General English Course


Program Description

General English Course

CRICOS Course Code: 059870M

Duration: 1 - 48 weeks: it is up to you. What are your visa conditions? What are your language goals? Ask us for a pre-enrolment test and we can tell you how much time you need.

Fees: Please refer to our Price List

Course Aims: The General English course aims to teach you to speak English easily using the correct:

  • spelling
  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • appropriateness
  • intonation
  • and with hard work and a bit of luck, pronunciation.

The course also aims to teach you to listen to English being spoken by speakers from:

  • the United Kingdom
  • the United States and Canada
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • South Africa

and all the parts of the world where our students come from.

The course also aims to teach you to read English in common contexts:

  • magazines
  • subtitles
  • labels
  • advertising
  • instructions
  • newspapers
  • short stories
  • forms
  • surveys
  • social media
  • lyrics
  • signage

The course aims to teach you to write English clearly and in the English format. For academic writing we recommend you enroll in our EAP course or IELST course after you have been assessed as upper intermediate. Writing includes:

  • addresses
  • emails
  • text messages
  • business letters
  • your resume
  • short stories

Finally, the General English course aims to teach you the English culture. Topics that are okay in some languages are not okay in English. Most English colleges forget to teach culture or only do so in a random way. At Mercury, this is part of our General English course. The academic culture that you need for university, is found in our EAP course and also our IELTS course. The culture we teach in General English includes:

  • introducing yourself and others
  • starting a conversation
  • conducting a conversation
  • interrupting a conversation
  • terminating a conversation
  • listening to a conversation
  • agreeing and disagreeing
  • recommending and suggesting
  • apologizing and thanking
  • commiserating and consoling
  • negotiating
  • answering questions
  • showing approval and disapproval
  • complimenting
  • swearing
  • register (for young and old)
  • and much more!

If you get a job and work beside Australians, you will have lots of questions. Please bring your questions to class and ask the teacher your questions during class: not after. Always check with your teacher what your workmates tell you about English and Australia. Some workmates think it is funny to trick you for a laugh.

Entry Requirement: Students must be 18 years old or older at the time of enrolment.

Teaching Methods: With face to face delivery, you will be in class with at least one teacher, sometimes two. We use the communicative method of language teaching and use all kinds of techniques and methods which include: having class sizes average at 15, pair and group work, drilling, question and answer, exercises from the textbook Speak Out! and its videos, YouTube, class tests, teamwork and competition, games, role plays, simulations and much more.

Assessment: Every time the teacher says something to you or the class, your listening is being tested. Every time you speak English, your speaking is being monitored and assessed by your teacher. Every time you read from the textbook, the teacher is listening to your pronunciation. Whenever you write, the teacher will check your writing and tell you how you are going.

When a student asks the teacher a question in class, please listen to the students and the teacher's answer. You might be asked to answer their question. This is a test of your:

  • understanding of the student's question (comprehension)
  • understanding of the student's bad English and comprehension of their meaning (remember, English is a world language and you will always be listening to people from all over the world speaking English well and badly!)
  • speaking - the teacher is listening to you answer the other student's question. This is a test! Your pronunciation, elision, intonation, intelligibility and word choice are all on show.
  • attentiveness - your engagement and participation in the class
  • cultural awareness - in American, British, Canadian and Australian classrooms we all listen to the questions and answers of other students. Doing so helps you to learn how to think and learn how to learn.In our culture it is polite. It is not polite to go to sleep or tune out. Learning a language is not just about grammar and vocabulary.

Levels: We endeavour to consistently deliver classes pitched at each of our language levels. The class names have the following letters of the alphabet in them:

  • Beginner Class A for students with no English, no formal learning, no ability to write (or recognise) the English alphabet
  • Lower Elementary Class B for students who have started learning English. You understand more than you can say. You can understand a simple question but are slow to answer and unsure.We have a B class in the evening.
  • Elementary Class C is for students who can understand simple questions and are learning to use the simplest verb tenses, adjectives of comparison, conversation, reading and some writing. We have a C class in the morning and another one in the evening. If you need to do some morning classes and some evening classes, please speak to your teacher.
  • Pre-Intermediate Class D is for Lower Intermediate students who can now communicate on a wider range of topics but find they often do not understand or can not express themselves well. We have a D class in the morning and another one in the evening. If you need to do some morning and some evening classes, please speak to your teacher.
  • Intermediate At this level you have two problems. In Class E, you are intermediate and have enough English to talk about a lot of things but you make people angry because the language is not right. This is a frustrating level where many students 'plateau' and feel they are learning (and forgetting) endless vocabulary. You understand all the words in a written sentence but do not understand its meaning. You hear Australians speak but do not understand them. We are here to help you through this difficult level. We have an E class in the evening.
  • Upper Intermediate At this level in Class F you still make a lot of mistakes but you are comfortable speaking English and choose to use it with other students even from your own country! Students are best advised to do ten weeks of upper intermediate English before doing IELTS, EAP or a Mercury Business course. We have an F class in both the evening and morning.
  • Advanced At this level you are in Class G. Because most students at this level are very comfortable with their English, they are doing their Business or university course, or travelling and working. So numbers in general English are thin. Nevertheless, we invite you to join our F Class with dynamic teachers who will improve your English. We need just ten students to form a class.
Last updated Feb 2018

About the School

We take great pleasure in welcoming you to Mercury Colleges in Sydney, Australia. Mercury Colleges has been welcoming students for over 50 years. The college has a long history in Australia, and over ... Read More

We take great pleasure in welcoming you to Mercury Colleges in Sydney, Australia. Mercury Colleges has been welcoming students for over 50 years. The college has a long history in Australia, and over the years has earned an enviable reputation for its quality teaching. At Mercury Colleges, we seek to benefit the interests of our students through educational and cultural interchange in a learning environment of distinction. Read less