Are English language preparation courses worth it?

Learning and understanding English can be quite difficult, especially when you are confronted with the Australian branch of the language. From colloquial words to strange inflection patterns, Australian English is full of weird and wonderful features that make it impossible to decipher at times!  

This is why you may find it useful to undertake an English language preparation course before beginning your formal studies. Australian courses of study tend to focus on critical thinking, which means plenty of group discussions and collaboration are required. This means that you will need to have a good grip on how to use the English language, rather than simply reciting words and phrases. 

There are a variety of English language programs available that will improve your academic English, or help you to refine your general language skills. Whether you would like to enhance your comprehension or just increase your fluency and confidence, we explore why enrolling in an English language program before commencing your studies is worth it. 

You often need to meet English language requirements to be valid for course entry

If you would like to study in Australia but English is not your first language, you will find that your course or institution will require you to provide proof of your English language proficiency to be eligible for study. The IELTS is the most commonly requested test, but you can also provide TOEFL or Pearson results. These tests illustrate your English language ability to institutions, who will generally require you to achieve a certain minimum score or band result to be eligible for course entry.   

Visas have a language requirement too 

Like courses of study, you will need to meet certain language requirements to be eligible to apply for a visa. It doesn’t matter if you are going for a student visa or a permanent residency permit – you will need to provide evidence that you have fulfilled the English language requirements specified in the eligibility criteria for your desired visa. 

Your academic results could improve 

When you are not a natural English speaker, it can be difficult to understand the nuances of the language. There’s words that should rhyme but don’t, and strange grammar rules that apply to only some of the language – don’t even get us started on the colloquial language peppered throughout Australian English! When language becomes a barrier, it puts you at risk of misunderstanding the coursework and potentially achieving lower grades. A course in academic and general English could combat this by helping to deepen your understanding of the language, so you have insight into what words mean and how to use them in your academic work. 

It’ll help you settle in

Arriving in a country and not completely understanding the spoken language can be overwhelming. Enrolling in an English preparation course can help to remove the language barriers that arise during communication with your peers, educators and everyday people. It may also help to increase your confidence and battle through any homesickness that you may be experiencing. Remember that English language courses will most likely contain other international students, which gives you the chance make friends with people who are in similar situations to you.

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