Happy Student – Tito!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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Happy Student – Tito! | Lexis | Byron Bay Blog
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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.

Meet Ellie’s CAE class!

There are two Cambridge CAE classes that started this week at Lexis Byron Bay. Find out more about the students in Ellie’s CAE class in the beautiful poems below!

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Andrea (by Robin)

Andrea is at first sight a deep sleeper

But he’s not lazy, he’s a footballer

In Australia, snakes and sharks are his only fear

To forget them, his has to drown in beer

A good hangout is always good

It makes him happy and in a nice mood.

 

Caroline (by Pascal)

Tattoed jewellery on her skin

Shows the expression of herself

In the shower, she will sing

Like nobody else.

She’ll find her future husband here, for sure

Blonde long hair, bearded and tattoos

This sounds like a surfer boy, put pure.

 

Pascal (by Caroline)

Pascal wants to travel so he quit his job

And actually, I think that wasn’t a flop

It was the best thing he did in his life

Maybe, he will meet his wife

You know what’s funny about him?

He can’t remember anything

The weirdest thing when he was drunk?

Yeah, can’t remember, maybe kissed some junk.

 

Tamara (by Emanuela)

Tamara is afraid not to live her life to the fullest

Determined, she continues to follow her road to the top

Easy going girl, she would be a sea animal to swim underwater

And breathes the ocean that she loves

Tamara has a celebrity crush called Travis Fimmel

At Australian actor that attracts her like the country where she is.

 

Emanuela (by Tamara)

Emanuela is not afraid too easily

But spiders and snakes

That’s what her biggest fear would be

 

High up in the sky

If only she had wings to fly

A bird she would love to be

The world from above, she would see

 

A genuine and open-minded girl

You’ll love from the start

Only Johnny Depp is able to steal her heart.

 

Patrick (by Belinda)

Peru is a place, he’d love to see

Adventurous, he likes to be

Tries hard and never gives up

Ready, set, go until he’s on top

Inception is his favourite movie

Curious about South America, which he loves to see

Kangaroos and Koalas now surround him, life’s easy.

 

 

Belinda (by Patrick)

Bee is her nickname from her South African friend

Eating chocolate makes her feeling happy

Likes paella

I’d love to drink a beer with you

Nepal is her next destination

Dolphin is her favourite animal.

Awesome

 

 

Robin (by Andrea)

Robin would love to be a panda

Obsessed with eating crispy bamboo

Being in love with the beautiful Scarlett Johansson

In fear of spiders, they are not so handsome

Now I instantly stop because this poem is a flop.

 

 

David (by Katharine)

Drums, piano, guitar and bass are the instruments that he plays

Always drinks without getting a hangover

Veggie burger isn’t a thing he would order

Interested in sound and light engineering

Dreams about being a meerkat.

 

Katharina (by David)

Kidney beans, she doesn’t like

Although she likes to sing on her bike

The only thing she wants to do, is be a tree ‘cause of the better view.

 

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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.

Lexis CAE catch-up in Switzerland!

One of our lovely teachers, Julia, is lucky enough to be travelling through Europe at the moment. On her travels, she managed to catch up with a group of her former Lexis CAE students who studied the Cambridge course in Byron Bay.

On Saturday afternoon, she met up with them at the Rote Fabrik (Red Factory), which is a great spot right next to the beautiful Lake of Zurich.

Julia said: “It was really lovely to see everyone and catch up on their news. All the students had such fond memories of their time at Lexis and in Byron Bay. Thanks for coming everyone!”

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Front row (left to right): Quentin, Joyce, Martina, Simone, Jessica, Michelle. Back row (left to right): Teacher Julia, Aurelie, Nora, Julia, Raphael, Neil, Till, Geri, Raffi, Jana, Luana, Julien.

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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.

 

Graduation! June 3

Today we have the two Cambridge classes plus two students from General English graduating from Lexis Byron Bay.

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Yuka is from Japan and graduates from the Pre-Intermediate class. She was an excellent student, achieving an overall A grade. Yuka will be moving to the Gold Coast to live and work for a few months. Enjoy the rest of your time in Australia!

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Saki is from Japan and graduates from the Upper Intermediate class. She was a pleasure to have in class and made great progress with her English. Saki will now be studying to become a Yoga Instructor at a yoga school in Byron Bay. Good luck Saki!

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Paul’s FCE class graduates include: Artjan from Switzerland, Federico from Italy, Ayuko from Japan, Audrey from New Caledonia, Andrea from Brazil, Mireia from Spain and Yuka from Japan.

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Julia’s CAE class graduates include: Fabian from Switzerland, Santi from Spain, Adri from Andorra, Simone from Italy, Ana from Brazil, Elodie from Switzerland, Ramona from Switzerland, Simone from Switzerland and Jess from Switzerland.

