I’ve got. That’s why I love to play at school parties and in town.

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What do you like about Byron Bay?

Byron Bay is an amazing place for musicians, lot of opportunities if you know where to look at. Also great to meet people from different countries, which I love. It’s a really relaxed town, stuck in time, far away from world troubles and politic bullshits. It’s like a haven for lost travellers. Once you are here, you don’t want to leave.

What are you planning to do next?

I’m still asking myself the same question. Travel more, I guess, but where to go next ?

Happy New Year from BBELS

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Our first new group of students for 2016

Happy New Year to all of our students, both past and present. We hope that you enjoyed the holiday over Christmas and that you have entered 2016 with a feeling of optimism for all the exciting things you will achieve this year.

Here at BBELS we have started 2016 with a very friendly group of students who have come to study General English, IELTS, and the Cambridge exams. We have a big range of nationalities here at the moment, including students from Switzerland, Japan, South  Korea, Brazil, the Netherlands, Argentina, Chile, Belgium, France, Spain, Colombia, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, Germany, Italy.

We know that this culturally diverse group of students will soon make strong friendships here at the school. From all of us at BBELS, good luck for 2016!

Why study the IELTS and Cambridge courses at BBELS

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Taking one of our test preparation courses at BBELS is a perfect way to pass the Cambridge and IELTS exam. Each of the teachers chosen to teach the courses have had years of experience in preparing students for the exams and therefore our students have a high pass rate.

Before allowing students into our testing courses we ask each student to complete a test which checks their levels. This 1 ½ hour test focuses on speaking, listening, grammar and writing. Students are then put into class depending on their test result. Students need to have completed studies at an Intermediate level in order to be accepted into our IELTS and FCE courses, and potential CAE students need to have completed an Upper-intermediate course. Our careful testing of all students at this early stage means that our classes flow smoothly throughout the duration of the course.

BBELS teachers have regular Professional Development sessions where they share ideas on teaching methodologies related to the various areas of the exams. These professional development sessions always result in the teachers creating new resources for the testing courses. In doing so, the teachers provide their students with lessons that are specifically tailored to the requirements of the exams and our students .

Each week students in the testing classes focus on individual points of grammar and vocabulary that allow them to successfully answer different parts of the exam. Classes are tested each week as a way to check individual student progress. This helps the teacher identify any weaknesses in the students’ comprehension of what has been studied. These tests also familiarise the students with the format of the Cambridge and IELTS exam.

Our testing courses run for 12 weeks with the exception of one 10-week course per year. We believe this is enough time for students to develop their skills in all areas of the exams. As we are an authorised Cambridge testing centre we are able to test our Cambridge students here at the school, this includes the paper-based exams and the speaking exam (this is subject to student numbers). This means our students can take the exam in a familiar environment allowing them to feel relaxed.

Our regular IELTS teacher is also an IELTS examiner so she knows exactly what the students need to know before they take the test. Because of this our IELTS students always do particularly well, with many of them continuing to study at universities in Australia and overseas.

Studying one of our testing courses at BBELS is also a great way for our students to make friends both in and out of the classroom. Students can study in a multicultural classroom with students from Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Outside of the classroom students can live in student-houses provided by the school. Here they can live with students from differentschool-classes and countries, expanding their circle of friends in Byron Bay.

BBELS holds regular Friday night parties at the school so that students can meet more people outside their classroom and share-house environment. This is a great way for students to unwind and recharge after a week of study and tests. Activities are also organised by the school each weekend which students can participate in, allowing the students to balance the demands of an exam course with a more relaxed lifestyle.

As Byron Bay is a small town everything is easily accessible by bike or on foot. Students often talk about the friendliness of the townspeople and so they make friends with locals quickly (if they are not too shy). It is common to see students and locals together at cafes and pubs, or surfing at one of our quiet beautiful beaches. Communicating with the locals builds the students’ confidence, something that is very important when they take the exam.

So on both academic and social levels students who choose to study a testing course at BBELS have the potential to do very well. We provide the framework for student success; the rest is up to the hard work and discipline of each individual student.

 

 

 

 

Meet the staff: Liese our IELTS teacher

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In this post we will introduce you to one of our most-loved teachers, Liese. Liese is our specialist IELTS teacher. The great thing about having her teaching IELTS is that she also works as an IELTS examiner so she knows which points to emphasise during our 12-week IELTS courses. Students who take the IELTS exam in her class invariably get great results. Many of our IELTS students have elected to take the course a second time because they enjoyed it so much.

Liese, tell us about yourself. Are you originally from Byron Bay?

I am originally from New Zealand, but have lived in London, Tokyo and Sydney before moving to Byron Bay. In Tokyo I mainly worked at Kanda Gaigo Gakuin, which is a very large and famous college. And I also taught English at Chuo University. Furthermore I worked for an advertising agency and for Mulberry.

How long have you been working at BBELS?

I have worked at the school for seven years.

What do you especially enjoy about working with the students at BBELS?

The students at BBELS are an interesting eclectic mix of young people from a wide variety of backgrounds, nationalities and interests. BBELS reminds me of the Japanese language school I studied at in Kanazawa, Japan for the summer. We rode bikes to school and went swimming in the afternoon. The school had a wonderful environment and everyone in the town knew we were students and helped us with our homework.

What other fields did you work in before you started teaching English at BBELS? Has it helped you as a teacher?

