In addition to the Sydney and Melbourne campuses, evening classes will be available at the Embassy English Brisbane centre starting 7 August, 2017. Embassy English now offers 20 hours per week of General English classes in the evening. Students with any type of Australian Visa are able to register for Monday – Friday courses at Embassy Sydney and Embassy Melbourne from 5 p.m. – 9:15 p.m., and Embassy Brisbane will be offering classes from 4:45 p.m. – 9 p.m. Embassy English at Night students will still have access to the MyEmbassyEnglish Student Dashboard and EmbassyOnTrack, and will still have the chance to experience #EmbassyLife. This week, we caught up with Lucy Pilcher, English Teacher at Embassy Melbourne, to learn more about the Embassy English at Night programme.
Originally from London, I’ve been teaching night classes at Embassy English since March and I love it! Melbourne’s Central Business District and the Embassy campus have a great atmosphere in the evenings, always feeling friendly, safe and full of life.
There’s also a shared sense in class of coming together after a day of doing other things – whether working, seeing more of Melbourne or simply resting – to learn and have a good time.
One of the first things which struck me about the night classes here is the strength of the friendships, and how quickly new students are welcomed and included. This makes for really enjoyable lessons in which everyone is engaged, focused on learning and supportive of each other, as well as being up for interesting debates and fun activities.
I noticed immediately that studying until 9pm doesn’t dampen students’ desire to socialise and that more often that not food and drinks are had together after class, sometimes with old students returning to catch up with everyone.
With my background studying music and working for NGOs, I appreciate the diversity of backgrounds the students have and it’s great to be able to draw on this in lessons.
One key element in my classes is conversation, during which students are encouraged to share their experiences and opinions, making things more relevant and interesting for everyone.
This is really important as I believe the most essential thing when learning English is to practise-practise-practise speaking, so that the ‘rules’ become second nature and you learn what sounds right without having to think too hard. (It is possible, I promise!)
There is of course a careful balance in class of working on every element of the language, from reading and listening to grammar and vocabulary. For me, though, the best part of teaching at Embassy are the activities we do which allow students to practise speaking in a natural way.
Whether through games such as articulate and 20 questions, or excursions to destinations around Melbourne such as Lingos at El Coco and the Queen Victoria Night Market, they’re always enjoyable and valuable experiences!
As well as the evening excursions, there are a number of other perks to the Embassy English at Night programme. For example, many students work during the day, an option which helps them make the most of their student visa and gain extra speaking practice.
Also, class sizes are generally smaller than the day classes, giving students more one-on-one attention from teachers and contributing to a great class atmosphere.
There’s a different energy at night, too, as students are happy to be there after a busy day and the campus often has plenty going on with Embassy’s classes and the University’s.
In my time so far at Embassy I’ve had a number of students graduate to higher-level classes which is always fantastic to see. I also greatly enjoy the challenge of teaching elements of the language from different angles in order to communicate it to every student, no matter how they prefer to learn.
My personal favourite thing to teach has to be the strange British English words and phrases which we have so many of. I love the word queue, because the English love to do it, it has a weird and wonderful spelling, and it confuses Americans.
My favourite phrase is probably mad as a box of frogs, as it has a great rhythm to it and always conjures up hilarious images of boxes full of frogs!
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