The University of Newcastle, Australia


Newcastle (Callaghan Campus)
Sydney CBD
10 weeks
Contact hours
20 hours per week (Monday - Friday)
The Beginner English program focuses on the development of basic English language skills for students with little or no previous experience learning English.
Entry requirements
There are no pre-requisites to enter the Beginner English Course. Students are placed in the course based on their results in the class placement test given on entry to the Language Centre.
Expected outcomes

Understand short written narratives
Answer comprehension questions: true/ false
Use top-down / bottom-up reading strategies


Write brief personal information
Describe a picture: person/ object
Write a daily routine
Write a recount


Understand simple conversations
Understand the gist of longer narrative texts
Recognise contracted forms
Recognise vowel sounds: phonetic chart


Conduct introductions and greetings
Discuss personal information/ family
Contribute to small group discussions
Perform short role plays

Course content

The course has an integrated syllabus which is predominantly skills-based, with grammar and culture components, and is organized into ten weeks with themes and grammar points. There is a greater emphasis on grammar skills in the Beginner course than the other levels.

  • Predicting from headings, pictures and prior knowledge
  • Inferring
  • Skimming
  • Scanning
  • Chunking
  • Understanding vocabulary in context
  • Developing speed in reading
  • Vocabulary extension
  • Simple sentences
  • Asking questions
  • Form filling
  • Simple descriptions
  • Short narrative
  • Listening for gist
  • Listening for detail
  • Inferring
  • Predicting
  • Listing for key information
  • Discussion in small groups on personal topics
  • Questions and answers
  • Role-play
  • Pronunciation and stress
  • Words: verbs, nouns (countable & uncountable), adverbs, adjectives, prepositions
  • Tenses: present (simple & continuous), past simple, future
  • Comparing
  • Demonstratives
  • Possessive form

Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills are assessed. Marks are weighted as follows:  an end of course informal exit test. The results are given as limited, basic, sound or outstanding.

Passing the course

Students must obtain sound in three of the four skills. Each of the four components is of equal weighting. Students who pass the course are eligible to commence the Elementary Advanced Course.