I have done all sorts of jobs, from cleaning to working for an international advertising agency, which gives me insights into all kinds of life experiences. In London I worked in a law firm and as a result then got a job, marketing new alcohol brands for Guiness in Cameroon. It is still the most enjoyable and most highly paid job I ever had. Unfortunately I was arrested for taking a photo of the national bank. But luckily my company in London paid the “ransom” money.

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Why would you recommend a student to take an IELTS course?

IELTS is the main exam required for entry to university and any post graduate studies. It is also needed in order to be considered for scholarships or funding  and for anyone wishing to have their previous professional qualifications recognised in Australia. It is also required for sponsorship and of course for all residency requirements.

As an IELTS teacher, what advice would you give a student who wants to study IELTS at BBELS?

The best reason to take IELTS in Australia is you get to have fun and improve your English and job opportunities at the same time. Australia uses a mixture of American and British English, so you are able to pick up truly International English.

IELTS requires a lot of study, but BBELS students always do very well in the test and feel very confident in all areas of English by the time they graduate.

What are some things you’d recommend students to do while they are here in the Byron Bay Region?

See the sunrise and the sunset and watch out for the birds.

 

Meet the students: Monica from Mexico

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As summer gets closer the variety of nationalities studying here at Byron Bay English Language School is increasing. At the moment we have students from France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Argentina, Spain, Korea, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Chile, New Caledonia, Colombia, Mexico. This cultural diversity makes studying at BBELS a very rewarding experience.

In today’s post we are introducing you to Monica from Mexico. She is studying in our IELTS class and is working at one of Byron Bay’s elite restaurants.

Why did you decide to come to Australia?

First, because I love to travel, learn about different places and grow as a person through experiences and adventures. In addition, I grew up in Mexico City which is one of the biggest cities in the world and I wanted to find a place where I can be in touch with nature, enjoy a slower pace of life and be able to appreciate the little thing in life, such as seeing a sunset in the beach or drinking a cup of tea with my friends. These activities perfectly describe a regular afternoon in Byron Bay.

How long have you been studying in Australia?

I have been studying in Australia at BBELS for three weeks now. I’m in the IELTS preparation course, learning a lot every day and really enjoying it.

What do you like best about BBELS?

I like everything! 🙂 the fact that the teachers and everyone who is part of the staff are totally interested in what the students need and care how they could help to make our experience better. Learning English at BBELS is the perfect place to study, improve your knowledge and at the same time make friends from all around the world while you enjoy all the amazing activities the school has for us.

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You are a chef, tell us about your job:

I’m working as a chef in “The Fig Tree Restaurant” in Byron Bay, which is a beautiful place that does weddings and special functions. They have an amazing international staff, a stunning venue and a veggie garden where we get our own fresh and delicious ingredients to cook every day. I’m learning everyday something new and I’m totally grateful for the amazing opportunity to be part of one of the best restaurants in Byron Bay.

What do you like about Byron Bay?

I would like to say that I can declare myself totally in love with Byron Bay. In general people in Byron Bay are kind and relaxed. The vibe that surrounds the place makes me feel blessed and alive. I love that there is music all around, awesome beaches, and of course, one of the reasons I love Byron is due to my school.

Meet the students: Diego from Spain

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Diego enjoying the surf at Byron Bay

Meet Diego! He is one of our Spanish students here at the Byron Bay English Language School. Diego has recently completed a course to prepare him for the First Certificate in English exam. His time at the school was so positive that he will be coming back to complete an IELTS course. In this interview Diego talks about his impressions of Byron Bay and our school.

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Diego, can you tell us why you decided to come to Australia?

I decided to come to Australia because right now Spain is in a bad economic and social situation. That made me think about going abroad for a period of time until the situation in my country changes. Another reason that made me choose Australia was the weather and the lovely and friendly people who live here.

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Cycling back to town from the Lighthouse

Why did you choose BBELS?

I chose BBELS because my idea of being abroad was to find a job and learn English at the same time. One of my friends back in Spain told me about the school and after comparing and looking at different things, BBELS was the chosen one due to the location of the school and the reviews that I read on the internet.

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Diego and his Cambridge teacher Ash

Can you tell us your impressions of BBELS?

The school is good, the teachers are good. Almost everything in and around the school is good.

How do you expect the English you have been learning at BBELS to help you when you get back to your country?

Actually I don’t want to go back to my country. Once you are abroad you don’t know what your future will bring you but nowadays if I need to choose something I will choose stay longer in Australia. One of my ideas is to apply for the work and holiday visa and then go to Melbourne and try to find a job in design, which is what I have studied. But if I get back to my country, English as a language will help me to find a better job in better companies.

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BBELS Soccer Team consisting of students from all over the world

Could you tell us about how the school supports its students? Have you had any assistance from the school to find a good accommodation, a job or for further visas?

The school has been helping me since the first day I arrived. Special thanks to Sonia and Marcos for all the support and good vibes that they have given me. Sonia has helped me with every problem that I had. Sonia not only is a good employee for the school but is also a really good help for the students, helping us with problems from the school and also problems outside the school. Marcos is the perfect example of happiness in Byron Bay. He is always helping and always smiling. He will stop doing his job to sacrifice his time for helping the students, a really good man. About visas, Sonia and I are working to apply for my work and holiday visa.

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At BBELS, everyone should….?

At BBELS everyone should speak English. It’s so annoying when people make groups and only talk their mother language.