I’ve finally decided on a new future direction for writing articles about learning English! In short, I’m no longer going to teach English in Europe, and instead this site will focus on learning English for people who want to live in Australia.
Since I left Prague and have been in travel mode for the last year or so, this blog hasn’t really had an overarching purpose.
Added to this, in my private life I actually haven’t liked the way some English-speakers and Europeans interact.
In fact, I don’t believe Europe needs to ‘get into English’ anymore.
Because there are millions of English speakers living in Europe, and we need to learn your language.
I believe Europe will be a better place when English speakers abroad learn the language of the country they live in, and when Europeans encourage and support their American, Brit or Aussie friends to do so.
Right now that’s not happening and indeed there’s a lot of segregation of different races and nationalities in Europe. For example, in the Czech Republic it’s rare to meet a Czech person who speaks and shares their own language with a ‘Westerner’ (please note that I’m speaking about in friendships and personal relationships, not professional situations where the agreed language is English).
Basically when a Czech person decides you’re a cizinec (a foreigner), they speak automatically to you in English even when you’re speaking Czech to them. I call it ‘Automatic English’ and it happens quite regularly to learners of Czech.
Ultimately it means you can live here for 10 years and still not know the language and still be ‘the expat’ who doesn’t integrate.
And even when I was travelling in Spain this past month I met quite a few people who saw me as ‘the white gringo‘ and just spoke to me in English straight away.
This whole experience has been influential in deciding what to do next. Because I’m a language learner and traveller at heart, it makes sense for me to focus on learning *your* language while I’m in your country.
And of course it will be an honour for me to help you learn English when you’re in Australia as the first rule for international communication is to learn and speak the language of the country you live in.
The whole thing just makes perfect sense to me.
So What Does ‘English For Australia’ Mean?
Australia is presently the world’s 12th biggest economy and it attracts thousands of immigrants, tourists and international students every year. As I’m from Melbourne, I believe I can give some really good tips on learning English for your stay, as well as some ideas about how to make friends and connect with Aussies.
This doesn’t mean that articles specific to Australia are not relevant to people in other countries, but it does mean I’m thinking of readers in Australia or those interested in Australia first.
The purpose will be to help you with:
- Tips on getting the IELTS exam as that’s the most important English certificate if you wish to study or work in Australia.
- An introduction to the main cities, especially Melbourne, and where you can find a flat, the best suburbs to live in, things to do and see, and so on.
- Clubs you can join to meet new people.
- Discussion on Australian society, humour, sport, music, and culture.
- Videos with people who’ve moved here and interviews with Aussies on a range of topics.
- Idioms, phrases and expressions you can use today in your conversations.
- Getting around town and getting to know different neighbourhoods in Melbourne. Lessons don’t need to be in offices and classrooms – the city itself can be a classroom, even the beach!
- Integrating into your chosen city, answering any questions you may have, and I hope too that I can help any recent immigrants and refugees in some way as Australia might be totally different to where you came from!
In short, English you can use right now in Australia.
In addition, as I’ve been an immigrant in Europe for many, many years, I have at times been disappointed at the lack of services or support available to people in order to better integrate, so it gave me the idea that this is something I’d enjoy doing to help others in the same situation in Australia.
I’m now writing with a web designer, so the change in design will take a while, but I will start integrating this new direction from this week. And by the start of 2016 it should all be up and running smoothly.
Please stay tuned and I hope the new articles will be very helpful to you!