Meet the Teacher – This week the “kind and gentle” Michelle!

Michelle 2

“Kind and gentle” is how all of Michelle’s students describe her on their feedback forms! She is also a great teacher with a vast knowledge of linguistics and the English language. We are very lucky to have her here at Lexis Byron Bay, where she has taught for nearly two years. Find out more about her below:

HOW MANY LANGUAGES DO YOU SPEAK?

2 (English and Japanese).

 

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE…?

A rich housewife.

 

WHEN YOU ARE IN BYRON BAY, DON’T MISS OUT….

on watching the sunrise at the lighthouse.

lighthouse
I’LL BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW… I’ve got a pet duck called Alfie.

 
Michelle

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO?

Camping at the beach in the summer.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM HOLIDAY DESTINATION?

The Caribbean.

 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A TEACHER?

I became a teacher because it’s something I’ve wanted to be ever since I was 7 yrs old!

 

WHAT IS YOUR ENGLISH LEARNING TIP?

Make international friends and speak English every day.

 

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing and Yoga in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

Happy Student – Izabela Franco De Sad; Making Dreams Come True!

Izabela started studying at Lexis English in December last year and she brought with her a very special energy. She was such a pleasure to have in the school that, before she left, I asked her if we could do an interview to find out more about her and her time at Lexis Byron Bay. It turned out that her trip was the culmination of a dream that she’d nurtured for many years. Read what she told me below:

  1. Why did you decide to come to Byron Bay to study English?

I started dreaming about coming to Australia when I was 15. My vision of Australia was a place full of beaches, sunshine, friendly people and a relaxed way of life. I also knew that having a good level of English would be important for my life – for getting a good job and for travelling and meeting people.

So, from the age of 17, I worked to save up to make this dream come true. I worked in restaurants, hotels and offices, sometimes four jobs at a time until, eventually, I earned enough money to pay for my entire trip myself.

I went to an agency to book my trip and they advised that I went to Sydney or the Gold Coast as it was easy to find work there. I nearly booked my trip but first decided to look at Google Earth. When I saw all the skyscrapers and the cars I was disappointed. This wasn’t the vision I’d had of Australia all these years.

So I sent messages to five different contacts I had that had been to Australia and asked them to advise where I should go. One friend told me about Byron Bay and said that 100% it was the place for me, as soon as I Googled it I knew she was right.

  1. How has your English improved and who/what helped with that?

Before I came to Australia, I wanted to make sure that I had a reasonable level of English so that I could really jump straight into the lifestyle here and also have more chance of finding a job straight away. My mum was so proud of me saving up for my trip all by myself and so, as a reward, she paid for me to have English conversations classes.

This was really useful but I was still thinking in Portuguese and then translating into English when I first arrived. However, once in Byron Bay, the necessity of talking English all the time makes you improve crazy fast. Plus the teachers at Lexis Byron Bay are great. They gave us phrases and conversation practices that were so relevant and which we could use in our real lives, immediately. Plus they corrected me, which people in the street don’t do, so I soon improved my accuracy too and got better and better.

I did General English and Cambridge FCE and found them both really useful. The method of teaching is really good and Paul, my Cambridge teacher, was so funny.

  1. What was it like living/working in Byron Bay?

I’m probably not the best person to ask because I can’t be objective. I’m simply in LOVE with Byron Bay. I’ve found myself here!

I really believe that Byron chooses people. I feel like I can allow myself to be me here and be and do everything I that wanted to be. I find people here are different. Everyone wants to live in a simple way and enjoy life in tune with nature, love and the things that are really important. For example, getting up early to share a sunrise.

Work-wise, I’ve had the same job since early January. I work at Trattoria Basiloco, an Italian and pizza restaurant in town. It’s a great job. Everyone is really nice and helpful. I didn’t find it difficult to get a job at all but I do think you need to be proactive. Choose the places you want to work and then make yourself known there. It helped for me that I was studying Cambridge too. It gives employers confidence that you have a pretty good level of English and will be able to communicate easily with the customers.

As for friends, I’ve met some wonderful people. Lexis Byron Bay is a really friendly environment so it’s easy to meet people straight away. Then, over time, some people I met grew to be really good friends. Now there is a group that I have such great connection with; with no problems or dramas. And I met them all through Lexis Byron Bay.

