“Use English to help you enjoy living, working or travelling in Australia.”


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Students will study all English language skill areas, including reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar.

This General English course prepares students to communicate successfully in English outside the classroom. The course is designed to develop autonomous learning through student-centred activities with a focus on task-based learning and communicative performance.

The course effectively integrates the four macro-skills, which optimises the possibility of a student reaching their learning potential. By the end of the course, students will be able to use their English more confidently and with greater fluency. The main delivery mode is face-to face. However, online materials and homework will provide students the opportunity to study outside the classroom in their own time.

Students entering the General English course will be studying for a variety of reasons. All students will be from non-English speaking backgrounds and aged 18+. Some may have tertiary qualifications from their own countries but may be unfamiliar with the style of teaching and learning encountered in Australia. Thus, this course aims to address the gap and prepare students for work, living and travel by equipping them with macro skills focusing on aspects of communication with the larger public.

According to English Australia “ELICOS students may want to continue studying at an Australian high school, TAFE / vocational college or university; travel or work in an English-speaking country; gain a qualification that gives them entry to improved work or study options at home or better access to cultures where English is the “lingua franca”, hence there is definitely a need for General English among the International community.

Students will likely have little or no understanding of the Australian way of life or cultural expectations, and so are interested in learning English in Australian contexts. The learners are from a multitude of different nationalities, primarily from the regions of South America, Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and North East Asia. Commonly aged in their early-to-late twenties, the students are typically preparing for the challenges of an Australian education in TAFE, vocational colleges or senior high school. Strengths and weaknesses of students will depend on their language and cultural background. Their first language may impact on their mastery of English pronunciation and grammar. Their cultural background may impact on paralinguistic features such as their body language.

Based on past General English –Upper-Intermediate students, the assumed needs of the students are the development of speaking, listening, pronunciation, writing and grammar skills in particular.

The sources for the above learner profiles are a needs analysis of our past General English –Upper-Intermediate students via teacher feedback, student feedback questionnaires, individual student interviews, and information obtained through Ashton College’s Marketing Department.

Teacher and learner roles in learning

For many of the students, their previous educational experience was in a much more teacher-centred, top- down regime. The students expect the teacher to guide their learning as the teacher would do in their native systems. Given these preset premises, there will need to be identification of needs to evaluate the gap between the student’s current ability and the demands of academic performance, particularly in assessment, but also in class participation. The students will all be encouraged to become active learners, equipping them with the skills to succeed in English speaking academic life.

Entry requirements

Students must be over 18 years of age at the time of course commencement. Students must secure an appropriate visa that allows them to study in an Australian Registered Training Organisation prior to course commencement.

Academic entry requirements

To gain entry to this course, students must have successfully completed year 11 or secondary studies in their home country equivalent to an Australian Year 11*. (*Subject to the country Assessment Level) and course. For further information please visit the Ashton College website – http://ashtoncollege.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Summary-of-overseas-equivalent-qualifications-for-Year-11.pdf

English language entry requirements

General English –Upper-Intermediate is a programme of study designed for international students with a minimum Intermediatelevelof general English. The curriculum is to be taught as a single-level class at Upper-Intermediatelevel or IELTS equivalent 6.5 – 7.0. The learners will need to do an English placement test before they can enter the General English –Upper-Intermediate course. The English Placement Test consists of a grammar component, writing component, reading component, with listening and speaking assessed during this process through interaction with the student. Based on the results, the appropriate level is decided in consultation with the General English teachers.

Learner needs are assessed at enrolment as per Ashton College’s client support policy and procedure. Students complete the enrolment form and submit supporting documentation to enable Ashton College to assess whether the course is appropriate for their abilities and learner needs.

Students who have learning needs that cannot be accommodated by Ashton College and/or do not satisfy the entry requirements will be provided guidance to access an external service/organisation where they can develop the required level of skills/support. On achieving the required level of knowledge and skills they can then reapply for the course.

Ashton College takes all feasible and reasonable steps to assist students during the course, so they can successfully complete the course within the course schedule and achieve certification.

Pre-enrolment information

Ashton College provides information to student’s pre-enrolment on course demands and expectations via the Client Information Handbook and course information available on the Ashton College website. This information also identifies the process for assessing learner needs during enrolment, the outcomes of assessment and details on how Ashton College supports individual learner needs post enrolment.


Ashton College delivers an orientation to students outlining course requirements, processes, demands, support services and general information prior to course commencement.

Monitoring Attendance

Ashton College monitors student attendance in accordance with the National Code 2018, Standard 8 and provides assistance if the student is experiencing difficulties and not progressing through their course as per the course schedule.

Ashton College employs a range of support services where appropriate and feasible to support students learning needs during course delivery.

Access to appropriate support services is provided to assist students to successfully complete their course within the scheduled duration.  Ashton College may refer students to external sources if they are unable to sufficiently provide support for students learning needs.

Refer to the ELICOS Attendance Monitoring, Client Support and Completion Within Expected Duration Policies and Procedures for further details on how Ashton College monitors students’ progress and supports students to help ensure completion within the expected duration.

