It’s a very sad day today at Lexis | Byron Bay as we say goodbye to our wonderful teacher Ian! Ian has been teaching here at Byron Bay since September, and has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team.
His students love him, and we will miss his wit in the staff room!! Here he is making a farewell speech, showing us his old man walk and opening his leaving gift of wine and a Mary Ryan’s book voucher! Good luck Ian, Happy Retirement!!
As May draws to a close, we say goodbye to more of our wonderful students. The IELTS class – Bastian, Eva, Oriol and Angela; are all leaving – Angela to return to Belgium and Bastian to Switzerland; whilst Oriol will remain in Australia and Eva will be jetting off to Melbourne before hopefully getting a job in an Aussie ski resort!
Vanessa, Lionel, Alberto, Lani and Pedro also left today – Lani had written a beautiful speech (which will be on the blog soon!) and Pedro ends his 24 weeks of studying with us.
It’s almost the weekend woooohooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! I’m running out of imaginative things to say at the beginning of these Weekender posts, I really am.
Get your weekend rolling with live music galore – from Safia at the Beachy, Nathan Kaye Collective at the Rails and Death of Desa Mani, Dave Dog Atkins, Heavy B and the Boy and Jake Kemp at the Northern.
Arj Barker is also back at the Byron Community Centre with more stand up comedy.
Frothing on Fridays are going retro at the Ginger Pig this Friday night from 9pm – they will be blasting the 70s and 80s tunes – head along to see our very own Juliana and Mariana (their new promo girls) and to have a boogie with $5 Coopers and $10 cocktails.
And at the Buddha Bar on Friday – Boom Faya are putting on their last reggae, dance hall and roots night as a tribute to Byron, a farewell to one of their founding members and also as their one year birthday bash! This awesome event will start at 5pm and run through until midnight, featuring DJs, MCs, acoustic musicians and fire spinners!
On Saturday night at the Northern there is plenty of live local music with Pilots, Velociraptor, Sassin Fras and Chasing Ghosts; and DJ Cutloose is at the Beachy.
Diana Anaid is playing at the Rails; The Strands at the Buddha Bar and Firewall at the Ginger Pig. Arj Barker is also performing more stand up comedy at the Community Centre.
And on Sunday.. Luke Morris & Nick Brampton are playing at the Northern, and Ziggi at the Buddha Bar.
Sunday sessions will be in full swing with Loonaloop from 4.30pm at the Beachy (followed by DJ Captain Kaine at 9.30pm) and the Brackets and Jam live jam session at the Ginger Pig with local musicians taking to the stage from 6pm.
Writers at the Rails is on from 2pm – featuring fun local band the Dinkum Bohos, Rebecca Phoenix and Vasudha Harte and the Romaniacs. As teacher Kathleen attests, the Rails is always great on a Sunday afternoon!
Do you need cash to head off on the awesome BWT Lexis Fraser Island trip??! Here are the jobs advertised in The Echo this week…
1 – Do you have a NSW RSA certificate and will still be around at the end of July? Splendour in the Grass are looking for paid bar and cashier staff to work at the festival from the 24-27 July. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details, your previous bar experience and a copy of your RSA certificate.
2 – Made from Scratch Patisserie in Mullumbimby are looking for an experienced baker / pastry chef, as well as a retail sales person with coffee making experience. They will be opening in late June 2014. Please email CV to email@example.com
3 – experienced barista able to work at a fast pace required for The Terrace Cafe in Brunswick Heads. Please email CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
4 – experienced breakfast cook required in Brunswick Heads, with early starts. Please email CV to email@example.com
5 – The Northern are looking for an assistant manager. If you have experience and are sticking around in Byron for a long time, and have your RSA, RCG and the ability to hold a security licence – please email CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
6 – Byron Gourmet Pies in the A&I estate are looking for a fit, organised and reliable night packer to operate packing machinery and send out pallets. 5pm-10pm weeknights. Please email CV to email@example.com
Good luck everyone! Don’t forget that we have Job Club in Room 2 at 2pm today.
The World Cup is fast approaching! Kicking off on Thursday 12 June with Brazil vs. Croatia; the competition runs over a month until the 13 July.
Pighouse Flicks, the lounge cinema at the Byron Bay Brewery; are hosting nightly screenings of the games on one of their cinema screens from June 13 – entry is $10, you can buy food and soft drinks there; and the screenings are all BYO alcohol – so pack a cool bag with beer and come down to see your country play.
