Lisa’s weekly tips provide answers to the most common student questions THIS WEEK – Am I ready for the next level?


In the past, students have said to me, “I think my English is better than the other students in the class. Can I go up to the next level?”

The answer, in my experience, is not simple. It’s possible that you are ready for the next level, in which case your teacher can recommend you for promotion. However, it’s possible that you think you are better than the other students because you’re a confident speaker but really the other students may be much better at grammar or vocabulary or writing than you. When assessing students’ level teachers and Directors of Studies look at many different things; the list below might help you understand why you and your classmates have been placed together.

1. Fluency V Accuracy

Some students sound brilliant to their classmates because they always speak in class, they love participating in discussions and answering questions in front of the class. However, while they are fluent communicators, these students often are not speaking correct English but instead speaking in their own language using English words. They can still be understood but compare them to the other student who thinks carefully before he or she speaks. This second student rarely makes mistakes, they are focused on accuracy as much as communication. It takes them a long time to say what they want to say, but when they do it’s perfect. Who is the better speaker?


 2. Strengths and Weaknesses Likewise, you can’t just judge your classmates ability by their speaking alone. Some students are excellent at the receptive skills of listening and reading, but find the productive skills of speaking and writing more difficult. Some students find grammar really difficult but have a really wide range of vocabulary. And finally some students are easier to understand than others simply because of their pronunciation. Each student is unique and has his or her own strengths and weaknesses.


 3. Confidence and Commitment In my experience, it’s also important to consider a student’s personality. Some students are shy and don’t like to speak in front of others. In this case, it is usually better for the student to be placed in a class they are near the top of rather than near the bottom. Other students are very curious. They always try to see the bigger picture and ask intelligent questions about things they don’t understand. These students usually work much better in a class that is just a little difficult for them. And of course, commitment is important too. If a student is prepared to study outside of class, to look up things that they don’t understand or to go to GIL and ask the teacher there for extra help, then they can probably cope with a class a bit high for their level. On the other hand, if the student has to rush off to a job straight after class or only hangs out with friends who speak the same language their progress cannot be fast-tracked in the same way.


As teachers we all want our students to develop and progress as quickly as possible, but we also recognise the problems of students trying to run before they can walk. If you genuinely feel like you are not learning in the class you are in you should speak to your teacher or Director of Studies as soon as possible, but, generally speaking, when your teacher thinks that you are ready for the next level they will discuss it with you.



So to summarise this week’s Tip – Don’t automatically think that because you are the best speaker in the class you should be in a higher level. If you are still learning or getting better you are probably in the right class. However, you can (and should) always speak to you teacher or you Director of Studies if you don’t think your English is improving.

Graduation Day at Lexis English | Byron Bay!

graduation 28.03


A sad graduation today at Lexis Byron, as we waved off some awesome students!

Takuto Miki – our youngest student at the moment – left to go back to Japan, whilst several other students said goodbye to go travelling!

Julia’s Intermediate class played Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’ and danced their farewells to us, and Sara told us that she has to hurry back to Switzerland as Byron Bay culture is making her lazy! I have my feet on the desk as I’m writing this 🙂

Good luck everyone and come back to say hi if you are in town!!

Memories of the sun from last Friday’s beach cricket game!

friday beach cricket


So, you may have got a little bit soggy on the way to school today. I took the bus and still look like I swam across the Bay to get here.

But, here are some memories of the beautiful weather last Friday! Julia took a group of students down to Clarkes Beach to play beach cricket. I’d hazard a guess that today’s Beach Ultimate Frisbee will be cancelled but no worries if you brought your swimmers anyway, you might need them for the way home 🙂

Elementary Class Excursion to the Farmer’s Market!

elementary farmers market


Yesterday Marie O’Mara took our elementary class to the Byron Bay Farmers Market – where they had a taste of some fresh local passionfruit – which as you can tell, had quite a mixed reception!

Class excursions with an educational focus are a valuable part of learning here at Lexis Englis | Byron Bay – from library visits to farmer’s market trips, barefoot bowls to learning to give directions around town!

Rosane from Brazil shares her Lexis Byron Bay experience with us

Which class are you in Rosane?

I started in April 2013 at Lexis Byron Bay with the General English course, now I am in the FCE class.

Why Byron?

The lifestyle is really similar to Brazil – there are so many beaches to choose from, you can surf and dive; and also it has a small village feel. Am I happy? Of course I’m happy!!
I have had lots of different teachers because I have been here for a long time – its good as they all teach in different ways and it gives me variety.

How did you find accommodation?

I found it really easy to find accommodation in Byron – there are a lot of options. I lived in the student house, and then a share house – after that I found a studio with my boyfriend, but now we live in a house together with some friends.

How did you find work in Byron Bay?

I work at Slice Pizzeria in Byron Bay – near the beach. I have plenty of hours – enough for my student visa! I wrote my CV and Katherine, my teacher at Lexis, helped me to correct it. The Lexis reception staff printed copies for me and I took them to all of the restaurants and cafes in the area.
I don’t have any friends in Byron Bay that don’t have a job – you just have to be persistent. I think that in Byron Bay it is a good thing to be dedicated – they like people who try hard!

What will you do after your course?

When I finish FCE I will stay and work in Byron for another two months, and then I will travel around Asia. After this I am going to volunteer in South Africa!

What are the experiences you will take away with you?

Living alone has meant that I know myself better – I think I have become a stronger person. Also I have met people from all over the world, we are at the school together so it is more intensive. I have learnt so much about different cultures. Also my job lets me practice my English and communicate with Australian people!


Rosane Farah, Brazil

Thank you Rosane for sharing your experience with us, on behalf of the entire Lexis team, we wish you all the best in the future.

Working Hard in Byron Bay!

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Londy is our popular and cheerful student from Korea who always puts a smile on our faces in reception when he comes in to say hello!

Londy has been studying with us here at Lexis English | Byron Bay since June 2013! He took a short break to study on the Gold Coast, but then came back to Byron, as he missed it here 
He has been studying General English, and is in our Upper Intermediate class.

Londy, tell us why you chose Byron Bay:

I wanted to study with less Koreans! I want to practice English all the time. It is so free and quiet here – it’s such a beautiful town. My teachers here have been so helpful, and I go to GIL a lot to work on my homework.

