At 12-1pm from Monday to Friday during Semester 1 in 2018, we are offering English conversation groups. These are fun and relaxed groups for ANU students, guided by an experienced peer facilitator. You do not need to register, just come along! Check out the locations and more information on our peer mentoring page.
English in your residential hall
Many of the ANU residential halls run English language conversation groups. Ask your community coordinator or academic team about what is available to you.
More speaking opportunities
Conversation groups are very effective at developing both speaking and listening skills. Consider joining one or more of the following.
- ACT Libraries run regular conversation groups.
- Why not join one of the ANU Clubs and Societies? Sharing common interests like chocolate, Harry Potter, gaming, sports, and many more can be a great way to use your English and make new friends.
- Forming a study group is one excellent way of practicing your English and learning your course material at the same time. Ask people in your course to form a study group with you, meet at a regular time, and come prepared to talk about questions that you have from the material. Check whether study groups and Peer Assisted Learning programs already exist in your academic college or your residential hall.
- With friends, set aside a regular time to speak only English - for instance when you cook dinner or go out for coffee.
Self-help writing resources
There are many self-help resources available to work on written English. Take a look at the following.
- Griffith University grammar and writing resources provides easy to use examples and strategies.
- Academic word lists can help you to choose the right words when writing assignments.
- ANU library has a range of grammar references and textbooks that are useful tools for practicing your English, such as Michael Swan's Practical English Usage.
- Dictionaries and thesauruses can be useful to learn new vocabulary. Be careful when using thesauruses though, as many synonyms can have very different meanings. Go back and check your academic glossary, and ask yourself whether you have seen the word or phrase used in any academic texts. If so then it is probably safe to use.
Reading and listening resources
You can do the following to keep up your reading and listening skills.
- Read for fun in English. Try reading books like Harry Potter, comics, magazines, and entertaining books which you have already read in your first language. When reading, work out the new vocabulary from the context and guess at the meanings.
- Read and watch the news in English. Newspapers and televised news are good places to develop an understanding of more 'formal' English.
- Watch films and television shows in English, or with English subtitles. This can be a great way to get accustomed to listening to fast speakers.
- Switch your devices to English. This can help you to think and function in English.
- Keep a glossary for academic English. When reading through your course materials, note down the types of words that are common in that topic, and write a definition that helps you to understand those words. This can help you to expand your academic vocabulary.
- Roshid, M. M., & Chowdhury, R. (2013). English language proficiency and employment: A case study of Bangladeshi graduates in Australian employment market. Mevlana International Journal of Education, 3(1), 68-81.
- Yamao, S., & Sekiguchi, T. (2015). Employee commitment to corporate globalization: The role of English language proficiency and human resource practices. Journal of World Business, 50(1), 168-179. doi: 10.1016/j.jwb.2014.03.001