  1. What was/were the best thing/things about your trip?

It’s not a single experience or even something I did; it’s that I’ve discovered myself. Through this experience (even the difficult times such as when I was fined $319 for not wearing a bike helmet) I’ve learned what makes me happy, who I am and who I can be. And I’ve gained the confidence that I can do whatever I want.

Now I’ve finished my English studies, I’m going to stay one more year doing a massage course. This takes me up to September next year. I’m not sure what I’ll do then, but, at the moment, every day I say to someone how lucky we are to be here. When I’m watching the sunrise or swimming or playing guitar on the beach I feel such gratitude: to myself for giving me this opportunity; to the people I’ve met in Byron; and to Lexis Byron Bay for being such a huge part of this experience.

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing or Yoga in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

Graduation! 17 November

 A big congratulations to our five students who graduated from Lexis Byron Bay last week! We wish you all good luck and hope you continue to practice your English in the future!

Louis

Louis, from Switzerland, graduates from Harriett’s Pre- Intermediate class. Louis has been a fantastic student who always joined in class activities. His English grammar and speaking confidence has improved a lot since he started with us 10 weeks ago. Louis’ class will miss him and wish him all the best for his future travels around Australia!

Upper

Chiaki, from Japan, graduates from Claudia’s Upper Intermediate Class. Chiaki has been with us at Lexis for four weeks; over that time she has put a lot of effort into improving her English. She was always a smiley and positive presence in class. We will miss you at Lexis and wish you all the best for your future!

Sergio, from Spain, graduates from Claudia’s Upper Intermediate class. Sergio has been a fantastic addition to the school and his enthusiasm in class has been greatly appreciated! His English has improved a lot since he arrived in Byron; well done Sergio! We wish you all the best for the future!

Marina, from Spain, graduates from our Upper Intermediate class. Her teacher Claudia says it’s been a pleasure to have her in her class, she was always smiling and happy! This is not farewell yet as Marina will return to us in January to do our Cambridge Course; we wish you the very best with it!

Tobias.jpg

Tobias, from Switzerland, graduates from our Elementary class. He has been studying at Lexis for just two weeks but in this short time his confidence with his English ability has improved a lot. His Teacher Michelle says he has been a great student who has participated well in all class activities.  All of us at Lexis wish you the best of luck for the future!

 

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing and Yoga in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

 

 

Lessons in the sun!

The weather is so beautiful here in Byron Bay this week that many teachers are taking the opportunity to do part of their lessons in the sun.

On Monday, Kristy’s class were doing a running dictation (one student has to run, read something, remember it and tell their partner who writes it down. Then they swap).

21-e1508902091687.jpg

Then, today Kathleen’s class were doing pair work discussing relationships. They had to tell a relationship story and then, later write a poem about someone they felt strongly about.

What a lovely way to study English! And it’s only the start of summer. We’ve got months of this lovely sunshine to look forward to 🙂

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE and English plus Surfing or Yoga in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

Happy Student – Sakiko!

19204981_1698784563758617_370032013_o - Copy

 

Sakiko is 24 years old and she is from Kochi, a small town in rural Japan. She studied law at Kobe University and came straight to Australia after she graduated. She arrived in Byron Bay in June 2016 and has been at Lexis for an incredible here for 52 weeks! I interviewed Sakiko on her last day of school to find out about the remarkable year she has had.

Why did you choose Byron Bay?

While I was at University I was living in a big city, it was very crowded and busy for me. I wanted to live somewhere quiet and peaceful. My agent recommended Byron Bay to me and it is exactly what I wanted. Also I love yoga; I practised it in Japan for many years. Yoga is a big part of life in Byron, I practice yoga 3 or 4 times every week here.

Byron is a great place to come if you don’t know anybody. If you go to a big place it is hard to meet people but Byron is community so it is a good opportunity to speak with local people – it has a very friendly atmosphere here, everyone is happy to talk to you.

 

19212689_1698784517091955_1198213587_o - Copy

What were your weaknesses in English before you came to Australia?

I found listening and speaking the most difficult – I think most Japanese have this problem. We don’t have speaking practise in class at school in Japan so I was not used to speaking. On my first day I couldn’t understand everything, even though everyone was speaking slowly, I just guessed what they were saying.  I did not feel ready to speak English yet, I’m afraid to make mistakes when I spoke. After 1 month and 2 months when I made a lot of friends from different places they really influenced me. Especially my Brazilian friends because I saw that they were not scared to make mistakes. I asked them once: ‘you don’t care about making mistakes?’ but they said ‘no I don’t care, I just speak.’ That was a really good lesson to learn.