Tell us about your job and how you found it:

I’m working as a cleaner at Aldi, and before that I worked for three months at a hotel on the Gold Coast. I found my job at Aldi through a friend, and had an interview with the manager. I had worked on my CV in GIL and the teachers helped me write it. It has helped my English as I’m hearing English instructions all the time. I have had some misunderstandings though – when I worked at a hotel on the Gold Coast I cleaned the wrong floor as I didn’t understand the instructions!

What have you learned here that you will take back to Korea with you?

It is a different Korean culture here – with parties, BBQs with friends and enjoying some beer. I think I will take that home!

Also next month I am going to Europe to visit Germany, Croatia and other Eastern European countries – I have met so many friends here that I can now to go and visit in Europe!

Thanks Londy – good luck – we will miss you!

What’s on this Weekend in Byron Bay!!


It’s that time again folks!!

The weekend is upon us. I hope your beers are good to go in the fridge and that you’ve got a headstart on your homework so the weekend can be all about fun, fun and more fun!

On Friday night Calling All Cars, The Love Junkies and The Sinking Teeth are playing at the Beachy, In-cyde at the Northern, Kellie Knight and the Daze at the Rails and Luke Morris at Frankie Brown’s.

Also on Friday, Byron Bay’s local dancehall / reggae soundsystem night – Boom Faya – comes to Buddha Bar; amazing guitarist Luke Horsfield is playing at Aquarius; and Byron Community Centre are hosting Solitary Confinement – the brilliant Johnny Cash impersonator tour.

Plenty happening on Saturday – with Deadpixel playing at the Beachy; The Dark Hawks, Black Palms and Mary Gunn at the Northern, local band Wandering Eyes at the Rails, and Brazilian soulful acoustic guitarist Rodrigo Cassiano at the Aquarius bar.

Most importantly – Buddha Bar is hosting the Byron Vibes album launch – live music, interactive jam sessions, Funmaker silent disco, face painting, collaborative art canvases and market stalls – from 2pm until midnight.

The Beachy is the spot for a great Sunday session this week with Late for Woodstock playing from 4.30pm! These four musicians keep the spirit of the 1960s and 70s alive – covering Rolling Stones, The Doors, Santana, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and much more!

Devil’s Kiosk are playing at the Rails, DJ Bango at the Buddha Bar and Sunday afternoon DJs from 2.30pm at the Treehouse.

And finally, if you’re into electronic bass music – Dub FX and Opiou are playing at the Northern on Sunday night – supported by local DJs Luscious Deed and Baptist, with Green Thumb and Medusa – don’t miss it!

Have fun!!!! xo

Australian Cooking Masterclass at Lexis English | Byron Bay!!

aussie cooking

This afternoon I threw an Aussie cooking masterclass!!

We kept things fairly simple (luckily for me – as I am possibly the worst cook in the entire world) with delicious Lamingtons and mini fruit pavlovas! YUM!!!!

See below for the recipes (we went for the cheat’s versions 🙂 )


1 store-bought sponge cake or 1 quantity basic sponge cake, see recipe
3 cups (480g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar
¾ cup (75g) cocoa powder
⅓ cup (80ml) boiling water
75g butter, melted
dessicated coconut, to coat

Make 1 quantity basic sponge cake in an 18cm-square cake tin and cool on a wire rack. Cut into 6cm squares. Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa. Mix with the boiling water and melted butter. Using 2 forks to hold the sponge squares, dip in the chocolate icing and roll in desiccated coconut. Allow to set on a wire rack. Makes 9.

Fruit pavlova:

Store bought mini meringue / pavlova shells
1 can of whipped cream
Assorted fruit eg. berries, kiwifruit, bananas, grapes
Can of passionfruit pulp

Place meringue cases on serving dish.

Spray whipped cream and generously slather across the top of the pavlova.

Slice seasonal fruit and spread across the top. Pour passionfruit pulp over top.

Meet the Staff : straying to BWT this week – meet Maya!!

maya interview

As you probably already know, Maya from Backpacker World Travel has left the Lexis travel desk, and in a month will be leaving Byron Bay itself for a brand new adventure in Cairns!
We sat down with Maya to talk about her time in Australia and her top tips for travelling this amazing country!

Maya is from the Netherlands, where she grew up on a cargo ship! This is obviously where the travelling spirit comes from 🙂

Maya, how long have you been in Australia?

I’ve been in Australia now for three and a half years! I was supposed to come for six months as a backpacker, but I fell in love with the country – the wide, open spaces –it’s an amazing place to live.

Where have you travelled in Australia so far?

I actually came to Australia once before and travelled the East Coast – as well as the red centre, Kakadu National Park (which I’ve now been to six times!) and the Great Ocean Road. This time, I was in Sydney for two days searching for my lost backpack (!), then flew to Perth, travelled up the coast to Broome, carried on to Darwin, then down to Alice Springs. From Alice Springs I went to Adelaide, then along to Melbourne, and ended up in Sydney – where I lived for three or four months. I then explored Tasmania, before flying to Adelaide and travelling from there to Perth – driving across the Nullarbor. I found a job in a country pub in Narrabeen, which is 300km inland from Perth! I met three girls there who I travelled up the West Coast with, and they dropped me at a cattle station where I did my three months regional work for my second working holiday visa. After that I flew to Sydney and got a job with Backpacker World Travel! I worked there for eight months, before they asked me to move to Darwin and work in the store there for six months. Finally – I moved to Byron Bay to work for BWT here, and I have been here for 18 months! So as you can see – I have been everywhere!

Where is your favourite place that you have lived in Australia?

Can I have a top three?! My top three places that I have lived are Sydney, Byron Bay and Fremantle, Western Australia.

If I had two months to see as much as I could in Australia, what would you recommend?

It depends on when you are here – as the seasons can really affect where you want to go! If you are here in summer, then I think you shouldn’t miss the Great Ocean Road, and driving across the Nullarbor is an incredible experience. Also the West Coast – you should always do the West Coast!

In the winter, I’d say go to Perth and travel up the coast to Broome, and then further up to Darwin, and don’t miss Kakadu!

Do you have a favourite pub in Australia that you have found?!

That’s a hard one – so many pubs! Probably the Norfolk on Cleveland Street in Sydney – it’s a great pub and has an amazing pub garden.

Which activities do you think shouldn’t be missed whilst you are in Australia?