Key games in the first round are:
Spain vs Netherlands – Friday 13 June 4pm (Brazilian local time)
Australia vs Chile – Friday 13 June 6pm (Brazilian local time)
England vs Italy – Saturday 14 June 6pm (Brazilian local time)
Cote d’Ivoire vs Japan – Saturday 14 June 10pm (Brazilian local time)
Switzerland vs Ecuador – Sunday 15 June 1pm (Brazilian local time)
Germany vs Portugal – Monday 16 June 1pm (Brazilian local time)
Brazil vs Mexico – Tuesday 17 June 4pm (Brazilian local time)
Russia vs Korea Republic – Tuesday 17 June 6pm (Brazilian local time)
Go to http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/ for more information!
Five new starters today – new to Australia are Indira from Brazil, Jenny from Switzerland and Junsu from Korea – and we also have Eva who has transferred from Brisbane and Fumitoshi who has transferred from Noosa!
We had a massive ten graduates today at Lexis English | Byron Bay!!
So sad to say goodbye to the wonderful Laura and Susana from Majorca – Laura will be spending a few days in Melbourne and Sydney before returning home, and Susana will be travelling Australia with her boyfriend. Also the four Swiss musketeers – Stefan, Bruno, Marco and Simon will be heading off to go travelling together; Jason and Rose are going to do their farm work, Marco has a job in Byron and Choi will eventually be making his way home.
Just as you’ve started to recover from Wednesday night at Buddha Bar – the weekend has hit again.
On Friday night great Newcastle band The Owls are playing at the Northern – its a free gig, and if you like rock music then this is the go! They’re playing with The Cathers and Go Van Go. At the Beachy, Scott Davy Duo is playing from 5pm; followed by Blackbird Hum at 9.30pm. Bassix are at the Rails, and another night of Balearic Funk at Cafe Oska.
At the Buddha Bar, West Aussie band Manaña are playing a free gig from 8pm – mixing reggae, pop and folk; this will be heaps of fun.
Frothing on Friday’s at Ginger Pig, with awesome music,$5 Coopers and $10 cocktails.
And – one for the girls – a new spot has opened on the A&I estate called Isis Lounge – for their launch they are hosting an ‘Evening of Feminine Intoxication’! With live music, belly dancing, delicious food and a shisha lounge – check out https://www.facebook.com/events/1467246370176104/ for more details!
On Saturday, we have more music with Sammy 2 Towels at the Beachy, Secret Identity at the Rails and Bullhorn & Chocolate Strings at the Buddha Bar.
Brant Björk, the drummer from 80s/90s American rock band Kyuss; has been touring some of his solo material and is playing at the Northern on Saturday night – he is supported by awesome local band The Badlands, and Hammers.
If you’re a Bob Dylan fan – the Community Centre are throwing a birthday bash for him with tributes performed by local musicians. It kicks off at 7.30pm, and the event raises money to fund the restoration of the Centre’s Steinway piano. Tickets are available from the community centre website.
On Sunday – a great Sunday session in the arvo at the Beachy – with Late for Woodstock playing at 4.30pm. Following them at 9.30pm are the Elementals. Sydonia, Red Bee and Helm are playing at the Northern; and Betty Blissett at the Rails.
From 11am until 3pm Cafe Oska are holding an Africa Day Festival – bring drums and a smile! Funday DJs are on at Treehouse in Belongil from 2.30pm, Stormtree and Osmosis are on at 7.30pm at Kulchajam – and for any musos – Ginger Pig are holding their Brackets and Jam Sunday session – a live jam session with 2 for 1 on house drinks!
And slightly further afield – Caravana Sun are playing at the Brunswick Hotel from 4pm – this band are heaps of fun!!!
Today we had a Swedish cooking workshop in the student lounge!I followed the Jamie Oliver recipe to make delicious (hopefully!) herb-packed meatballs – unfortunately store bought – in a creamy white sauce, with plenty of lemon and chives and a big dollop of blackcurrant jam on the side. It wasn’t quite as authentic as the Swedish national obsession with lingon berry jam, but it seems that Woollies don’t cater to the Swedes among us – no lingon berry to be found!! I’ll have to stock up at Ikea.
