Why learn English as an additional language?

learn English as an additional language

Want to study English in Australia? Learning English as an additional language can be one of the best decisions you can make if you want to work and live in Australia.

And not just because it’s an English-speaking country – strong language skills can help you in all sorts of ways:

  • Work opportunities
  • Interacting with others
  • Travel and holiday options
  • Enjoying English-language movies and songs

Since you’re already in Australia, you might think that you don’t need to attend classes, and that you can learn English just by listening and talking with friends, in a more social setting.

And while that certainly helps, the best way to get a full understanding of the language is to take the extra step with comprehensive formal English classes. 

What does English as an additional language mean?

Simple: that you’re studying English as someone whose native language is not English.

For most second-language students, the purpose of studying English is to improve their everyday skills, and make day-to-day life easier.

Just remember there’s more than one type of English course – we offer a variety of courses depending on what you need!

How does English as an additional language help…


Many people migrating to Australia don’t have strong English skills. In fact, some might lack even basic foundational knowledge.

EAL courses are designed to help these new arrivals build a foundation for their new life in Australia. By focusing on the basics, an EAL course can help new arrivals familiarise themselves with the language, or as we say in English, “get up to speed”.

Furthermore, it will also give students a foundation to continue their studies in one of our other English courses!


Studying English doesn’t just help in day-to-day life – for children, it comes with many other benefits!

English as a second language – or any second language, really – has a tremendous impact on a child’s development. It can:

While children have an easier time learning a new language, that doesn’t mean that they can learn without support. In addition to support from parents, carers and teachers, newly-arrived children can also benefit from EAL education.

New citizens?

In addition to teaching basic conversation, reading and writing, Academia’s EAL courses also focus on teaching students about life in Australia.

For new citizens or people who are applying for it, this can be invaluable, helping them adjust to their new home and its culture, society and history.

How do you support students who want to learn English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)?

Support from parents, mentors, leaders, and educators is needed to help students develop proficiency in their new language, whether they are:

  • Migrating from a country where English is not spoken 
  • Homestay or exchange students from non-English speaking countries
  • Students with a refugee background
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

So, what can you do as a parent, guardian, colleague, friend or teacher to help students in these groups become more fluent with English?

Encourage interaction and conversation

People learn through doing – what we call active learning.

And that’s what makes this the best way for someone to learn a language!

Encourage students to interact with family and friends in English and start English conversations when possible. This is a great way for students to practice speaking skills and turn learning into doing!

Not only that, but it’s also a good way to boost their confidence as they start to hold full conversations in English.

Use a wide variety of words

Whenever you can, try to use different words, ideas and sentences to help students develop their communication skills and grow their vocabulary.

And if you can, try to go beyond just using new words – try to explain what these new words mean, and let them practice them with you while you’re talking.

Enrol in English as a Second Language course

English is learned best in an environment that’s specially designed to help students pick up a new language.

That means enrolling in a dedicated second language course.

Many schools offer English classes that are designed for second-language speakers, often called ESL or EAL (English as a Second/Alternative Language). These classes have a focus on developing fundamental English schools and building their vocabulary.

Of course, school isn’t the only place you can do this!

Academia offers NEAS-approved English courses – we’ve earned the English Quality Assurance at our Melbourne campus. Each of our English instructors have also achieved the highest possible English Language Teaching (ELT) rankings in the sector. 

What other courses do we offer for second-language speakers?

Our new EAL course is designed to help students build a basic foundation in English.

However, for many students, their goals will need more advanced English skills.

That’s why we offer a range of other English courses that students can enrol in once they complete their EAL course in order to further improve their English and help fulfil their goals, whether that’s immigrating to Australia or enrolling in an Australian university.

Which one is right for you? It depends on what you want to do…

General English (GE)

General English (GE) helps you apply the English language in your day-to-day conversations. This course is the ideal choice for second language speakers, helping you improve your speaking, writing and listening skills as you live in Australia.

Classes run once every week on every night of the week. You will be tested and placed in an appropriate class based on your current skill, whether you are a beginner or advanced student.

Find out more about our General English course.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

General English is enough for most students. But what if your goal is to enrol at an Australian university?

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) focuses on teaching you the formal English you will need to complete essays, give presentations, and read articles.

These are skills that are essential if you want to study at an Australian university. By focusing on these skills, EAP helps you prepare for higher education.

Find out more about our English for Academic Purposes course.

English for IELTS Preparation

Ace your IELTS exam and learn more about the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with techniques that will help you attain the score that you need for work, migration and education in Australia.

English for IELTS Preparation focuses on 2 things:

  1. Teaching how IELTS works
  2. Helping you meet the exact IELTS score you need

Learn more about IELTS here.

How General English help second language speakers

So now you know what our courses involve. Now for the big question: why is General English the best choice for you?

Simple: because it’s the most practical course for you.

If you’re going to take an English as a second language course, this one offers the most practical experience thanks to its focus on day-to-day English skills.

This can make every part of your life in Australia easier, from going down to the shops, to your job, to your ability to make new English-speaking friends.

In particular, it’s the youngest people among us who benefit the most from studying English as an additional language.

Study in English in Australia with Academia – Enrol in Academia’s English course in Melbourne today!

Studying English can be one of the best decisions you make for yourself, especially in today’s highly competitive world.

And the best way to become fluent in English is to start early!

Build a strong foundation for your child’s language development by taking steps to help them become more fluent in English using the tips above.

And if you want to improve your own English, well, our English courses in Melbourne are here for you to help you become more fluent at speaking, writing and listening to English!

Our campuses in Melbourne and Brisbane offer a wide variety of courses in addition to English, all with the goal of improving your skills. Talk to any of our friendly staff for any enquiries and check for government funded courses in Victoria as well. 

Contact us today, and will be happy to assist you.