There are just endless options! Swimming with sea lions on the Nullarbor is amazing, and swimming with whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef as well – you pretty much always know that you will see some in season as they use spotter planes. Also Uncle Brian’s in Cairns is the best day trip I have ever done – it’s just a day of swimming, eating, swimming, eating – waterfall after waterfall and laughing the whole time – literally, your stomach hurts by the end f the day because you have been laughing so much!

And how about activities in Byron Bay?

Fly Gyro is really fun – flying over Byron Bay and the beaches and waves in a little two person plane. Also a skydive – it’s just such an adrenaline kick, everyone should do it once in their life!

Is there a travel spot outside Australia that you’d recommend for someone wanting to explore on their way home?

Definitely Sri Lanka – everyone should go there! Its so unspoilt and not touristy at all – kids are waving at you the whole time, there are elephants and tea plantations – it’s just beautiful.

And last, but definitely not least – tell us more about what you are up to next!

I’m still here in Byron Bay for another month, so I’m still around if you need to book any travel, trips or activities. Then I will be moving up to Cairns to work for BWT there. Byron Bay is a small town, and although I love it, I do need a challenge! Plus, I’m so excited to have the Great Barrier Reef in my back garden! Cairns is a bigger store than Byron, but I will really miss dealing with the Lexis students, you get to know them and spend so much time helping them plan their trips. The biggest difference will probably be that I’m sending people down, instead of sending them up – I’ll have to re-memorise the bus timetable!!

If you are in Cairns – make sure that you pop into the store and say hi! I’ll give you a voucher for a free meal at the Woolshed 😉

Thanks Maya and GOOD LUCK!!!!

Nadja’s Skydive in Byron Bay!


This Monday Nadja threw herself out of a plane at 14,000 feet. Don’t worry, she hadn’t got so stressed from her English classes that flinging herself from a plane was her only option.

She had booked to do Byron Bay’s infamous skydive!

Here’s what she had to say about her amazing experience:

I booked with Maya at Backpacker World Travel – I had originally wanted to do it in Airlie Beach, but Maya told me that Byron Bay is the highest jump in Australia – she said that the extra ten seconds of freefall makes a huge difference, and you realise in that ten seconds what you are actually doing!

I booked it on a Friday, and was going on the Monday. I was so nervous all weekend! But – I think it is the best thing I have ever done. I was excited but also scared and a little bit nervous – then I met my ‘jumper’, and he was German too so I knew that I would understand everything that he told me.

The plane flies out over the beach – I saw four or five dolphins in the water – and you can see the waves.

I was so nervous – my hands were sweating! They opened the plane doors and my jumper said to me, “OK – you are next!” I was the first one out, but it was better that way as I didn’t have to watch the others.

It was amazing – I could see the lighthouse and all the way down to Surfers Paradise – it was so beautiful. Really, really worth the money.

The flight with the parachute was really relaxing after the jump, and you could see the other jumpers too.

When my feet hit the ground, I said to my jumper – “I want to do it again!!”

To book your own exhilarating skydive experience – see Pierre at the BWT travel desk in the student lounge (Mon, Weds and Fri – 12-4pm), or pop in to see the team at BWT in town.

And don’t forget that you can win a skydive by entering the Lexis Facebook Photo Competition!! Go to for details!

Jobs available in Byron Bay this week!!!


Do you need some cash to go and see Opiou and Dub FX at the Northern on Sunday?? Then here are the jobs available in Byron Bay this week!!

1 – barista required at busy Brunswick Heads cafe – minimum 25 hours per week. Please email CV to

2 – Byron Bay motel are looking for an overnight caretaker / office worker / cleaner – 2 bedroom furnished residence – send CV to PO Box 453 Ballina NSW 2478

3 – busy cafe and bar in Byron are looking for staff – an experienced manager with wine knowledge, and an experienced barista. Please email CV to

4 – The Summerhouse in Coopers Shoot require an experienced breakfast cook, and also a casual housekeeper. Own transport required. Email CV to

5 – Byron Beach Cafe are looking for a talented and energetic sous chef! If you are experienced, positive, well presented and have great communication skills – please email your CV to

6 – Harvest Cafe in Newrybar are looking for event staff – experienced, professional and flexible Floor, Bar and Kitchen staff both at Harvest, and as part of the offsite catering team. Please email CV to

7 – experienced barista required in Lennox Head. Email CV to

8 – live in au pair required for two children – aged 7, and 4.5 years old. Short or long term OK – please phone 0455 236 575

9 – popular Byron Bay restaurant are looking for a full time chef or experienced cook. Good rates of pay, full training and opportunity to progress to a leadership role. Please call 0499 282 701 or email CV to

Good luck!!

Launch of the Lexis English Facebook Photo Competition!!

rosane example photos


Today Maya, Pierre and I hit the classrooms to announce the Lexis English | Facebook Photo Competition!

Starting Monday March 31st, the competition will run for one week within Lexis | Byron Bay – followed by a second week where the winning photos from each Lexis school will compete to win amazing prizes!!

Here’s what you have to do:

1 – email your awesome photos either showing SERIOUS LEARNING, or SERIOUS FUN to me at

2 – Join the Lexis English Byron Bay Facebook group – and vote for your favourite photos between Monday 31st March and Monday 7th April by ‘liking’ them! The SERIOUS LEARNING and SERIOUS FUN photos with the most ‘Likes’ will win!

The SERIOUS LEARNING photo with the most likes by Monday 7th April will win a free snorkelling trip out to Julien Rocks to see turtles, sharks and other incredible marine life!

The SERIOUS FUN photo with the most likes by Monday 7th April will win a free stand up paddle boarding trip – glide down the Brunswick River with fish swimming underneath your board.

Here’s some ideas for the two categories:

SERIOUS LEARNING: fun activities in class, outdoors lessons, games set up by your teachers, studying outside school, library trips, excursions with your class, Coffee Lounge, helping each other with homework

SERIOUS FUN: surfing, BWT activities, trips to the beach, Lexis activities such as cooking, Friday afternoons on the beach, yoga, volleyball tournaments, ping pong in the Student Lounge, nights out with other students and BBQ’s at Clarkes Beach!

And for more inspiration – we have borrowed some of former student Rosane’s amazing photos from her time here at Byron Bay! In addition to this – teacher Julia will be holding a Photography Workshop from 2pm on Thursday – in Room 2.

