Reports from the Farmers’ Market

Last week Paul’s FCE class went on an excursion to the Farmers’ Market. The purpose was to do some research so that they could write an exam format report about their visit.

The full reports are in the photos below, but here are some of the highlights from a class of very talented writers.

At the market you can find many different stalls selling a wide range of things, such  as fresh organic vegetables, fruits, organic coffee and different kinds of juices. Besides this, you can buy a breakfast and eat it there enjoying a good live music.    Julio

I think the local market plays a good role in local business. Nowadays, it’s difficult to get fresh and organic local products due to the fact that there are many supermarket chains. We tend to buy everything there owing to the low-priced. I believe we can make our life better if we contribute to local business.     Sakiko

The only problem we can find is the prices of products, but this is the sign of quality that marks the difference between the organic products at the farmers’ market and what you get at supermarkets.         Maria

The market takes place at the Rails Park every Thursday in the morning between 8am and 11am. I definitely recommend this market for everybody who wants to go shopping for fresh food and have fun while doing it.      Gabriel

Thank you to Nil and Cesc, from Paul’s class, who are responsible for the beautiful photos.




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! June 3

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


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!


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!


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.


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! 🙂



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



“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 for more details.

*See 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.


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?


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


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?


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