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December 2011 issue

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Executive English in Australia

With an economy that has weathered the global recession better than most and a host of institutions offering flexible study options, Australia is a prime destination for executive English courses, as Matthew Knott discovers.

For those wishing to study business English, Australia offers everything from exam-based programmes to specific courses tailored to individuals’ needs, a flexibility typified by Languages Studies International (LSI), Brisbane, QLD, which, as Heather Clark explains, has many executive students who either have private lessons, join a full-time business English course or sometimes do both.

West Coast International College of English, in Bunbury, WA, specialises in bespoke programmes, relates Jenny Byatt, “We usually deliver one-to-one, one-to-two or one-to-three tutorials according to what the student or their company has requested. For example, we have designed and delivered a civil engineers’ report writing class.” For Claire Sprunt at Phoenix Academy, Perth, WA, “The first step to successful programmes... is ensuring a sound understanding of the training and business needs of our clients. Using an in-house testing service and the Common European Framework (CEFR) we can accurately define English language competency.” Specialised trainers then deliver customised programmes in class and online, she adds.

Alternatively, students can choose longer courses leading to recognised qualifications. Browns English Language School runs programmes in Brisbane and the Gold Coast based on the Cambridge Business English Certificate (Bec). “The course aims to improve the students’ ability to use English in a business context, improve skills to sit the exam and increase the students’ awareness of the global business world,” says Michael Griffiths at the Gold Coast campus.

Small classes are a benefit of many executive courses. “These intensive tailored programmes ensure each student is constantly involved and challenged in their learning and supported by their teacher, resulting in maximum progress in minimum time,” enthuses Helen Ayers at OISE Sydney, NSW, which has a maximum of four students per class.

In terms of skills covered, courses cover presenting, negotiating, clarifying, networking, correspondence and current affairs. Byatt extols the virtues of grammar in business English, “I believe grammar is the foundation on which all other skills are built – if the grammar is shaky, everything else will always lack the polish and level of professional control that companies like their staff to have in business communication.” The importance of cultural understanding is also emphasised. “We equip students with cross-cultural understanding, diversity in thinking, and the ability to adapt to different work environments,” informs Janelle Adams at the University of Sydney, Centre for English Teaching.

Sue Woods at Australian Catholic University (ACU), Brisbane, QLD, acknowledges the need for companies to produce globally literate staff with cultural and linguistic competence. “So in designing our English programmes, we need to add elements unique to our particular setting to make study in Australia a worthwhile investment. Workplace experience, professional visits, specialist lectures and workshops rate highly.”

There are a number of “real world” techniques utilised to enhance business study. At LSI, for example, “Each week culminates in a case study based on real-life situations during which students will take part in such things as a meeting, a negotiation or give a presentation,” explains Clark. Meanwhile at Browns, as Griffiths relates, every course involves a business simulation project. “Students work in groups to come up with a real product, write a business plan, market the product and sell it.”

As might be expected, several programmes offer the opportunity to combine study with some practical work experience. ACU offers an optional five hours per week internship which “runs concurrently with the course so that students can bring their real-life experience back to the classroom for discussion and reflection”, explains Woods. LSI, meanwhile, works with an internship company so that students can follow up their classes with seven-to-26 weeks work experience.

Many schools highlighted the Australian economy as a reason for studying there. “Australia, and Queensland in particular, has weathered the global financial crisis better than many other parts of the world,” argues Griffiths. Within Australia, schools are quick to integrate themselves with the needs of local industry. “Most executives we teach are going to be working in mining-related industries in regional Western Australia,” relates Byatt. As the only regional college in the area, they are “uniquely placed” to provide assistance in helping students understand regional life and avoid culture shock. Griffiths, meanwhile, points to the strength of the tourism and hospitality industries in Queensland and the employment opportunities available within them.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

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ACCOMMODATION
Britannia Student Services  

ASSOCIATIONS/ GROUPS
STA Travel Co (FELCA)  
IALC International  
International House World Organisation  
NEAS Australia  
Quality English  

EXAM BOARDS
Cambridge Esol  
IELTS  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism Authority  

AUSTRALIA
NEAS Australia  
Perth Education City  
Study Gold Coast  

CANADA
Bow Valley College  

CHINA
Hutong School  
Mandarin House  

ENGLAND
Camp Beaumont  
IALC International  
International House World Organisation  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of English  
Malvern House College London  
Mont Rose College of Management & Sciences  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Study Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  

IRELAND
Clare Language Centre  

ITALY
Dialogo Language Services  

JAPAN
Kai Japanese Language School  
Sendagaya Japanese Institute  
Yokohama International Education Academy  

KAZAKHSTAN
Capital Education  

MALTA
Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  

SPAIN
Inturjoven Spanish Courses   

SWITZERLAND
EF Language Colleges Ltd  

USA
Educatius  
ELS Language Centers  
Hawaii Tokai International College  
Zoni Language Centers  

EDUCATION TRAVEL NORTH AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOLS

Britannia Student Services  

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  

CANADA
Bow Valley College  

USA
Educatius  




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