These two winners will then enter into the Grand Final between all of the Lexis schools –

  • Brisbane
  • Noosa
  • Maroochydore
  • Perth
  • and of course our amazing Byron Bay!

The two winning photos from each school will go in the running to win either; a free skydive (!!!) or a free trip to Fraser Island – worth $700!!

The Grand Final will run from Monday 7th April until Monday 14th April, and the winners will once again be chosen based on the number of Facebook ‘Likes’ across all of the Lexis Facebook groups, as well as on the Backpacker World Travel and Student Uni Travel Facebook pages!

Come on guys. lets show the other schools how it’s done here in Byron Bay and ‘wow’ them with our outstanding photos!!

And here is the boring part – the rules =) :

Terms and conditions are as follows. 1. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. 2. Entries for first in-school round close at 12pm on Monday 7th April 2014. 3. One finalist in each category will be chosen based on the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook! 4.  Grand finale photos will also be judged on the number of ‘likes’ across the Lexis Facebook pages. 5. Competition open to current students only. Students that are current at the start of the competition but no longer studying on 7th April 2014 are still eligible to enter. 6.   Winning entries will be announced on the Lexis English blogs and Facebook pages. 7. By entering the competition you give permission to release the picture to Lexis English Australia to use for promotional and marketing purposes post-competition on Internet, social media and other materials deemed to promote Lexis English Australia.

Good luck, and may the best school win!

LISA’S WEEKLY TIPS – How can I remember new vocabulary?


In the past, my students have often said to me, “When I study vocabulary in class, it’s easy to remember but a couple of days later I’ve completely forgotten it. What can I do to make sure I remember the words?”

The answer, in my experience, is simple: Repetition and Personalisation

1.      Repetition
Yes, learning vocabulary is just like anything else; the more you do it, the better you get. Most studies agree that it is essential to repeat or practice a new set of words immediately after being exposed to them. And then repetition should follow at progressively longer intervals. So when you learn new words remember the saying “Use it or lose it”.  Try to use the new words in your journal or in conversation with your classmates, or stick post-its of the words around your bedroom and when you see a post-it try to use the word in a sentence to describe your current situation. Choose one day per week to go back over the words you have learned that week and if there are any you forgot, add them to the list for the following week and keep doing this until they are stuck in your brain. Make it fun by getting a friend to test you or test yourself and buy yourself a small reward when you get 10/10.

2.      Personalisation
It’s a fact that memory works best when dealing with things that are already important to us. Therefore, if you link a new word into an aspect of your life you are much more likely to remember it. For example, imagine the word: difficult. You could try to learn this word by looking at its opposite: easy, or by using synonyms: hard but you’re more likely to remember it if you write three example sentences that make the word mean something to you. e.g.

  • Monday’s test was really difficult so I only got 5 out of 10.
  • I’m no good at tennis. I find it really difficult to hit the ball.
  • Yesterday was a difficult day for me because my car broke down and I was late for work.

This takes more time to do, but the personalised example sentence not only helps the word stick in your brain it also helps you feel confident in adding the word to the range of vocabulary you already use. Try it, and then remember to follow up with Step 1.

The most important thing is to be realistic and to self-study. Very few people can remember something they only see once but if you take the time outside class to review and personalise the new vocabulary you learn every day, you’ll soon find that you can remember more and more.

So to summarise this week’s Tip – To remember new vocabulary, make it meaningful to you and then try to review and use it regularly.


Living and working in Byron Bay!



Rosane Farah, Brazil

 Rosane tells us about her time at Byron Bay and how she found her job at Slice Pizza!

Course: FCE & General English – I have been at Lexis | Byron Bay since April 2013

Why Byron?: the lifestyle is really similar to Brazil – there are so many beaches to choose from, you can surf and dive; and also it has a small village feel. Am I happy? Of course I’m happy!!

I have had lots of different teachers because I have been here for a long time – its good as they all teach in different ways and it gives me variety.

Accommodation: I found it really easy to find accommodation in Byron – there are a lot of options. I lived in the student house, and then a share house – after that I found a studio with my boyfriend, but now we live in a house together with some friends

Working: I work at Slice Pizzeria in Byron Bay – near the beach. I have plenty of hours – enough for my student visa! I wrote my CV and Katherine, my teacher at Lexis, helped me to correct it. The Lexis reception staff printed copies for me and I took them to all of the restaurants and cafes in the area.

I don’t have any friends in Byron Bay that don’t have a job – you just have to be persistent. I think that in Byron Bay it is a good thing to be dedicated – they like people that try hard!

After Course: when I finish FCE I will stay and work in Byron for another two months, and then I will travel around Asia. After this I am going to volunteer in South Africa!

Experiences I will take away: living alone has meant that I know myself better – I think I have become a stronger person. Also I have met people from all over the world, we are at the school together so it is more intensive. I have learnt so much about different cultures. Also my job lets me practice my English and communicate with Australian people!

Sad Farewell to two Lexis | Byron Bay legends!

josie and maya


We say a sad farewell to two Lexis legends today!!

Maya Bwt Byron Bay will no longer be smiling from the travel desk in the student lounge as she is off to start a new adventure with Backpacker World Travel in Cairns! She is replaced by Pierre who will be here Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – but we will miss Maya’s amazing travel knowledge and cheerful enthusiasm!

Also today was teacher Josie Rork‘s last day! Josie will spend a few weeks relaxing and working on her watercolours in Byron – look out for in the early hours of Saturday morning in the Northern! She then goes home to Ireland for a few months, but will hopefully be back in Australia soon. Josie was a hit with the students and brought infectious humour to the Lexis staff room, and will be missed!

From everyone at Lexis – we wish Josie and Maya all the best!!!

Graduation Day at Lexis English | Byron Bay!

grad 21.03.2014


Graduation Day here at Lexis English | Byron Bay!

Madoka is heading to Surfer’s Paradise where she has a job lined up in a Japanese restaurant; Maiko is heading back to Japan where she will be studying to be a Japanese teacher; Haruka is also heading back to university in Japan where she will study Mathematics; Loic and Laura will be going travelling; Antoine will continue on his holidays after filming us all on his Go Pro and Valentin is heading to New Zealand for his own ‘Into the Wild’ adventure where he will test his survival skills and live off the land!

Good luck and best wishes from everyone at Lexis!