Here at Lexis|Byron Bay, students can attend GIL (Guided Individual Learning) every day between 2pm and 3pm. You’ll find GIL in classroom 1 where there is always a friendly teacher ready to help you. But what exactly is GIL and what can you do there?
Do your homework
GIL provides a quiet, comfortable place for you to do your homework, ready for class the next day. The best thing about doing your homework during GIL is that you can ask the teacher if you’re not sure about anything and get them to check your answers when you have finished.
Borrow a reader/magazine
Readers are classic books that have been made shorter and easier to suit students at different levels of English. All of the readers also have exercises at the back of the book so you can learn while reading. You can borrow these readers at GIL time. Just leave a $5 deposit, which you will get back when you return the book. We also have a small selection of magazine that you can borrow. Scanning magazines and reading the articles that interest you is a great way to learn new vocabulary and practise your English.
Work on grammar/vocabulary
On the Resources table we have an excellent range of self-study material for students. These laminated sheets have instructions and answers included and cover all the main grammar points for Elementary to Upper Intermediate students, plus worksheets for vocabulary, phrasal verbs and idioms. You can ask your class teacher or the GIL teacher to ask which resources are the most suitable for you.
Get feedback on your writing
Do you write a journal/diary in English or perhaps you’ve been working on your CV? Do you need to make a telephone call and want to write out what to say beforehand? Bring any writing and the GIL teacher will point out any errors and suggest ways to improve it. You can learn so much from writing in your own time and then getting feedback on it. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Ask the teacher a question
Most of all, GIL is an excellent place to go if you have a question. Maybe, you didn’t understand something your teacher said. Or you thought you understood the grammar this morning but now it’s made you confused about something else. Or perhaps you want to know about joining the library. The GIL teacher can help with any questions you have. And, if there aren’t other students waiting for help, you can even just have a chat with him/her to practise your speaking and listening skills.
So to summarise this week’s Tip – Don’t miss out on GIL. It’s a great opportunity for you to work on your strengths and weaknesses and to practise and add to what you learn in class. See you in classroom 1 at 2pm.
Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students can study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.
GP is one of our most sociable, enthusiastic and proactive students! From organising study groups to looking for people to make up a basketball team; learning Spanish as well as English to treading the streets of Byron handing out CV after CV – GP never gives up and always gives it his all.
We chatted to him about working in Byron Bay and how he found his many jobs!
“After I graduated I worked as a cleaner in Woolworths – it was midnight until 7am and it was a really hard time for me, as I was also preparing for my IELTS exam at the same time. I realised that I had no leisure time and no days off – so I decided that I wanted to change my job to something in the daytime.
I got a job at the Cardamom Pod as a dishwasher – I started with two shifts and now I have six or seven – and I also introduced another person to my manager for a job. I went to my first Australian party, it wasn’t too crazy – just some music and beer!
I also saw some guys cleaning one morning near Woolworths, they had a 6am until 8am shift – so I asked how they got their cleaning work. One of the guys was going to Melbourne for work so I took his job. It is seven days a week and is good money!
I then found another cleaning job in the newspaper – I am working with a Brazilian girl who lives at South Golden Beach. She has two children and is a very strong woman. We work near Aldi and she looks after me.
Amy at Lexis corrected my CV for me and it helped for sure. There was some fundamental things like putting on a reference, and Amy was my first reference.
“My advice to any students looking for work in Byron Bay is that if you get help from another person, then make sure that you don’t forget the help, and help another person too – the community going around will make you lucky. The reason I got the job at the Cardamom Pod is that I was helping someone that worked there with her homework. I also cover shifts even if it means I am working day and night. And Keep Trying!
I want to get some certificates from the community centre – like RSA, cookery and barista to help me get a better job. When I am working at the Cardamom Pod I can communicate in English and the certificates will help me to get a job somewhere where I can speak with other people in English, and also make more money!
“My favourite thing about being in Byron Bay is that I have changed. When I was at uni there were lots of policies and I walked the way that other people would usually go. Now I make my own way, and make my own decisions.
At university there was just one answer, and now here in Byron there are lots of choices. For example, today I had a Spanish lesson in the library – it was great! I feel really enthusiastic, there are no limitations.”
Thanks GP! I think we can all learn a lot from your life lessons, as well as your hard work and perseverance!
