Hong Kong Australian Graduates - Poor English?
New research from Monash University shows that 33% of students leaving Australian Universities have sub-standard levels of English. One of the groups having the worst standard of English are the students from Hong Kong.
Furthermore, the study team headed by Dr Bob Birrell reports that many universities in Australia accept students with only grade 5 in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), and goes on to suggest that the minimum should actually be grade IELTS grade 6.
It seems that university English level entry requirements will be raised in the near future for foreign students, and perhaps more English classes held during undergraduate study. Hong Kong students should prepare themselves in order to get the IELTS grade 6 plus they will need under these new stricter rules.
This is sure to have a knock on effect for Hong Kong graduates hoping to remain in Australia after graduation and gain permanent residence. Even if they manage to get permanent residence it seems that employers will be less likely to employ them as well.
So how can you make sure your English level is up to standard before you leave for Australia? Well, luckily the answer is simple! Study and practice more.
HKEnglish.Com's one to one private tuition is the best way to improve your English rapidly. You will get 100% attention from the teacher and instant feedback on your mistakes. One hour of one-to-one tuition is like 20 hours in a big class!
IELTS Grade Requirement Goes Up
New research by Dr Birrell from Monash University shows that foreign graduates of Australian universities have below standard English.
Over a third of the 12,000 graduates studies had poor English and near the top of this list were students from Hong Kong, HK SAR, China. It seems that the IELTS score required for entry will be raised from grade 5 to grade 6 or even higher. New Zealand may also follow on the back of this study.
So what can students in Hong Kong who are planning to study in Australian universities do? The answer is get prepared for taking the IELTS exam well in advance of your planned entry into university.
Plan to take the exam at least 6 months before you hope to start studying so that you have time to retake the test.
HKEnglish.Com's one to one private IELTS tuition is the best way to get ready for the IELTS exam and will also help you improve your confidence in using English so that you can communicate with the other students.
One hour of 1-to-1 tuition is like 20 hours in a normal class. You have 100% attention from the teacher and instant correction of your mistakes.
Reading SKills - Improve your reading
Reading is one of the most challenging aspects of university and college life. It is also a very important skill to master in order for you to study effectively and to be able to complete all of the reading on time.
At undergraduate level there may be a pile of books a foot high to read though. However at postgraduate level the amount of reading you have to do increases sharply. Not only do you have to digest textbooks but you have also have to plough through endless research papers.
Neither of these texts are easy reading. They are information heavy and often need referral to a previous section or chapter for the meaning to be understood.
Top Tip for Effective Reading
Tip #1 – The SQ3R method
At school you learnt the 3R’s: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic and one very good way to read effectively is to use another set of 3R’s – the SQ3R method:
*S Survey the text
Skim over the paragraph titles, topic sentences and get an overall idea of what the author is trying to convey. For research papers read through the abstract more carefully to understand what to expect later on.
*Q Change the headings into questions.
Ask “W” questions: what, why, who, when and how (okay that is an “h”!). For example change “Plant growth in the Arctic” to “Why do plants grow in the Arctic?”
Read one section of the time whilst trying to answer the question you set yourself in the previous step. Use the Active Reading** strategies and make notes. **Active reading strategies will be detailed in the next article and make notes.
After you have finished try to remember as much as you can about the text. Try to summarise the meaning in your head.
Go over your questions and see if you have answered them well. Is there anything that is still unclear? If not, perhaps write a new question.
More Top Tip for Effective Reading next time!
Academic English Study Skills Course in Hong Kong
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