What’s on this Weekend in Byron Bay!!

14 3 2014 025

It’s the weekend again!! Woohoo!

Plenty on this weekend, as always, starting with Frothing on Fridays at the Ginger Pig on Friday night – $10 cocktails, $5 Coopers and awesome music from DJs HA!YES! and Ant on Leaf – playing anything from cutting edge bass from San Francisco to underground tunes from Berlin!

Billy Bragg is playing at the Northern on Friday night – the English singer/songwriter and left wing activist always puts on a great show. He is supported by Courtney Barnett – and more live music all over Byron with Playwrite at the Beachy, Dave Scott Band at the Rails, lots of live dancehall and reggae at Buddha Bar and The Swamps at Frankie Brown’s.

Also on Friday – the brilliant Underscore Orkestra are playing at Kulchajam on the Arts and Industry Estate – gypsy jazz and swing with a Balkan twist! This will be an awesome night – don’t miss it =)

On Saturday – The New High, A Little Province and Joshua Swan at the Northern; Rhythm and Cutloose DJs at the Beachy; Hammer and Goon at the Rails and The Elliots at the Buddha Bar.

If you haven’t managed to check out Soho Lounge yet – head along on Saturday to see some live music featuring Paolo Noisi of the band Wandering Eyes – a great local band that played at last year’s Bluesfest in Byron!

Also recently opened bar Mr Jonson has had its doors open for a few weeks now – check it  out on Bay Lane for Americana inspired mini sliders and other finger-licking snacks, and a 1920s flapper-esque Great Gatsby theme. Get your glad rags on!


And once again, plenty on for Sunday sessions this weekend – with The Hombres at the Beachy; Tim Stokes Band at the Rails; and slightly further afield – The Propellers at the Bangalow Hotel and The Feramones at the Brunswick Hotel.


Tango Argentine with Jan Rae is hitting the Buddha Bar from 6pm, followed by the Swamp Stompers at 7pm; and the Byron Community Centre is showing Transparentsea Voyage from 6pm – an amazing documentary featuring surfer and marine activist Dave Rastovich – which follows the making of 23 songs over 23 days.

And last but not least, if you don’t mind feeling a bit worse for wear on Monday morning – Shapeshifter are playing at the Northern on Sunday night.

Have fun!! xo

Meet the Teacher: Josie



It is teacher Josie’s last week here at Lexis English | Byron Bay – and so we thought we’d feature her on Meet the Teacher before she disappeared!

Josie has been a teacher here at Lexis in Byron for six months, during which time she has brought to life the Movies and Songs Options class, made great friends with her students, and dreamed of learning to surf – whilst lying on the beach with a beer.

Josie was born in London, but grew up in both Ireland and Kenya; as well as having lived in Scotland, France, Spain, New Zealand, Canada and right here in Australia.

She studied Languages at university in Edinburgh, and speaks French as well as her native English.

She always wanted to be a travel writer; and her creative side lives on – she has been known to dazzle people with her watercolours! Her dream holiday destination is the Caribbean, as she absolutely loves the beach.

At 11pm on a Saturday, you’ll find her having a few glasses of wine – and her top pick whilst in Byron Bay is to head to the Rails for live music.

Last, but not least – Josie’s top tips for learning English are… Speak English outside class and live with Australians!

Beer Tasting at Lexis English | Byron Bay

beer tasting


Probably one of our most popular activities – we had beer tasting today in the student lounge!

Students tasted six delicious Aussie beers – Matilda Bay Bohemian Pilsnener, Little Creatures Pale Ale, Burleigh Brewing’s My Wifes Bitter, Feral Hop Hog, White Rabbit Dark Ale and Holgate Temptress chocolate porter – yum.

1.      Bohemian Pilsener – Matilda Bay – Port Melbourne, Victoria

STYLE – Pilsner style lager 

A classic pilsner-style lager – highly hopped, crisp and golden – true to the style that was first brewed in 1842 in Pilsen, Bohemia (which is now part of the Czech Republic)

Bohemian Pilsner has a light, golden colour and a distinctive hop character with spicy and peppery notes. Importantly, its bitter finish is balanced across the palate with a full, malty flavour.


2.      Little Creatures – Pale Ale – Fremantle, Western Australia

STYLE – American pale ale

Little Creatures throw bag loads of whole hop flowers that they source direct from hop growers in Victoria, Tasmania and the USA throughout the brewing process – especially Cascade and Chinook hops. These hops provide the intense citrus and stone fruit characters that are carefully balanced with select speciality malts and a local pale malt made to the breweries own specifications. A beer that’s ultimately refreshing with a distinct bitterness leaving the palate craving for more.

Preservative and additive free Little Creatures Pale Ale is live-yeast conditioned for unmatched freshness and character and takes about six weeks from brewing to being released.


3. My Wife’s Bitter – Burleigh Brewing Co – Burleigh, Queensland

STYLE – English style bitter

Inspired by the traditional English ‘session beer’ that’s been supped in pubs across England for generations, it blends genuine English malt, hops and yeast.

Our coastal version of a classic English Bitter is brewed with a unique blend of English specialty malts that lend a smooth, malty flavour – with a hint of nuttiness and a soft caramel character.


4.       Hop Hog – Feral Brewing Co – Perth, Western Australia

STYLE – American style IPA (India Pale Ale)

Hop Hog is an American style India Pale Ale. Feral Brewing add a heavy dose of American Hops during both during the boil and late in the fermenting stage to give Hop Hog a strong pine needle and citrus aroma, followed by an aggressive bitterness and a dry finish.


5.       Dark Ale – White Rabbit – Healesville, Victoria

STYLE – malty dark ale

Rich, dark and flavoursome – but at the same time very refreshing. Malt driven but with the aromatic lift of generous doses of hops.

With the help of traditional open fermentation tanks we let our Dark Ale yeast breathe – yeast normally ferments in closed tanks that constrain it, but with open tanks (that are just like a giant soup tin without a lid), the yeast can run wild!

Raisin like tastes go with lots of flavour with plenty of malt that delivers a rich, dark colour.


6.       Temptress – Holgate – Woodend, Victoria

STYLE – Chocolate porter

 A twist to Holgate’s classic porter recipe – infused with Dutch cocoa and whole vanilla beans. Holgate decided to add rich cocoa and vanilla to an already robust brew. Together with a blend of seven malts, the result is a complex palate of alluring chocolate, coffee and caramel flavours, balanced by its hint of vanilla.





