English may be one of the most difficult languages to learn, and while some learn it from birth, the path for those learning it as a second language can be a lot more difficult.

English language education is being tackled head-on the Illawarra, and local programs are being recognised internationally.

UOW College tops international survey of English language-schools

A recent survey has seen UOW College crowned the best in Australia when it comes to students’ overall experience whilst learning English.

The iGraduate English Language Barometer is an annual grading of international institutions that teach English. Based on student responses collected last year, UOW College came out on top when it came to their student services and overall living and learning opportunities.



But for UOW College English-Language Centre Manager Heather Thomas, the students were to be equally congratulated.

“Language learning is a challenge no matter what language you are learning,” she said.

“I’ve got absolute admiration for people who come here from another country and polish their language to such a level that they are able to undertake tertiary study in that language.”

Julie Fogarty from the Illawarra Multicultural Services (IMS) said that whilst learning a second language had its difficulties, creating a good support for clients was key to student’s positive experiences.

“We concentrate on the social and conversational community, “ She said.

It is through the development of a rapport between clients and staff at IMS, that Julie said ensured a positive integration into speaking the English language.

“It’s more about confidence and self-esteem and grasp of the language skills so that no-one feels different.”


According to Australian Geographic, Aussies use more clipped words than any other English speakers . So it’s no wonder why UOW is hosting an aussie culture and slang workshop. Alice Matthews investigates the ins and outs of our lingo and how international students feel about it.


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A look at the aussie lingo through time…

Reporter: Alice Matthews, Rachel Loveday, Lucy Dean, Samara Gardner

Australian Geographic 

Song: Slim Dusty – Duncan

Voice of Nick Cummings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlvlwG9jCv4