Some more study tips on how to improve your English (Part 2)

Hi Guys,

I hope you found the previous tips on Speaking and Listening useful and have put them to good use.

This is part two where I’ll concentrate on Reading and Writing.

Reading:                                                                                                          As with listening, it’s a good idea to find the answers to: ‘who, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘why’. Take notes.

Skim the text to get the main idea before you read it slower the second time for specific information.

Look for signal words that may show contrasting ideas or explanations and pay attention to pronouns as they often refer to the subject of the text.

When reading the newspaper or magazine articles look at the headlines and photos to try and guess what the article will be about. Use any prior knowledge you may already know about the topic, it will certainly make things easier for you.

Don’t worry about the words you don’t understand, try to guess so that you don’t stop reading every so often. Break the word down and see if it is derived from another. Look at its function; is it a verb, a noun, an adverb or an adjective? Finally, look up the words you don’t know when you have finished reading and see if you were correct.  It’s a great way to learn vocabulary and it will build your confidence.

 Most importantly find something that interests you to read, it’s the best way to keep reading. It doesn’t have to be educational; it could be based on a hobby or general interest.

Writing:                                                                                                     Make sure you use what you have learned in class. Write letters and post cards to your friends and family (even if you don’t send them). Keep a learning journal or even a travel journey in English.  Write ‘to do’ lists, text and email your friends in English. Keep in touch with the friends you make at GV by sending emails and leaving comments on our blog. Fill in questionnaires and forms, there are so many different ways to improve your writing.

That’s about it, unless you would like to add some of your own tips, please feel free to post a comment. As I said, it’s a good way to practise your writing.

Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake, so keep trying and use English as much as possible!

Patty Thomas                                                                                                                       Academic Manager                                                                                                                         GV Sunshine Coast .

Fun things to do in Byron!

We’ve had a couple of rainy days here and a few students have been asking what to do instead of lying on the beautiful beaches. Here are some ideas!

Shop Til You Drop

Jonson Street is Byron Bay’s main thoroughfare, and it’s brimming with boutiques, home wares, jewellery, antiques and galleries offering the handiwork of local artists. Have a walk around some of the side streets and you might discover some other shopping gems.

Escape with a Movie

If you’ve been swimming, walking and keeping active for days, there’s no better change of scene than a good movie. The Byron Lounge Cinema is housed in the Old Piggery building, and features a choice of upright or fully reclined seating. There are several sessions a day, and a varied program of recent releases and art house classics. If you come into the office we can give you special GV Byron Bay tickets!

Learn Something New

Several venues in the Bryon region offer short courses (days or hours) in yoga, massage and painting. What better place to get in touch with your arty side or discover your inner Picasso, than in the creative, alternative lifestyle embracing Byron Bay.

Get Pampered

Why not indulge with a relaxing, rejuvenating body treatment? There’s the choice of small local masseuse or resort day spa. Treat your face, body, hands and feet with any of a myriad of wonderful treatments on offer.

Dine Decadently

With casual beach cafes, pub bistros, fine dining restaurants and eclectic eateries on the menu, there’s no better place than Byron Bay to become a food critic for a day. Why not devote some time to getting to know the best spots for a sumptuous breakfast, leisurely lunch or delicious three course dinner! There are plenty of international cuisines and vegetarian options available, so there’s sure to be something you’ll rave about.

And finally, Byron Bay is all about anything goes, and that includes doing nothing at all. If you’ve been seeing the sights, or been swimming your days away and dancing till dawn, then take a day to lay about with a good book. Just look up now and again for those beautiful Byron views.

Beautiful Byron days

We had a wonderful day out on the ocean with heaps of turtles and fish, beautiful water temperature and sun sun sun! Check out the photos below and don’t forget to sign up for next weeks surfing!


CLEANER – For local caravan park. Phone 66808999

CHEF AND KITCHEN  HAND for new cafe. Phone Dean 66808028

MOUNTAIN BIKE TOUR GUIDE – Needs senior first aid. or phone 0429122504

MASSAGE THERAPIST – Must be passionate and well presented. Email

For more jobs pick up your local Echo

Camera, lights … ACTION!!

Hi Guys….

If anyone is looking to perfect their camera skills check this out!


Capture your enviable Byron Bay living and learning experience with a short course in Photography here.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY 1 – Commences 27 April and 2 May
5 Week short course, one am or pm class offered per week.

and.. a little more info about the Bluesfest!

Here it is folks, the final artist announcement for Bluesfest 2011. If you are interested in any of the people playing or the schedule just click on the blue words! 

As you can see, they’ve  definitely saved some of the best till last with these stellar talented musicians, so if you weren’t excited before, you will be now! Tickets for Thursday 21 April and Tuesday 26 April are still available – dont miss out, the clock is ticking and it’s only a week until Bluesfest finally kicks off!

The whole lineup has become picture perfectly clear with the COMPLETE official downloadable Bluesfest Playing Schedule is now online. That means you can now make all those big decisions and plan your final Bluesfest itinerary.

Check it out for all artist times and stages – download it, print it out, circle your options – get set to make sure your Bluesfest 2011 experience is all set to go in glorious fashion! Please note that on Tuesday April 26 Bluesfest will open its doors at 11am, music starts at 2pm and finishes at 10pm, allowing everyone to get home in plenty of time for school the next day.

Grab your tickets now for Thursday 21 and Tuesday April 26.