 

19349260_1698784587091948_857297674_o

Tell me about your teachers and your classes.

I started in Intermediate class. I studied a lot of English to enter University, and my grammar was good. I have had so many great teachers. Paul is my favourite teacher because he is so interesting and he always makes us laugh. He taught me pronunciation, how English and Japanese are so different because of emphasis and intonation. It was very hard, I almost gave up, but he never gave up to teach me!

19357590_1698784537091953_1328299424_n

One lesson we went to Byron Bay farmers market (we have this once a week in Byron, in the mornings, we can buy local products: fresh vegetables, fruits etc. It’s a great community atmosphere.) Here we interviewed the people working in the market. I was nervous but they are so kind to us, even though we were still learning. It was great because I often go to the farmers market but I don’t often have the chance to communicate with the producers about the local produce.

 

19357879_1698784590425281_955404212_n - Copy

 

What was your favourite activity?

Yoga was my favourite activity. Every Monday at school there is free yoga and I went every week for a year. I think I improved my yoga a lot. I also tried a lot of new activities, like surfing, skate boarding, slack-lining, cooking (we made koala cupcakes). They were very sweet for me but I enjoyed decorating them.

 

19357633_1698784693758604_1584408184_n

Tell me about your accommodation.

My first 6 weeks I was in homestay accommodation, staying with Gill and John. They were so kind. I was nervous about living with them, but on my first day they took me around Byron Bay, to lots of places. We went up to the lighthouse and to different beaches. We had lots of BBQs at the house and we baked cookies.

Afterwards I find a share house on Gumtree. It takes my five minutes to get to school on foot. At the moment with 2 Australian people, this has helped me to learn English. My host is very kind and speaks slowly and explains what words mean to me and this really helped my English improve.

 

19205050_1698784760425264_1479703529_o - Copy

What are your favourite things to do in Byron?

After I took a surf lesson, I decided to buy a surf board. During the Summer I surfed almost every day. It’s a good life, study and then go to surf. I think I got a bit better and I enjoyed it. I would meet up with my friends at the beach to surf.

 

19238505_1698784677091939_1939398391_o

I also enjoy going up to lighthouse to see the sunrise. It is the most Easterly point of Australia and the view is amazing. The view always changes as the seasons change. One morning I met my friends at 4:30 am and we walked up in the dark and the stars were beautiful.

 

19339683_1698784527091954_1246705766_o

I also love yoga here. It is very different to Japan, it seems more difficult and there is more variety of lessons. I can chose which I want to do depending on the condition of my body.

What is your most magical moment in Byron?

While I was doing the light house walk in the morning I saw whales and dolphins. One time I saw many dolphins very close to us on the walk. I was able to take this amazing picture:

19264052_1698784663758607_1294549755_o

What is your advice for people who are thinking about enrolling at Lexis Byron Bay?

You should come here, all the teachers are very kind and there are good quality lessons that are interesting and never boring. It is a very small school here so it is easy for everyone to get to know each other. March was my favourite month, because it is not too hot but the Sun is still out and it is not so crowded here. Winter is also good here, the sky is clear and bright but it is not too hot, you can see beautiful sunrises!

19213088_1698784643758609_589587948_o

What are you going to do now?

I have 3 weeks holidays now before I move to Lexis Perth. Tomorrow I am going to travel in New Zealand for 1 week. After New Zealand my sister will come here to visit in Byron Bay. Then I am going to do the Gold Coast marathon with my sister. I have heard it is a good route, around the beach but very flat. It is going to be a very challenging event in my life but I like to try new challenges. I am a little but worried about that but also excited. I will study in Perth for 3 weeks and then go home back to Japan. When I go home I think I will look for a job. I would like to live one more year in Australia or New Zealand, I want more opportunity to use English and communicate with English speakers. In Japan I would love to do an international job that involves using English and possibly working with sports, for example I would love to have a job related to the Japanese Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

 Good luck with your marathon and your travels Sakiko, you will be missed here at Lexis Byron Bay!

19238661_1698784580425282_1964925297_o

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students 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.

Happy Student – Tito!

