So, you live in Melbourne and English is your second language. Or rather, you live abroad and have chosen Melbourne as your ideal destination for learning English. Either way, there are many courses in Melbourne where you may build your language skills. English as a second language is a fairly large industry in Melbourne, which attracts students from all over the world hoping to build their fluency, grammar and conversational skills.
If you also wish to achieve English language proficiency there are a number of steps you ought to follow in order to ensure that you learn in the way which is most cost-effective and appropriate for you.
Step 1: Decide What Type of Courses are Right for You.
First of all, you may ask yourself: What do I hope to get out of English classes? What is the ideal outcome which I hope to achieve by taking English lessons?
For example, if you have fallen in love with Australia while on a student visa, and wish to work towards achieving permanent residency, you may wish to take exam classes, which will give you points towards immigration or gain you entry into further studies within Australia.
The most popular exam courses in Australia are IELTS exam courses, as well as some of the flagship Cambridge English certificates such as FCE and CAE. TOEFL is not as common in Australia, while it is extremely popular in the rest of the world.
If you choose to take an exam class, it is highly recommended to join a class within an established English language school. Alternatively, you could find a private tutor who has mentored students towards great results in English courses before and hire their services. This, however, may prove less cost-effective and less fun than learning how to speak English with other international students and English learners.
If you really want to improve your English, but do not need an official exam result to prove your language skills and proficiency, General English lessons will be a fun and effective way to develop your spoken English as well as your English grammar ability. The General English courses Melbourne’s language schools have on offer are an exciting way to build relationships, practise English and get mentorship from an experienced native English speaker teacher. You will also learn just as much by practising English-speaking with other non-native speakers of English.
If you are learning English to develop your professional capabilities, you may consider taking Business English courses. These courses are specifically designed to teach students vocabulary and phrases which are useful in a business scenario. These courses are offered at many of Melbourne’s most reputable English schools, such as Impact English and ILSC.
So, if you decide that you want to take either General English, Business English or Exam Preparation English Courses on a full-time schedule, then consider the following language schools:
- Impact English College
- Greenwich English College
- Universal English College
- Explore English
- Monash Connect
- Hawthorn Melbourne
- RMIT Worldwide
For information on classes in Australia more globally, read our article on finding English classes near you, wherever you are.
Step 2: Decide whether or not you should go to an English Language School.
While boasting the most experienced teachers and some of the best teaching methodologies in Melbourne, the language schools are also very costly, with each student often taking years to save up the funds to study in one of these institutions.
Also, the academic timetable of these schools is often every day Monday to Friday during the day. This is a good schedule if you are focused entirely on improving your English language level. However, many people living in Melbourne already attend University and wish to receive language teaching outside of the hours in which they already have tutorials and lectures. Furthermore, many English learners already have a job here in Australia and do not wish to spend the best working hours of the day at an ESL college.
So, if you want to develop your English language speaking skills, but live a busy and fulfilling life already in Melbourne, then committing to full-time English lessons at a language school may not be the ideal solution for you at this point in time.
Beyond attending one of Melbourne's many reputable language schools, there are many more solutions to the problem of wanting to improve your English! Let's explore some of your study options now; those which are free or paid, online or in person.
English Conversation Classes
For migrants in Australia, there are a number of resources and study groups available to assist your journey towards English language fluency.
If paying for an English language course is outside your budget, consider some more focused weekly study groups which are available in many local communities around Melbourne.
Many of these classes are only offered once per week, with the expectation being that students will pursue independent study for the remainder of the week.
Courses which operate in this format take place at:
- Nunawading Library Weekly English Conversation Groups
- Yarraville Community Centre Migrant English Program
- Camberwell Baptist Church English Conversation Group
These are just some examples of the myriad of free or heavily subsidised group classes which take place all around Melbourne. Search online using your local city council name in order to find the closest English language conversation group to you.
Online English Language Courses
With recent developments in the COVID-19 situation meaning that face-to-face classes are much more difficult or no longer possible entirely, you may be tempted to access one of the many great online resources there are available for reaching an advanced level of English.
There are a few avenues you could take to learning English online. Firstly, you could find yourself a private language tutor. This is a person who will give you the best possible language outcomes by creating a special experience for you as a learner to suit your ability and level of English. With your private tutor, you will be able to receive the quality of education that you would receive at an English language college, with a lot more flexibility in the timetable.
Websites such as Superprof, iTalki and Amazing Talker have many great English language tutors to get you moving towards your education goals. The course is as long as you choose, and the years it will take to learn English will depend entirely on how many classes you sign up for, and how much you practice your language skills outside of the virtual classroom.
Regardless of whether you live in Melbourne, Sydney or even Mumbai or Kyoto, you will have the same access to high-quality online English language education.
Tutors, like General English classes at a language school, can be expensive if you have other commitments in your life to take care of financially. That's why it's a good thing that there are many Free English language resources and course material available online. Just take a good look on YouTube, Coursera or Udemy for some fantastic free language class material to get you started for the first few weeks. If you then find yourself at a roadblock, consider getting some academic help by contacting a tutor or language school!
Should I Take IELTS Exam Classes?
Before you ask this very important question, you should consider your level of English language ability accurately. IELTS classes usually begin at an Intermediate level, so it is important that any student wanting to join this course should do the necessary preparation to get themselves to this level in the weeks prior to beginning an academic IELTS course on offer at one of Melbourne's Language Schools.
These schools are mostly located in Melbourne's city centre and offer high-quality General English and IELTS courses. However, if you are considering calling Australia home in the future, or even just doing some sort of university or TAFE study, then you should strongly consider enrolling in an IELTS course.
This exam will help prove your English language fluency to academic institutions, the Australian government and potential employers all at once. Once you have achieved a strong IELTS score, you will be free to explore many educational and employment opportunities all across the city of Melbourne, and could even move freely to other Australian cities such as Sydney or Brisbane.
Having an IELTS score will be a major help to you if this is your ambition, however, scoring well in the IELTS involves enrolling with a legitimate Engish language college or finding an experienced tutor who will guide you to your desired IELTS score.
If this whole process sounds too intense for you, then consider one of the other options mentioned in this article! You can take General English courses, find free English conversation classes, take subsidised classes in a community centre, watch online English grammar and vocabulary videos or find a private tutor, either online or face-to-face, who is committed to helping you achieve your language goals.
Depending on what your specific language goals are, there are many different ways to take English language courses in Melbourne.
So go out there and find the English lessons that are right for you! Push yourself out of the comfort zone and try something new.