Jobs Available in Byron Bay this week!!



Did you spend too much money yesterday for St Patrick’s Day, and need to top up your cash? Here are the jobs available in Byron Bay this week!

1 – Chefs required for Byron Bay services club – approx 30 hours per week, 2 years experience minimum. Drop in CV or email

2 – La Table cafe are looking for a casual barista – 2-3 days per week. Email CV to

3 – Yoga Studio Manager required for a successful Byron Bay studio. Qualified and experienced yoga teacher who has skills in managing a successful small business. 10 casual hours a week – for more info email CV and cover letter to

4 – female Artist’s Model for (nude) life drawing and sculpture – 2-4 hour paid sessions in private studio with long term resident artist. Please text 0411 600 073 – locals preferred – ongoing work

5 – Byron Bay Motel are looking for an overnight caretaker + office work and cleaning. Send CV to PO Box 453 Ballina NSW 2478

6 – healthy, reliable, motivated staff to serve food and drinks at Bluesfest – Thurs 17th April until Mon 21st April – females preferred. Please send CV and photo to

7 – Barista required for busy cafe in Brunswick Heads – 25 hours per week – 2 years experience in a similar role. Please email CV to

Good luck!!!

Lisa’s Study Corner – Should I do Cambridge or IELTS?


THIS WEEK – Should I do Cambridge or IELTS?

In the past, my higher level students have often asked me about studying on an exam course. They (rightly) think it would be a good idea for them to gain an English qualification but don’t know which exam would be most suitable for them.
Here, I will try to make the answer simple by asking you three questions.

1. What is your English level?

Basically the Cambridge First Certificate is an Upper Intermediate examination and the Cambridge Advanced Certificate is, you guessed it, Advanced. These courses and tests are written for students specifically at that particular level of English. A student needs to get 60% or above to pass, 75% or above for a B and 80% or above for an A.

IELTS is a bit different. There is no pass and fail rate and the material is not adapted for a particular level. The test is designed to find out a candidate’s English ability. Scoring is out of 9 and a score of 4-5 indicates roughly an Intermediate level while a score of 6.5 – 7.5 is Advanced.

2. What do you want the qualification for?

The majority of students who take the IELTS exam, do it because they have to. For example, if you want to study at a university or TAFE in Australia, the UK and various other countries around the world, you may be asked for an IELTS score. Also, if you are applying for a visa to immigrate to Australia and the UK you may be required to prove your level of English by taking an IELTS test.

In contrast, many people take the Cambridge exams for their own satisfaction, for the beneficial effects of taking an exam course or to be able to list their qualification on their resume. Many international businesses recognise the Cambridge courses as a great preparation for working with native speakers and the Cambridge exams have the benefit of being valid for life. Your IELTS score, on the other hand, can only be used for official purposes if less than two years old.

3. What kind of English do you want to learn?

This is probably the most important consideration. There are two different IELTS tests but most schools focus on the Academic one that students need for further study. This test involves skills such as listening to lectures, describing graphs and tables and reading academic articles from books and journals. It’s a very useful course for giving students the vocabulary and reading/writing skills they need for study, particularly at a university in an English speaking country.

On the other hand the Cambridge exam courses are more focused on everyday English; the English that people use in everyday conversations, in magazines, newspapers and films and in the workplace. It’s a great course for improving your accuracy, increasing your knowledge of phrasal verbs and idioms and learning how to write for different purposes and genres.

So to summarise this week’s Tip – My recommendation is to choose IELTS if you plan to study in English or if you have been told you need to provide an IELTS score but to choose Cambridge if you want to do a qualification that will help you focus on accuracy and equip you better for work, travel and conversing with native speakers.

FCE and CAE Graduation Day at Lexis English | Byron Bay!

grad 14 March

Sad times at Lexis English | Byron Bay today as we say goodbye to 37 students!! What with the CAE and FCE courses finishing today, the student lounge will feel very empty!

Good luck for your exams, travel, and everything that you do after your time here at Byron Bay – from everyone here at Lexis

What’s on this weekend in Byron Bay!!

weekend 15 March

The weekend is fast approaching and our FCE and CAE students are bound to be celebrating after their exams! Friday night will be a big night for the FCE students who have their exam that day, and CAE will have to be good until Saturday night after their final exam!

Here’s what’s on this weekend in and around Byron Bay:

Tonight sees Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen perform at the Northern – this New Orleans influenced funk / blues band haven’t toured Australia in six years and play anything from New Orleans funk to hundred year old Caribbean tunes! Tickets are $44.90 from the Northern website.

Live music abounds as always on Friday – with The Sunnyboys at the Northern, Pilots at the Beachy, Vanessa Baker and the Electric Eclectic at the Rails, Dustin Thomas with Ziggy at the Buddha Bar and The Underscore Orkestra at the Treehouse.

Further afield on Friday, the Ajna Tattoo Art Exhibition hits the Bangalow Bowlo! 12 up and coming local artists will be displaying their work, and there will also be live tattooing and live music from Kevin Mark Trail. Doors open at 6.30pm, and the live music will be starting at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and available on the door.

On Saturday, live music from Dollhouse at the Beachy, The Sunnyboys at the Northern, Soren Carlberg Trio at the Rails and Strange Tenants and the Funaddicts at the Buddha Bar.

This Sunday arvo, Lisa Hunt is back at the Beachy! (woohoo!!) If you haven’t seen her yet – make sure you head along to the Beach Hotel to see her cover soul, motown and RnB classics from 4.30pm.

This Sunday is also the last Sunday Safari of the summer at the Beachy – from 8pm. Buy tickets from the Beach Bottle or online.

The Samba-Blissta’s are back at the Rails this Sunday from 4pm – followed by Scott Day-vee Trio at 6.30pm. Also The Swamps are playing at the Northern, and Round Mountain Girls at the Bruns Hotel from 4pm.

If you fancy heading to Mullumbimby this weekend to support local theatre – the Drill Hall are having a fundraiser from 5pm on Sunday – with Hinterland Wayfarers, circus acts, El Psycho and the Ghost Chickens, and afternoon tea! Tickets are $15 on the door for students.