18010432_209012562931374_2165457964557203249_n

Tito is from Switzerland – the small village of Malvaglia. He arrived in Byron Bay 6 months ago and enrolled at Lexis, starting in the Upper Intermediate class. After several months studying General English, he went travelling round Australia in his van, with friends he had met at Lexis. He traveled down the East Coast, into the outback and finally to Sydney, before returning to Byron. He is now knuckling down to study for his Cambridge Advanced Qualification. Tito has become part of the furniture here at Lexis Byron Bay; you will often find him waxing his surfboard, skulking around reception looking for Tim Tams or involved in a heated table tennis match. Tito is a fantastic student and a pleasure to have at school, he is loved by fellow students and teachers alike.

I decided to interview Tito to find out a bit more about his experience here.

Why did you choose Byron Bay?

I chose Byron because I didn’t want to live in a big town with all the hustle and bustle – I wanted to live in a small town – here with the waves I can find peace, enjoying the sunny weather and the fresh sea air. I think I would to define Byron Bay as an open minded and multi-cultural place.

boys

What were your weaknesses in English before you came to Australia?

I was a little bit rusty in everything concerning grammar – for this reason it was essential to go on a formal English course. Being here for 6 months, using the language has become natural – I think it is a process which takes time, but you can really see your improvements by being fully immersed in a situation where the use of this language is required.

18033978_209012312931399_1600763903313032396_n

Tell me about your teachers and your classes.

I have been enrolled in upper intermediate and then advanced, where I had the opportunity to meet the amazing teachers Claudia and Josie – Claudia is an extremely knowledgeable teacher and I liked her way of explaining a lot of grammar rules which before were difficult for me to understand. Whereas Josie is the most motivating teacher that I have ever had and it’s a great pleasure to learn such a challenging syllabus with a teacher who makes it seem so easy and enjoyable.

What is it like living in our onsite Accommodation?

It’s an extremely comfortable and familiar place to live – there is a very sociable environment, it is very easy to make friends and as soon as you arrive you become part of the onsite family. It is always possible to go out of your room and hang around in the common area, seeing all of your friends. Since my arrival I’ve met a lot of gregarious people with whom I have organised many dinners, for example the Easter Sunday dinner where almost all the residents (50 people) cooked delicious dishes to share in a friendly and pleasant environment. Many students from around the world made different dishes from their home countries. I made a pizza from scratch, inspired by my Swiss Italian heritage – so tasty.

17951989_209012622931368_997784327999815512_n

What is your favourite activity that we run here?

The most attractive activity is undoubtedly the table tennis tournament, where only the student with the best skills can win the title and of course the beer. It is always full of cheering crowds, the competition gets very heated. Romain is better than me, so he usually wins, but I win second place, which is also an impressive accolade. Don’t worry if you think you are not going to win, we will still share the beer with you!

What are your favourite things to do in Byron?

Most days I enjoy spending my time at the beach, surfing, sunbathing and playing beach games such as Frisbee and Volleyball. It is wonderful to live and study right on the beach. I will never forget the time when a dolphin passed right under my surfboard, what a breathtaking moment! I often see dolphins when surfing, during the Summer it is as common as seeing bushturkeys. You also can’t leave Byron without experiencing the nightlife of this delightful town; Sticky Wicket, Lala land, The Rails and of course Cheeky Monkey’s are all lovely pubs/clubs where you can meet local people and share drinks and great discussions with your friends. A warning though: Do not abuse alcohol; otherwise you will pay the consequences the next day at school!

 

18034294_209012406264723_5112158927115785721_n

Happy Student – Tito! | Lexis | Byron Bay Blog
https://s0.wp.com/wp-content/themes/pub/twentyeleven/js/html5.js

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students 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.

New Starters – Cambridge! January 3rd

Welcome to the twenty-five new students starting the Cambridge Course at Lexis Byron Bay this week!

Cambridge New Starters.jpg

Joining us we have Eliane, Alessia, Marc, Lea Tina, Jenny, Cheyenne, Sara Anna, Valeria, Louise, Nadia, Luca Joel, Pascal, Ana, Zora, Livia, Haruki, Amelie, Raphael, Ramona, Olaf, Ramona, Phillipe, Jade, Christopher and Cosmo!

We are very happy to have you all here with us at Lexis Byron Bay and wish you all the best with your studies!

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students 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.