We waved goodbye to some more amazing students this week!! Soon I will have to start locking them all in cupboards to stop them from going 🙂
Robin is off to study some more on the exotic Whitsunday Coast, Jasmin is heading off to sunny Bali, Hynek will be travelling around Australia – including Darwin, Alice Springs, the outback and Melbourne, Laura and Dawoon are both going to study at Lexis in Brisbane and Alejandra – our current longest term student – is going to sit her IELTS exam in none other than Bangkok!
We will miss you all loads and wish you all the best of luck!!
Its time to celebrate this weekend in Byron Bay, as drilling company Metgasco has had their licence suspended to drill for coal seam gas in the Northern Rivers! Check out the Bentley Blockade Facebook page for more info on the protest camps, the campaign to delay Metgasco and the government’s decision to investigate them for corruption!
If you fancy celebrating tonight; The Rails have some foot-stomping live music with Monster Guitars, Kim Churchill is playing at the Northern – showcasing a blend of guitar, blues harp, stompbox, lap steel, tambourine and percussion; and Buddha Bar has a slice of Australiana with Cockatoo Paul and a kangaroo burger and schooner of beer for $9.50!
Tomorrow night, as always Frothing on Friday’s is pulling in at the Ginger Pig, with resident DJ Ant On Leaf – awesome music, $5 Coopers and $10 cocktails.
Also on Friday – gig out at Bentley Hall for Gigs not Rigs – hopefully still going ahead although the police squads have been called off!! It should be going from 3pm until 10pm – $15 suggested donation for entry and delicious food, and alcohol free. Local bands and musicians such as Luka Lesson, Murray Kyle, Dallas James, The Badlands, Chad Wilkins, Mana Aloha and many more! Check out Gigs not Rigs for Gas Free Bentley on Facebook for more info.
Closer to town, King of the North are playing at the Northern – a great band name for anyone that is as obsessed with Game of Thrones as I am! Luke and Sebastian, followed by Hoy & Familiars are playing at the Beachy, and Hudibrastic Funk at the Rails.
Cheshire with Goosebumpz and Friends are playing at the Buddha Bar from 7pm, Baleric Funk at Cafe Oska from 7pm and Andy Jans-Brown at Luscious Cafe out at Sunrise.
On Saturday; Younger Dryas, The Mountains and the Swamps are playing at the Northern; DJ Fonzaius at the Beachy; Bossy Big Heart at the Rails and the Tristan O’Meara band at the Buddha Bar.
A little further afield, Western Australian permaculture and electro-swing aficionados Formidable Vegetable Soundsystem are playing a gig out at Coopers Shoot at the Arts Shed – go to http://starseedgardens.com/ai1ec_event/formidable-vegetable-sound-system-with-special-guests-murray-kyle-and-peter-hunt-kooii/?instance_id= for more info!
And finally, the best has been saved until last for Saturday – Deya Dova and Temple Step Project are playing their ‘progressive sacred bass music’ at Durrumbul Hall in Mullumbimby – it kicks off at 8pm, tickets are $20 and this will be awesome!!
And on Sunday, Dan Hannaford will be crooning away at the Northern; the Beachy are throwing a John Fogerty tribute show from 4.30 in the arvo; Pink Zinc are playing at the Rails and local musicians Rohin Knight and Zahlu are putting on a Brackets and Jam Sunday session at the Ginger Pig from 6pm.
And if you happen to have a Harley stashed behind the school, or are just a fan of big blokes in leather, then head along to the Buddha Bar on Sunday for Social Motorcycle Club’s The Ride…the ride will be leaving at 1pm, returning to the brewery at 3 – for live music as well as plenty of the brewery’s fresh beer.
Meet Kathleen! Kathleen has been teaching our Pre-Intermediate class here at Lexis | Byron Bay, and has always been a hit with the students, who love her teaching styles and easy to understand explanations.
Here are some things that you might not know about our wonderful Kathleen!
Kathleen always wanted to be a teacher, philanthropist or beachbum. It looks like at least two out of these have come true!
When asked, she says that Byron Bay’s best kept secret is The Rails Friendly Bar on a Sunday afternoon.
Her special tidbit for living in Byron is to learn the local lingo! She says that ‘Jingi Walla!’ means welcome in the indigenous Bundjalung language of Byron Bay.
At 8 am on a Saturday, you’ll find her at the gym – yeehah!! This applies to any day in fact – Kathleen is a real gym bunny!
