Adapting to life in Australia can be difficult for international students. Coping with the change in lifestyle is confronting enough, but it can be even further pronounced if there is a substantial language barrier.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways that students from overseas can enhance their English skills — from university endorsed programs to exposure and immersion.
English skills programs
With over 600,000 international students from 140 different countries choosing to study in Australia each year, there is significant incentive for universities to provide programs designed to hone English speaking ability. These include one-on-one lessons with similar aged Australian students, online tutorials and group sessions conducted by a supervising teacher.
Podcasts are an excellent way for overseas students to familiarise themselves with the English language in their own time. Not only can the subject matter vary from instructional and documentaries to fictional stories, the audio can also be rewound and repeated at the discretion of the listener.
Getting a part-time or casual job is a valuable experience. Aside from the financial gain, being employed allows students from other countries to interact with members of the Australian community on a regular basis. Whether it’s serving someone at the supermarket or chatting with colleagues during a break, there is ample opportunity to build speaking skills.
It might sound like an odd suggestion but watching TV can be advantageous for visiting students trying to master a foreign language. News, sport, sitcoms, dramas and even advertising are all useful resources as they utilise different tones and deliveries, ensuring a broader knowledge of English is absorbed by the viewer.