Academic Support

For many of the students, their previous educational experience was in a much more teacher-centred, top- down regime. The students expect the teacher to guide their learning as the teacher would do in their native systems. Given these preset premises, there will need to be identification of needs to evaluate the gap between the student’s current ability and the demands of academic performance, particularly in assessment, but also in class participation. The students will all be encouraged to become active learners, equipping them with the skills to succeed in English speaking academic life. Students who are experiencing difficulties with any aspect of their course are encouraged to speak with their teacher or any other member of staff.

Welfare Support

We understand that our students sometimes require extra support to help them cope with their course. Sometimes there can be personal issues that impact their successful course completion.  We can assist students in accessing professional welfare services.  Students who are experiencing personal/ welfare issues that are impacting their studies are encouraged to contact their trainer or any other member of staff.

This course is offered over 10 weeks.

Classes are scheduled for 3 days face to face delivery per week consisting of 7 hours of teaching, 2 days a week and 6 hours of teaching, one day a week. There is also teacher consultation time allotted for those who require it.

The course duration is appropriate for addressing learner needs as it allows an appropriate amount of time for students to learn concepts, develop knowledge and understanding, reflect on learning and apply skills and opportunities for formative assessment and study prior to undertaking summative assessment.

The amount of time dedicated to delivery and formative assessment activities prior to students undertaking summative assessment can be amended to cater for individual learning needs. There is no barrier to students extending the duration and/or being provided access to learning opportunities and materials that address individual needs.

General English – Upper-Intermediate Level

Skill Learning Outcomes
  • Identify main points and react to ideas in a discussion
  • Listen and respond to interrogatives
  • Listen and respond to spoken narratives
  • Listen and respond to the important points in a presentation or lecture
  • Listen and respond to polite language
  • Listen and respond to personal preferences
  • Listen and respond to casual conversations on a range of subjects
  • Listen and respond to complex telephone exchanges
  • Listen and respond to a live interview
  • Talk about something factual
  • Participate in a conversation, keep it going effectively, interrupt politely, and respond to other people’s ideas
  • Express feelings and emphasise opinions about everyday situations
  • Politely agree or disagree with others and explain why
  • Talk in detail about imaginary situations in the present, past and future
  • Talk in detail about different aspects of the future, and express certainty about future events
  • Make, refuse and accept offers politely
  • Tell a story and give extra detail where necessary
  • Deal with problems on the phone
  • Express wishes, hopes and regrets
  • Report on what other people have said or asked in different ways
  • Ask and answer detailed questions about the present and past
  • Apologise politely and respond appropriately to apologies
  • Make and respond appropriately to suggestions
  • Read and respond to simple comprehension on main points and details in an article that expresses a specific point of view
  • Read and respond to comprehension questions on an opinion text
  • Read and respond to comprehension questions on an article giving general advice
  • Read and respond to comprehension questions on a biography
  • Read and respond to comprehension questions on a presentation
  • Read and respond to comprehension questions on a description text
  • Read and respond to comprehension questions on a report
  • Read and respond to comprehension questions on a review
  • Read and respond to comprehension questions on a discursive article
  • Write a 300 word article expressing a point of view
  • Write a 300 word opinion text
  • Write an advice text
  • Write a 500 word biography
  • Write a 250 word presentation
  • Write a 250-300 word description text
  • Write a 300 word report
  • Write a website review
Time Program Duration
9:00 – 10.00 1st session 1 hour
10.00 – 10.15 Break 15 mins
10.15 – 12.15 2nd session 2 hours
12:15 – 13:00 Lunch 45 mins
13.00 – 15:00 3rd session 2 hours
15:00 – 16:00 Teacher available for further support 1 hour


Formative Assessments

Throughout the course, students participate in class discussion, complete reading, writing, speaking and listening tests, grammar tests in their textbook, give and receive feedback. All students have an individual formative assessment folder.

Summative Assessments

There are four major assessments in weeks 5 and 10 of the General English –Upper-Intermediate course. To receive a General English –Upper-Intermediate certificate, it is essential that students achieve a pass mark of at least 50% in all major assessments and in accordance with the weighting as shown below.


Joseph Smith
Joseph SmithEnglish Teacher (General English)
I have over 5 years of experience teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages both in Australia and in South Korea. In Australia, I have taught various levels of General English within ELICOS to overseas adult students who are studying English preparatory courses to enter vocational education or higher education. My approach in the classroom involves engaging students and enabling active participation through group activities such as choral reading, vocab games and group role-plays. In Korea, I have taught children and adults of all levels and ages from Kindergarten to High School and university students as well as business professionals which has given me the ability to identify and respond to the complex and diverse needs of international students. In addition to my teaching experiences, I have an honours degree in business management and I’m currently pursuing a teaching master’s degree. As an avid follower of Tennis, I follow and partake in a number of tennis tournaments as well as officiate at local tournaments across Melbourne as a line empire!