We wish all the Cambridge graduates all the best on their exams next week! 🙂

 

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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.

 

Lexis Byron Bay – Highly Commended in the 2016 Cambridge Awards

Lexis English Byron Bay has been “Highly Commended” in the 2016 Cambridge English Language Assessment awards for preparation centres*.

The Highly Commended status was awarded, in acknowledgement of the exemplary quality of the school’s nomination.

Our entry for the award focused on the student-centred approach Lexis English Byron Bay has towards preparing Cambridge First and Cambridge Advanced candidates.

Some features of this include:

  • An outstanding team of teachers and staff that really go that extra mile for students who need it; both with studies and personal issues.
  • An efficient academic program which includes first day, mid-course and end-course tests to and identify and support at-risk students and mid and end-course reports and individual counselling of students. (The final report shows the results of all three tests allowing students to chart the satisfying progression from their pre-test to their end test.)
  • A suite of student feedback mechanisms including an anonymous form in week two, to identify any issues in time for us to respond, a comprehensive mid-course form where students also evaluate themselves, and an exit questionnaire, where students provide feedback on all aspects of their time in Byron Bay, helping us to make ongoing improvements.
  • The utilisation of email and social media to communicate formally and informally with students, potential students and agents.

 

This is what some recent students have said about their experience of studying Cambridge Preparation at Lexis Byron Bay

celine“Oh thank you so much {for my results} I’m so happy! I would like to thank you for the organisation of Lexis School. I had a so amazing time there.  Everything was just perfect, the lessons, the schedule, our unique teacher Paul. So thank you for that!” Celine, Switzerland, CAE March 16.

 

“Julia is a really good teacher who always asks if we have specific topics to have a look at. She gives me the opportunity to make extra preparation test or writing exercise. I enjoy participating in the class.”
Michelle, Switzerland, CAE Dec 15

 

“Ellie is a great teacher for me. She is good at teaching and her class is really organised. Also the whiteboard she write is very clearly. She always checks our reading carefully. Therefore I like her class and think she is a great teacher.”
Miho, Japan, FCE March 16

 

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“Josie’s explanations are always clear. She is also really patient when we don’t understand directly and tries to find other examples to make sure we understand properly. I had a great time at Lexis school, much more than I expected so thank you for everything.”
Ludivine, France, FCE March 16

 

We still have spaces left for the September 2016 Cambridge First and Cambridge Advanced Preparation Courses. Please contact marketing@lexisenglish.com for more details.

*See http://preparationcentre.cambridgeenglish.org/support-for-you/preparation-centre-events/ for more information about  the awards and for a list all the finalists and highly commended schools.

 

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.

 

New Starters! April 18

We have five new students at Lexis Byron Bay this week. Welcome to AlbertAlineMarcoDavid and Yuki!

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Albert is from Spain and is joining the Cambridge CAE course.

Aline is from Brazil and is from a big family. She is a Physical Therapist, specialising in orthopedic spinal problems.

Marco is from Switzerland and has two siblings – a sister and a brother. He spends a lot of time in the mountains, with his hobbies including skiing, ski touring, mountaineering and climbing. He has done an apprenticeship in Metal Construction.

David is from Switzerland and is one of six in his family. In the Winter he enjoys snowboarding and skiing, and in the Summer he enjoys shooting and fishing. After finishing school he then spent 3 years learning to become a Lumberjack.

Yuki is from Japan and is one of seven in her family. Her family includes her grandmother, father, mother, two brothers, her sister-in-law and her nephew.

We hope you enjoy your time in Byron Bay!

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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.

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

In September, Lexis Byron Bay is running 3 exam preparation classes. We still have (very limited) spaces left on the Cambridge First (FCE) and Cambridge Advanced (CAE) 12-week courses, starting on 8 September. Or perhaps you are interested in joining our IELTS course running from 22 September until 12 December. Please come and see me as soon as possible if you are considering either of these options.

Lisa’s Study Corner. THIS WEEK – What are the best books for self-study?

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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:

  • Grammar Books

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

  • IELTS

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.

  • Dictionaries

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.

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

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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.

Graduation Celebration!

End of term celebrations at Lexis Byron – we said our sad goodbyes, we shared a big Aussie BBQ, we drank, we laughed … and then we went home to study for our Cambridge exams!

Max cracks everyone up with his end of CAE speech
Cris, Vinny, Nathan, Aron & Natany chill out at the BBQ
Our Fafa says goodbye to Michelle, Nico & Carlos on their last day
Valentina & Yuliana hug it out
Michelle & Camille keeping an eye on the drinks