The FINAL Bluesfest announcement for 2011 includes:

Warren Haynes, Clare Bowditch, Dale Watson & His Lonestars, Frank Yamma, Neil Murray, Shane Nicholson, Buddy Knox, Lisa Miller,
Louis King and the Liars Klub, Hat Fitz & Cara Robinson,Grace Barbe Afro Kreol, Ajak Kwai, The Blackwater Fever, Bobby Long, Secret Sisters, Nga Tae, Collard Greens and Gravy, Old Spice Boys, Victor Valdes & the Marin Brothers, Raghu Dixit, Jackson Firebird,Hank Green’s Blues, Joewah, A French Butler Called Smith, U Blues Band, Microwave Jenny, Kingfisha, Mojo Bluesmen, Bob Abbot & the Fabulous Green Machine, Transvaal Diamond Syndicate PLUS The Incredible Sky Pilots Plasticiens Volants


Woohoo!! It’s that time of the year again. The Bluesfest!! Yay!! With Bob Dylan and countless other internationally renowned and amazing musicians! Calling all students.. if you have a fixed address in Byron when you go to the ticket office show that you are a resident here and you will be delighted to see that you can get some very good discounts on tickets. If you have any questions just come and ask Justin or Kate in the office .

I highly recommend that you go along to at least one of the days.. it’s a great day, wonderful music, and a peaceful wonderful atmosphere. Remember, six GV students will be working at the festival, so when you go don’t forget to wave and smile! See you all there…

Jobs this week!

After teacher Andrew’s stunning GV  job workshop on Monday we should all be prepared to go out and get the job you want! Take a look at the jobs for this week.

EXPERIENCED: Cook/counter hand required. Ph 043249361

CLEANER: Byron holiday house,  once per week, days vary.Exp essential.

PART TIME CLEANER: must be experienced, an ABN, own transport and police check required. 12 hours work weekly avail. Ph Rita 0418133482 after 7.30pm evenings.

HOUSEKEEPER: The Summerhouse is looking for experienced and well presented female housekeeper, casual position with own transport req. Please send resume to:

Mr Proudfoot.

A fantastic today was had today! We all the had the wonderful experience of being part of Lucas Proudfoot’s world famous show. Lots of the guys got to learn the didge and the girls kept the rhythm. Lucas really did us proud, explaining the history of Byron and of the aboriginal instruments. Followed by “kangabanga’s” (kangaroo burgers) and a couple of cold beers.. the day couldn’t have been more perfect.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some tips on how to improve your English (Part 1)

Learning English is an ongoing process that doesn’t end when classes do or when you finish your course. It may even surprise you to learn that a good proportion of what you learn is learned incidentally, so, take advantage of the fact that you are currently living and studying in an English speaking country. Here are some helpful tips:


Speak English as much as possible and try to stress words appropriately. Intonation is really important and how you say something may have a totally different meaning to what you want to say, for example, ‘hello’ could be said in a friendly, sarcastic or indifferent tone.

Use your imagination and try this exercise:

Ask three different people, your friend (1), someone you don’t really know (2) and someone you don’t like (3):  what time it is, or invite them out for a cup of coffee.  You will probably find that you will say it a little differently each time.

Avoid speaking your own language while you are here because each time you do, you reproduce your own language’s stress and intonation patterns making it difficult to master the ones required for English. This is partially why you speak English with an accent. Mimic the sounds you hear, it’s a good way to learn. Besides, we know that you can speak your own language fluently so work on English!

Some students mistake speaking very quickly with being fluent. Speak slowly and clearly, so even if you make a mistake the listener will understand most of what you are trying to say. If you speak quickly the listener will find it difficult to understand you.

If you can’t find someone to practise speaking with, read aloud to yourself. This really helps with stress and pronunciation. Have you ever noticed that everything sounds great in your mind when you read silently, but not so great when you are asked to read aloud in class? If possible, tape yourself and listen to your pronunciation.


 Listen to the radio and watch the local news. Make sure you listen for ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘why’.  Listening to music and learning lyrics to songs is a fun way to learn vocabulary. You can try and guess the lyrics to songs before you download the lyrics from the net.

Eavesdrop on conversations on public transport, it isn’t difficult because most people use their mobile phones and they’re quite loud. Even so, try not to make it to obvious you might upset someone.

Watch DVDs without subtitles because the idea is to improve your listening not your reading.

I hope these tips are useful so stay tuned for the next instalment.

Patty Thomas                                                                                                                      Academic Manager – GV Sunshine Coast

Jobs !

This week has been a great week for work for GV Byron Students. One our teachers has been able to find 6 positions for GV Byron Students at the Bluesfest! They will be happily washing dishes whilst listening to the wonderful sounds of Bob Dylan!!

Other jobs available this week are:

Yoga teacher: 0412 759175

Casual Chefs needed , good rates, flexible hours. Ph Matt 6687 1220

Waitstaff required for THE ITALIAN at the Pacific Restaurant, am and pm shifts available. Pop in with your resume on Wednesday between 5-6pm.

Cleaner – Part time. Exp. prefered. Evenings 0418133482

Check out for more jobs or have a look on the student notice board daily~!


Run away with the circus at GV Byron!!!!

On Friday we did our monthly fantastic circus class. This is a one in a lifetime opportunity! Nicole had this to say about it .. “

“This has to be one of the greatest ideas of all time. I  REALLY loved learning the trapeze and becoming even closer with the students and my friends. I’m amazed that we have such wonderful opportunities here at GV Byron Bay. Everyone was really nice and the acrobatics were fantastic! Thanks GV!”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.