And most importantly this weekend!! March in March is a nationwide protest across Australia against aspects of the Abbot government that an overwhelming number of Aussie’s don’t agree with – from anti-gay marriage laws to shark culling, the abolition of the carbon tax to the lack of protection for marine reserves. If you want to be involved – meet at the park opposite the Beach Hotel at 10.45am to join the protest!

Have fun! xo

South American Cooking Workshop at Lexis English | Byron Bay!

south american cooking

We had a Tastes of South America cooking workshop in the student lounge today here at Lexis English | Byron Bay!

Juliana and Fabiana wowed us with delicious Brazilian brigadeiro; and Laura, German Ariza and Alejandra had everyone’s mouths watering with a Salpicón de Frutas – a fresh and tasty tropical fruit cocktail with vanilla ice cream!


See the links for the recipes for our Brazilian and Colombian treats!

Jobs available in and around Byron Bay this week!!

If you need some cash to splash watching Lisa Hunt at the Beachy on Sunday, then here are the jobs available in Byron Bay this week!

1 – Belongil Bistro are looking for a qualified part time chef, and a full time apprentice chef. Please email CV to, or call 02 6680 9007

2 – Japanese speaker required for medical market research involving telephone communication – Monday to Friday. Please call 02 6680 7651

3 – Experienced cleaner with own car – 15-20 hours per week. Call the manager on 0422 036 770, or email CV to

4 – fit model required to fit ladies clothes and swimwear – must be size 8. Please email for further details

5 – Byron Fresh Cafe are looking for a restaurant manager – must have minimum 3 years industry experience. Attention to detail and great customer service essential – please email CV and written references to

6 – marketing / office position available at Santos Trading. 1-2 days per week – in-store merchandising, social media and/or office management experience highly regarded. Please call 0435 646 365 or email CV to

7 – Cafe and gelateria in Brunswick Heads require an all-rounder – 1-2 days per week, 9 hours per shift. Barista experience plus basic cooking skills. Please email CV and references to or apply in person – Thursday-Sunday mornings. Bernardi’s, Fingal Street, Brunswick Heads

Good luck!!!!

Monday’s Study Corner with Lisa: How can I find suitable reading material?


NEW! Lisa’s weekly tips provide answers to the most common student questions.

THIS WEEK – How can I find suitable reading material?

In the past, my students have often said to me, “I want to read English books/magazines/newspapers but I can’t understand everything? What can I use to practise reading outside of class?”
The answer in my experience is simple. Understand that there are two type of material: 1. Authentic material written for native speakers and 2. Adapted material written for language learners. You can read both of these at any level of English as long as you understand the difference between the two.

1. Reading Authentic Material
Yes, you can and should try to read authentic material. This includes newspapers, magazines, websites, menus, books, information leaflets, advertising information, cereal packets – basically anything and everything. The trick is to simply try to understand the main ideas while accepting that you won’t understand everything. When you meet unknown vocab, ignore it. Don’t look up every new word in your dictionary. Trust me, if it’s a word you need to know you’ll keep meeting it again and again and will soon understand its meaning anyway.

Reading authentic material is a great way to build your vocabulary and increase your accuracy, so don’t make it a chore. It’s better to read lightly and often than to spend all day on one article making a note of every new word in your notebook.

2. Reading Adapted Material
Of course, sometimes, it’s nice to be able to understand everything. This is when you need adapted material. The readings in your student books, for example, are changed to suit your level. At the school we also have “Readers”. These are classic books such as “Pride and Prejudice” or “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” which have been adapted to suit different levels of English. Go to GIL (Room 1 2-3pm) if you want to borrow one to take home and read. In addition, the internet is a great source of adapted material. Try for a long list of links.

The most important thing is to keep reading. If you think about how you learnt your mother tongue, you probably met a lot of new words through reading. Reading is also an excellent way to get used to English grammatical structures and collocations.

So to summarise this week’s Tip – Try to read a variety of authentic and adapted reading material and relax and enjoy it rather than struggling to understand every word.

Graduation day at Lexis English | Byron Bay!

graduation 07.03.14

Graduation day at Lexis English | Byron Bay – where we have had to say goodbye to some long term students that seemed like part of the furniture!

Brazilian couple Andrea and Ronaldo are transferring to Brisbane, where we are sure they will charm everyone as they have here – regaling them with stories such as confusing the words ‘awesome’ and a**hole’!!

Jin-Soo has been with us for 24 weeks and leaves on a high note with an incredible 99% in his last test!

Clara from Italy will be a much missed friendly face, after making the most of her time in Byron with trips to Soundwave festival, various nights out around Byron and skydiving!

Megan from France (who grew up in the Congo and Morocco!!) is leaving us to work on a horse farm, before travelling Australia and then returning to Paris to complete her studies.

And last but definitely not least, Yukiko goes back to Japan after three weeks with us – where her English has massively improved, she has made plenty of friends and tried her hand at surfing!

What’s on at the weekend in and around Byron Bay!!


What’s on this weekend in and around Byron Bay!!

On Friday night the Bleach Festival launches on the Gold Coast, with the opening party taking place at Soundlounge in Currumbin – featuring Sydney electro pop songstress Elizabeth Rose, Aussie band The Trouble with Templeton and Brisbane indie band Hey Geronimo.

Closer to home, plenty of live music – Dead Beat Band, Midnight Ramblers, Jesse Pumphrey and Taya Mills at the Northern; Leigh James and The Triple J’s at the Beachy, Bohemian Cowboys at the Rails (a really fun band if you haven’t already seen them!), Everlast at the Buddha Bar and Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens at the Treehouse

This Friday night at Kulchajam (on the A&I estate) sees Passion Flamenca’s final gig before Sergio Navarro leaves Byron – your last chance to see this amazing flamenco musical duo!

On Saturday, as well as the below sunset OKA gig at Mt Warning (which will be EPIC!!) – the Northern have a few bands playing, including Elegant Shiva, Tropical Zombie, Skegs, Chesta Hydron and DJ Chris Bradley.

Elsewhere in Byron for live music – Pandamonium DJs are at the Beachy, Guri Guru at the Rails; and Kingfisha, Mista Savona and Jordan Rakei at the Buddha Bar!

Also the Byron Bay International Film Festival Closing Party takes place at Palace Cinemas / the Community Centre on Saturday night – showing the film Rise of the Eco Warriors – about a group of young people using social media and online campaigning to save orangutans in the Borneo rainforest.

