It goes without saying that the English language opens the most doors in education, business, and life generally, thus learning it can open doors in Australia and beyond. In fact, there are over 1.5 billion English speakers worldwide, giving English the title of most spoken language, counting over 20% of the world's language speakers, and also the title of bearing the most second language students.
So in general, it's clear that English is highly useful and used in the study and business the world over (not just in countries where it's the native tongue).
What if you need English for a particular purpose though? It could be for work, it could be to work on your sentence construction in academic essays, or it could even be for a certificate to let you study higher education in Australia.
Thankfully, learning English can be tricky in itself, but there is virtually a language school on every corner that can cater to students. As the market is so big for international students, English courses run virtually non-stop throughout the year, with a new course starting each week at any general languages school.
In fact, the revenue generated by international students coming to Australia rose to $37.6 billion in 2019, so it's clear to see why there has been a proliferation in English courses and schools in recent years, as so many people are keen to learn!
English Language Requirements in Australia
Australia is known for being quite strict on English learning in recent years, with various demands for a certificate and proven linguistic skills appearing more and more difficult during the course of the last 25 years.
It may be that you envisage coming to Australia to learn the language itself, in which case you will get a specific student visa, which in general requires you to attend 20 hours of class per week to qualify (which is bad news if you were hoping to come and start working in construction or engineering straight away!).
With this amount of course and associated study time, your English will get up to scratch, but you won't have a lot of time to put these skills into practice in the workforce, as the government also limits how many hours you can work while being a student.
And what if the business you work for trains you in the language as part of the job title, and wants to second you to Australia for a project? The government has various classifications for skills-based visas, ranging from manual labour (such as aforementioned construction or engineering) which require a low level of English proficiency, to highly qualified, business or organisation sponsored visas demanding a near-native level of fluency.
The particular bands for which you can gain a certificate in one of a selection of English language tests, and subsequent entry into Australia are in ascending order: vocational, competent, proficient, superior.
Therefore, bear this in mind when considering what specifically you're coming to Australia for as each Visa will have different requirements. Permanent migration presents a similar mandate, requiring a passing of one of the tests above and 4 years residency, as well as 12 months as a permanent resident.
Perth itself is a beautiful city, with nature conservation abound, several industries to work in, especially information technology, agriculture, (automotive) engineering, and conservation itself. Plenty is on offer, with many a business looking for permanent or seasonal help; and not to mention, the weather is nice virtually 52 weeks a year.
It's also the closest city in Australia to Asia, so doesn't take as long to reach as the rest of the mainland, consequently retaining a free character separate from the rest of Australia, and garnering it the title of the world's most geographically isolated city.
The city of 2 million inhabitants is also a great place to come get an English certificate or diploma, as it offers courses and language services across dozens of schools, meaning that pricing is slightly more competitive.
Something to note before starting your program though is that living in Perth is far from free: the general price per room is $220 on average, with $3,300 being recommended in savings before arriving, and an overall budget of $475 to allocate per week.
So consider this before coming, and also give thought to the kinds of school available and why you want to study English, as well as how much work this will require. Let's talk about and what's on offer and what help you can get now.
The kinds of classes available
Specifying the reason for your study, and subsequently choosing your program may take weeks in itself. Here, we're offering some information to help you work out the purpose of your study, whether it's for business, education, or residency; whether you want a title, diploma, or certificate at the end of your course; and what sort of services the schools offer, as well as industries that study with your chosen school may permit afterwards.
Within each section, we'll also give you an example of a school or two across Perth that will offer the style of learning you need to develop your desired skills.
General and Business Courses
A general English course will cater particularly to those who either have very little English study behind them, have just arrived in Perth and need a certain level or equivalent weeks/hours of English learning to qualify for a job in one of the various industries, or someone who can see the overall benefit of English study and wants to maximise their business potential.
As the requirement is 20 hours per week of study on a students' visa, you will be required to ask your school (and this is the same all over Australia) for proof of your attendance, otherwise you may not receive your diploma or certificate, and may even be barred from accessing education in Australia for an indefinite amount of time. Check with your individual school for information about this.
An average day in such a school would involve 4 hours of classes, 5 days a week, either in the morning, afternoon, or evening. These courses typically on offer from A1 (absolute beginner) to C1 (fluent user) speakers, although the higher your level, the more likely you'll have to do a specialised course.
These classes will cover grammar, topic-specific vocabulary, social skills and cultural understanding, as well as reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills - essentially, general English that can help you function in business and social settings day to day.
A highly-rated learning environment, Lexis English is idyllically located right on the beach, and a stone's throw from the centre of Perth. Here, you can work on your English skills while basking in the glorious Western Australian sun, and taking advantage of the free social activities the school has on offer.
They cover the above-mentioned skills and areas of learning, with optional classes focussing on pronunciation, current affairs, and English for hospitality. A full-time course, for international students, beginner to advanced, will set you back approximately $600 AUD per week, and they also offer accommodation options.
Check out their website for full details of prices, classes, and outcomes.
Bridging and IELTS/PTE Courses
Those wishing to get an education in an English speaking country but don't have the level could consider a bridging course with a university.
This will prepare you specifically for entry to tertiary education in Australia, endowing you with the necessary skills for your diploma, including essay writing skills, research skills, as well as providing information on how to manage stress during your program and succeed socially in Australia.
These courses typically run for 20 hours per week and will be much more rigorous, imbuing students with independent learning skills and task-specific language for attending lectures and discussing in tutorials.
This is a large draw for many international students as it provides a direct pathway to university upon completion, permitting the conservation of friendships formed throughout.
One of the most popular courses in Perth in this vein is the program on offer by UWA, which can offer help to students for time management and create a strong learning community prior to commencement of a degree.
Typically, students will go onto a degree directly, whether it be engineering, business management, languages, horticulture, or agriculture; such a program will cater to it.
Nothing in life is free, so this program will cost you $1,975 per term, which lasts 5 weeks. Courses are on offer between 5 and 45 weeks depending on students' needs, giving a certificate upon completion. They also provide a direct pathway for the international PTE and IELTS certificates, which are generally considered the benchmarks for English learning. We give you more information on this here.
There is also a wide range of other schools where you can study to get access to this certificate directly, which a quick search in Google for the services will show, including the kinds of programs on offer. At the end of the day, you're free to choose what program to follow, and what industries you want to work in later.
So consider carefully what the purpose of your study is, as well as what skills you want to nurture, and start your English language journey today!
The platform that connects tutors and students