Her dream holiday destination is South East Asia, particularly Laos and Cambodia. Long painful cycling trips really turn her on 🙂
And finally – her invaluable tips for learning the English language are:
– When you’re in Byron Bay, don’t miss school!
– Find funny/interesting ways to remember the grammar rules.
Students often ask me to recommend books so that they can continue to study at home. Obviously there is no one book that is perfect for everybody’s needs but some books suit self-study better than others.
Below, I’ve provided a summary of my favourites:
Elementary – Pre-Intermediate: Essential Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy
Intermediate – Upper Intermediate: English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy
These books are classics. They have a really easy-to-use format of two pages per topic, with clear explanations of grammar points on each left-hand page and exercises to check understanding on the right. There is also a diagnostic test so that students can learn what areas of grammar they need to study.
Both books are published by Cambridge University Press and costs around $30 without CD or $40 with.
Cambridge Exams (FCE/CAE and even CPE)
FCE Organiser by John Flower
There are two main reasons why I always recommend this book. Firstly, it contains all the language that trips students up in the Cambridge exams: prepositions, phrasal verbs, word formation, verb forms and essential vocabulary by topic. Secondly, it’s really easy to use for self-study. Again, it’s presented in a two page format. This time the left-hand page practises and the right-hand page organises and reviews. Furthermore, there are really useful sections on easily confusing words and common grammar mistakes to avoid.
FCE Organiser is published by Cengage Learning and costs around $35
Focus on Academic Skills for IELTS by Morgan Terry, Judith Wilson and Sue O’Connell
This book really suits self study because it’s presents tasks in a very step-by-step way. With the Writing Tasks, for example, you learn first about the different types of Task 1 and Task 2 questions and then are introduced to the key skills and vocabulary you need to succeed. The CD provides lots of model answers for the Speaking Tasks and also a good range of Listening Practice tests.
Focus on Academic Skills for IELTS is published by Pearson Longman and is available with CD for about $64.
Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
All students should invest in a quality English/English dictionary and, in my opinion, this one is the best. It makes it really easy to look up words, phrases, phrasal verbs and idioms and provides excellent example sentences and details or origin and formality so that you can clearly see how to use the target language in real life. There are also some additional useful features like the “Other ways of saying…” boxes and the 30-page Focus on Writing section.
Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is published by Cambridge University Press and can be found online for around $40. A version with an accompanying CD-ROM is also available.
To summarise my advice for this week, I would say don’t rush into buying a book for home study. Make sure you consider your needs very carefully first. Then look for a title that is specifically aimed at studying alone and which is really clearly laid out and easy-to-use. Ask your teacher for recommendations or try out my recommendations above. Happy self-studying.
Welcome to our new starters today!!!! What an interesting bunch!
Lydia is from Korea, Mika and Midori are from Japan, Moja is from Saudi Arabia and Alberto is from Italy.
Moja is off to do a masters in China after studying here, Lydia has just spent two months studying English in the Philippines, Mika teaches hip hop dance back in Japan, Midori has travelled around the world by ship nd Alberto is our newest resident rock star!!
Today we say goodbye to one of our favourite students, Grace 🙁
Grace has been here for a mammoth 24 weeks!! She has been a fantastic student – who went from speaking no English to chattering away whenever she can! Grace is staying in Byron where she will be working and surfing as often as she can. We’ll miss you Grace!
There are a few little waves around at the moment – to book a surf lesson with the awesome guys at Style Surf, come and see us in reception!!
Gaz and Greg only take you to local waves so that you get an authentic Byron Bay surf experience – and will never take you in ankle deep water – you’ll be up and riding waves in great conditions on your first lesson!
Happy Friday folks!! The sun is peeking out from the clouds today – which obviously means that everyone should head straight to the Rails after school!
The Spanish Film Festival kicked off this week – check it out at Palace Cinema to see some awesome Spanish language films such as Living is Easy with Eyes Closed, Three Many Weddings and Witching and Bitching – head to http://www.spanishfilmfestival.com/sessions/byron-bay for session times and tickets. ¡Divertirse!
If you’re a comedy fan and want to keep up the English – comedian Arj Barker is doing stand up shows at the Byron Community Centre tonight and tomorrow night – tickets are $25 – he is one funny guy.