For Sunday sessions this week – head to the Northern for Kyle Lionheart, the Beachy for the Feramones, the Rails for My Baby Loves Voodoo, the Buddha Bar for Mi Casa Su Casa, and the Ginger Pig for the Byron Vibes live jam session.

The Bleach Festival are also putting on free beachside surf movie screenings at Coolangatta Beach on Sunday night from 7.15pm – including the fantastic Spirit of Akasha – fusing stunning surfing, music and filmmaking.

Have an amazing weekend everyone!! xo

Music in the Rainforest with OKA at Mt Warning!!

oka mt warning

This weekend at Mt Warning!!

OKA are playing a sunset concert in the mountain rain forest park – “their signature sound is an irresistible blend of influences spanning house, big beat, reggae-dub, Roots, Jazz and world music. Try to imagine Bob Marley meets Stevie Wonder via the Chemical Brothers, playing in a steaming rainforest with a didgeridoo and you are getting close…”

Tickets are $20 – and include a free sunrise yoga session with OKA the next morning!

Meet the Staff: this week – Marie!!


Marie hails from England, used to be a secondary school teacher in London, and is one of our English teachers here at Lexis English | Byron Bay!

She studied Arabic at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and spent some time living in the Lebanon where she was able to practice her use of the language.

Marie is incredibly popular as our Elementary teacher, as well as teaching Business English, Movies and Songs and Debate Club in the afternoon Options sessions.

You will also find her running sports tournaments and taking students to the beach on a Friday afternoon, where she has been known to throw herself into volleyball, football, beach cricket and ultimate frisbee!

Here are some things that you might not know about Marie, as well as her top tips for learning English:

– she always wanted to be an Astronomer!

– she thinks that Byron Bay’s best kept secret is the stunning hinterland and farmland surrounding the town.

– at 8 am on a Saturday, you’ll find her running on the beach or eating soft boiled eggs and soldiers (toast cut into strips).

– her dream holiday destination would be island hopping around Indonesia and the Philippines.

– and last, but not least, her English learning tip is…. to have fun! Not only do you learn so much more quickly, but also when you’re relaxed you find yourself speaking a lot more. Crack out the jokes guys.

Thanks Marie!

Bleach Festival kicks off this weekend on the Gold Coast!

The Gold Coast’s Bleach Festival kicks off this weekend – head up to Coolangatta on Friday night for surf movies on the beach, or check out one of the many awesome things that are going on… from art exhibitions to circus acts, a giant inflatable slide to opera on the beach!

Jobs Available in Byron Bay this week!

Do you need some cash to get up to the Gold Coast for the Quiksilver Pro???

Here are the jobs going in Byron Bay this week:

1 – Bangalow Bowlo are looking for a cellar person / cleaner – must have RSA – 10-15 hours per week. Please call Kat on 02 6687 2741

2 – Crystal Castle are looking for casual retail staff – minimum 5 years retail experience. Must be available weekends. Please email

3 – Ixtlan are looking for a part time sales assistant for their Byron Bay jewellery shop. Retail experience is essential. Please email CV to

Not much this week – but as always, go around the shops, bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels with your CV and a smile and you never know what might come up.

Job Club tomorrow in Room 2 from 2.15pm – come along with your CV!

Monday’s Study Corner with Lisa: How can I understand native speakers?


NEW! Lisa’s weekly tips provide answers to the most common student questions.

THIS WEEK – How can I understand native speakers?
In the past, my students have often said to me, “I can understand you and my classmates, but when I’m outside school and I speak to a native speaker I don’t understand anything. Why is this?”
The answer, in my experience, is simple. It’s not about vocabulary or grammar or even listening. It’s usually because of pronunciation. In particular, a feature of pronunciation called connected speech.

Think about the following sentence:

I’ve got apples and oranges.

You would probably say (and expect to hear):
I . have . got . apples . and . oranges.

A native speaker, however, would say:
I’ve gotapplesanoranges.

There are three features of connected speech happening here: contractions, linking and elision.

1. Contractions
Most of you know about (but don’t always use) contractions. A contraction is a shortened version of the written and spoken forms of a word group, created by taking out a letter (sound) in the middle. So, “do not” become “don’t”, “I am” becomes “I’m” and in the above sample sentence “I have” becomes “I’ve” /aiv/. Many students seem shy of using contractions when they speak, but what you must remember is native speakers ALWAYS use contractions in spoken English. Therefore, you need to get used to recognising them.

2. Linking
Linking is a way of joining the pronunciation of two words so that they are easy to say and flow together smoothly. In the above example we can see consonant to vowel linking. This is when the final consonant sound of the first word rolls into the vowel sound beginning of the second word. So in the sample sentence above “apples” sounds like “tapples”, and “oranges” sounds sounds like “doranges” (or more often “noranges”. See #3 Elision below.)

3. Elision
Elision is when you don’t pronounce one or more sounds in a word or phrase, so that it is easier for the speaker to say. You probably all know the examples of “wanna” instead of “want to” and “gonna” instead of “going to”. In the above example sentence, we can see what often happens to “and” between two words of equal value; it becomes very weak and the /d/ sound isn’t pronounced at all. So fish and chips becomes fish ‘n’ chips and black and white becomes black ‘n’ white.

As a student of English you may feel strange using connected speech and it’s not vital that you do because you can still be understood. However, you do need to be able to recognise it when native speakers use it.

So to summarise this week’s Tip – If you find it difficult to understand native speakers ask at GIL for some practice exercise you can do with connected speech and hopefully you’ll see your listening skills improve.

16 new students here at Lexis English | Byron Bay today!!


Today we have a quite incredible 16 new students!!!

Welcome to Delia, Marco, Bruno, Stefan, Simon, Kevin, Marcel, Mirjam and Jana – who have bumped up our Swiss numbers; and also Ken from Japan, Haejung Choi from Korea, Ronan from France, Hynek from the Czech Republic, Lorena from Spain and Laura and Susanna – both from Mallorca.

Marcel and Mirjam have already been studying in Noosa and the Whitsundays, Delia transferred from Lexis Noosa, Susanna was actually born in Sweden and Hynek works as a producer on the Czech version of the Voice – as well as having been delayed by a massive 24 hours on his flight over here!

We hope you all have a fantastic time studying here at Lexis English!