General English (ELICOS)
The General English course (ELICOS) is a popular course offered in Australia and offered by many institutions. It is designed to improve your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. It is suited for those that are coming to Australia for working holidays or for Visitor Visa holders.
The Australian Government has established an official body (NEAS - National ELT Accreditation Scheme) to monitor all institutions who provides the ELICOS to ensure high standards are met. Any institution that wishes to teach this program must be a member of NEAS. Additionally, the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 regulates those institutions that teach English to international students. This legislation guarantees that the rights of international students are well protected so that students can come to Australia and be confident in the quality of education they receive.
The ESOS Act requires all providers offering education to international students to register with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
Courses and time lines
Many programs are available from General English courses at all levels to those tailored to meet the work requirements for specific industries. For travellers, there are courses that combine English with cultural tours, scuba diving, golf and many more! Some of the courses offered are listed below:
- General English: this course focuses on the development of communication skills, particularly speaking and listening.
- English for Academic Purposes: this course will prepare you for study at an English-speaking university or a vocational institute.
- English for Specific Purposes:these courses focus on practical English for specific course areas, including English for Business, Aviation, or Tourism.
- Secondary School Preparation:this course will develop your English for entry into an Australian secondary school.
- Examination Preparation: these courses will prepare you for English language proficiency examinations, including the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Cambridge Certificates.
These courses are offered year round. Full-time courses range from four weeks to 48 weeks, and the time required to study each week is about 25 hours.
The costs varies between different institutions, however, it averages about A$300 a week. This does not include any enrollment fees.