DJ Limes is playing with DJ Ant On Leaf at Frothing on Fridays at the Ginger Pig tonight – free entry as always with awesome music, yummy food, $5 Coopers and $10 cocktails!
For live music, Shybaby are playing at the Beach Hotel from 9pm; 3 Cornered Square and Reilly Fitzalan Band at the Northern; Byron Marshall and the Pride at the Rails; She Rex, Lepers and Crooks at the Buddha Bar – and if you live out at Sunrise – Dinkum Bohos are playing at Luscious Foods – head down there for some wood fired pizza, BYO wine and live music!
On Saturday Dustin Thomas is playing at the Buddha Bar – if you didn’t see him at the Rails on Wednesday GO GO GO!!! He is the bass player with Nahko and Medicine for the People – and plays beat-boxsy soulful folk in his solo performances…this is a free gig so don’t miss it!
Also on Saturday – DJ Discrow at the Beachy; Byron Hits and Pits with Unwritten Law, Strung Out and Face to Face; and Devil’s Kiosk at the Rails.
On Sunday – Kellie Knight and the Daze are playing in the afternoon at the Beachy – followed by DJ Longtime at 8pm; Garrett Kato at the Northern; The Shooflys at the Rails and Lauren Alexander at the Buddha Bar. There are also Sunday session DJs at the Treehouse for Sunday Funday – DJ Lethal Weapon is playing from 2.30pm.
If you have some wheels – Artwomb Live in Paradise, at Paradise One in Coorabell will be amazing! If you haven’t been out to Paradise One in the hinterland yet, try to make it on Sunday!! It’s a gorgeous old eco-retreat with a pool, heaps of land and a creek for swimming – that hosts parties, raves and jam sessions. Artwomb is a brilliant collaborative art session with live music thrown into the mix – it will be a fantastic Byron Bay experience!
Also if you fancy something fun anhd cultural – Drill Hall Theatre Company are showing their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Drill Hall in Mullumbimby at 7.30pm on Sunday evening.
This afternoon we had a Korean BBQ here at Lexis English | Byron Bay!! Marco was our celebrity chef, helped by the students who made some delicious Korean food – from pork with pineapple to yummy veggie options!
If you need some cash to spend on bobble hats and woolly jumpers now that Byron Bay has turned chilly; then here are the jobs available in Byron Bay this week!
1 – weekend cleaner for Brunswick Holiday Park required – must be experienced – please call 02 6685 1872
2 – waiter/waitress required for Footbridge cafe in Brunswick Heads. Drop your CV into the cafe
3 – part-time wok cook and customer service person required at Noodle Box in Byron Bay! Experience required – please drop CV into Noodle Box or email firstname.lastname@example.org
4 – barista required for Lulu’s in Mullumbimby. Happy, efficient and very experienced. Please call 02 6684 2418
5 – receptionist and assistant manager required for Byron Bay Motel. Office skills essential – send CV to PO Box 453 Ballina or email email@example.com
6 – barista required for busy cafe in Brunswick Heads. Minimum 25 hours per week – 2 years experience necessary. Please email CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
7 – Italian at the Pacific and Pizza Bar Byron (owned by the same company) are looking for experienced cocktail bartenders – minimum 3 years experience and RSA required. Please call 0439 978 787
8 – and if you fancy doing some voluntary work – the Pets for Life Animal Shelter in Billinudgel are looking for people to help look after the cats and kittens in their care. If you’re interested please call Jean on 0411 032 905
In Task 1 you have only 20 minutes to write 150 words. Below, I’ve outlined the way I teach students how to ensure they include everything necessary to get the best score for their ability level.
You will be given a table, chart, map or diagram and will need to describe what you see (fact only; do not include your opinion). Mostly commonly the illustration will do one or a combination of the following:
compare quantities or amounts
show change over time
describe a process
One quick way to approach the task is to remember the 5 Ts: Time, Topic, Thesis, Trends, Totals.
Before you start writing you need to identify what time you are talking about and what your main tense will be. For example, if it’s a graph showing change over time, are both dates in the past (Past Simple) or are you comparing the past with the present (Present Perfect)? If it’s a process question, is it a natural process when you’ll mostly use active tenses or an industrial process when passive tenses are usually required?
Your reader needs to know what you are describing. This is the topic. Imagine that your reader can’t see your graph or diagram and describe what it shows. Usually you will be able to paraphrase (write in your own words) the question to do this. However, do not copy the wording of the question exactly because if you do this, it won’t be marked.
