First of all, you need to consider the type of student you would like to attract, why they’re coming to Australia, and if they have any future study plans. This will inform the types of courses you will offer, and the levels of language proficiency you can teach to.
Here is a summary of the main student goals and the types of courses that can be offered to meet their needs.
||General English (GE||The most common ELICOS course. Focus on developing the English language and communicative skills needed for interacting with others. Courses can be from Beginner level (A1/2 on the CEFR*) to Advanced (C1/C2 CEFR). Students with low levels of proficiency may take a GE course before they start EAP (see below).|
|Study in an Australian school, vocational college or university.||Secondary/High School Preparation (HSP), English for Academic Purposes (EAP||Higher level courses, usually based on the spoken and written English and study skills the students will need for further study. These can be generic, or specific to a particular study context.|
|Take an exam such as IELTS, Pearson Test of English (PTE), Cambridge B2 First.||Exam preparation course||Usually general English language skills and knowledge development plus exam orientation and practice.|
|Learn the spoken and written English needed for a specific context.||An English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course such as English for Business, English for Health Professionals, English for Hospitality||Usually based on the spoken and written English the students will need for that particular context. All levels. These are very useful for colleges which have on-going contracts with particular employers, to train their offshore staff|
|Teach English in schools in their own country.||English for Teaching, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and EfTC (English for Teaching Children).||Usually general English language skills and knowledge development plus strategies for encouraging young students to communicate in class. Peer teaching, an observation or practicum is often involved.|
|Have a short holiday and study English for a short time with a group.||Study tour||A combination of General English or EAP with sporting, social, tourist or cultural activities, organised by a high school or university in a non-English speaking country.|
Adapted with permission from English Australia (n.d.) https://www.englishaustralia.com.au/our-sector/understanding-the-sector
*CEFR = Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, a six-point scale used widely to describe language ability. See more information on
The team at ELT Support can prepare curricula for any of these courses, and help you decide which combination of courses best suits your needs.