By: Bella Papadopoulou Dobrowolska
The Centre for English Teaching (CET) is the English language arm of The University of Sydney. It offers high quality English language programs and provides a superior level of teaching and support.
The CAE differs from other English certifications in a way that it is more a preparation for the students life and actual use of the language. The course is structured in a way that it covers various areas in the English language through themes.
Irene Vacondios is one of the language instructors at CET and finds the structure of the course very helpful for the students in a wide sense.
«One of the themes in this terms course was «humour» and we were reading a lot about different types of humour such as «black humour» and «English Satire» and this enables the students to get an understanding for it but also learn useful vocabulary» Irene says.
There are three different levels of the Cambridge certificate and in order for someone to study these courses there are certain language level requirements. To study the FCE (First Certificate of English) the student is expected to already be at an intermediate level. For the CAE (Certification in Advanced English) the student is expected already to be over an intermediate level and for the Proficiency Certificate the student expected to be over an advanced level.
The CAE class is 20 hours per week starting at 8.30am to 1.00pm Monday to Friday. This enables the students to have a job or just enjoy the city. Anna Rydberg and Matilda Wergeland are two of the students that participated in CET’s course this semester and found the times very suitable as they could both work and enjoy Sydney and everything that it has to offer.
The classes this semester consisted of 5 students and students often find this very beneficial as they all get more individual feedback.
One of the reasons that this course is so efficient is that it is not limited to one medium. The language instructors use a variety of sources to make a point.
«The encouragement from our side is 100% and we are there to provide the student with facilities and resources through books and audio visual material. We often use Youtube to show an example of a native expression or google to explain a word in a wider sense» says Irene.
So why should a European student come all this way to study in Sydney instead of going to a closer English speaking country?
Roselyne Chedel is also a language instructor at CET and believes that Australia is a good place to combine education with holiday. «I believe that if someone wants adventure and to combine English studies with a challenge and a travel experience, then Australia is the perfect place to do that» Roselyne says.
The combination of holiday and education is very popular especially among the younger students. Matilde agrees with Roselyne and says that «For me it was perfect to study at Sydney University and CET because it will both help me to get in to other English speaking Universities and at in the meantime i have had the opportunity to be in a far off country and learn new things».
Living in an English speaking country is the ideal thing to do when you want to learn the language as the interaction with locals make this process more complete in it self. Anna found it a bit hard to understand the Australian slang at times, but is very happy to have learn this part of the language as well. «At first I had a hard time understanding the locals but now I do and it is very funny».
The language instructors try hard to create a positive atmosphere in the classroom. «In class we always try to create a good atmosphere and we usually become friends with our students rather than strict educators» says Roselyne Chedel.
But the course is not only limited to language teaching but also focuses on improving the students learning skills.
«I have really improved my strategic learning skills such as reading through a text fast and keeping only the important parts or how to write an essay under a timelimit» says Anna.
CET have recently upgraded their facilities and it is located in a central spot. All of the teachers are very devoted and excellent resources are provided. This combination results in happy students that take with them only good memories.
«It has been great fun and I have learned a lot and it has been a good experience being part of a University like Sydney University and the campus is such a cool area. Overall Sydney is a great place and the climate is fantastic» Matilda says.
Anna agrees with Matilda and says – with a wide smile on her lips – that « i had the best time in my life here and i love Sydney University. It has been a great experience to study here and being a part of the student society».