The next thing to consider is what the most important point the diagram illustrates is. If you were in the pub and you had to describe the main point/feature of the chart/graph/process what would it be? Did sales go up over time? Is one product, by far, the most popular? Do men earn way more than women despite their education background? Do not underestimate the importance of this step. You must describe the big picture as well as the details.
Now you need to describe the main trends. This does not mean describe everything you see. Your job it to group information together or compare information to make it meaningful. Consider the following examples, which is better?
In 1980 men earned on average $200 per week. Then in 1990 they earned $250 per week and in 2000 this had grown to $300. Finally, by 2010 their weekly income had risen to $350 per week.
On average, men’s weekly income increase by $50 over each 10 year period; from $200 per week in 1980 to $350 per week in 2010.
B. is better because it groups the information and summarises the main trend.
The final thing you must remember is that it is essential to include data in your answer. Data could be total amounts, periods of time, dates, weights or a combination of the above. Without data, the information you provide is meaningless. If you say that sales rose you need to include when and how much. If you say that the caterpillar turns into a butterfly you need to say how many stages there are and how long each stage in the process takes.
So to summarise this week’s tip – remember the 5 Ts when you write a Task 1 and get the tense (time) right, introduce the diagram effectively (topic), describe the main point (thesis) of the diagram, group and compare the key information (trends) and NEVER forget to include data (totals).
We waved a very sad goodbye to three AMAZING students today!! Stephan is heading off to go travelling with his girlfriend who he is picking up from the airport this Sunday (woot-woo), Celine gave a wonderful speech about her experiences here in Byron and will be returning to Switzerland; and Matthew will be heading off on an Aussie adventure – and also wanted to let everyone know that he is selling his bike for $50 and his guitar for $80!!
Teacher Julia ran our bi-weekly Coffee Club on Tuesday afternoon – a chance for students to get together, have a cappuccino and some cake or ever popular Tim Tams; and chat about various fun and engaging topics!
As you can see we had a great turn out this week – thanks to Celine for sending us these great photos!
After our first full length week in a while, you might be pining for the weekend!
I’m off to Sydney this weekend to visit my sister, so will be missing out on all of the awesome things that Byron has to offer!
On Friday night there is live music galore – with A Little Province at the Northern, Greg Kew and Ragga Jump at the Beachy, Hammer & The Goon at the Rails and NZ favourites Cornerstone Roots at the Buddha Bar.
The Youth Activity Centre Rock Cafe are throwing a hardcore and metal youth eventon Friday night to get the youth of Byron head banging! It kicks off at 6pm and In Hearts Wake, Shackles, Deceiver and As Chaos Falls are all playing.
As always, Frothing on Fridays is taking over the Ginger Pig on Friday, with $5 Coopers, $10 cocktails and awesome music from DJ Ant On Leaf. These guys have guest DJs coming down from Brisbane to join them on Fridays too – so pop along for the only great electronic music in Byron!!
A little further afield, Oka are headlining Glo Dance at Durrumbul Hall. They are also playing at Uki Hall on Saturday… These are their last shows before their US tour – if you haven’t seen them already, make sure you check them out!! Electronic didgeridoo, roots-dub, jazz, house, big bass and world music…these guys blend everything and make it sound amazing!!! From 8-12pm – Tickets are $25 – buy them at http://www.glodance.com or on the door if they haven’t already sold out!
On Saturday, Lyall Maloney is playing at the Northern, Tristan O’ Meara Band at the Rails, Quorum Consensus and The Hated at the Buddha Bar and Andy Jans Brown at Soho Lounge.
One not be missed on Saturday – Hot Dub Time Machine are bringing their ‘World’s First Time Travelling Dance Party’ to the Beachy! Its an audio visual journey through music history from the 1950s to today – with huge screens, confetti cannons and balloon drops – this will be an awesome party!
And finally, some live music on Sunday to top off the weekend – The Fire Tree at the Northern, Jaffer at the Beachy in the afternoon; and Captain Kaine in the evening; Chris Cook Band at the Rails, Twin House at the Buddha Bar and live music at Soho Lounge and the Golf Club.. There is also stand up comedy at the Byron Community Centre – with Marty Putz’s Very Weird and Slightly Dangerous tour.