My English Pathway @ Townsville International English School
“Studying English online and abroad can be an amazing experience and at Townsville International English School (TIES) our goal is to provide the best English Language experience possible. We have designed our school and courses to reflect our passion and commitment to achieving this and would like to help you reach your goals. Townsville International English School is a fully accredited NEAS Provider, and is also a CRICOS Registered Provider (03378G). We are committed to providing the best learning environment possible”
How English teacher Kit helps his students make a difference
Kit Perry is an English teacher from Townsville, Australia. He uses his knowledge and skills to help people from all over the world improve their English and get the PTE score they need to move abroad, study at university, or start their dream career.
While he was doing a great job as an English teacher, he was so passionate about making a difference to people’s lives that he wanted to take things further.
So, 15 years ago, Kit and his wife took the leap and set up their own language academy, Townsville International English School.
“We wanted to create something that reflects our philosophy as educators,” says Kit. “It was probably one of the best decisions of my life.”
Previously, Kit focused on general English teaching and IELTS preparation, and made the shift to teaching PTE five years ago. He preferred PTE because of the objectivity of computer marking.
“Students always ask me which test is easier, IELTS or PTE,” he says, “but it’s not really about that. They are both valid, rigorous tests of your English language ability. But the big advantage of PTE is that the computer marking means that there aren’t inconsistencies in the way the test is marked. After all, these tests are used as a passport to going to university, or getting a job. It’s important that they are fair and objective.”
Teaching that is tailored to each student’s needs
Kit’s teaching approach is tailored to each individual student. When he takes on a new student, he does a needs analysis and uses that knowledge in his teaching to really push his students to the level they need to reach.
“I assess each student’s grammar skills, their knowledge of vocabulary, their test taking abilities – it lets me see where we need to focus our time and energy.”
Once Kit knows exactly where a student needs help, he uses Expert PTE to prepare learners for the exam – and he’s a big fan. “I’ve been doing exam prep for fifteen years,” he says, “and a lot of test materials are too prescriptive.”
Kit feels that Expert PTE really focuses on teaching the test through the language and improving the student’s language skills – and that’s fundamental. “After all,” he explains, “whatever the test is, whether you are doing PTE or IELTS or TOEIC, it’s a test of your English language ability. It doesn’t matter how good your strategies or templates are if you don’t have that underlying knowledge of the language.”
Undoing poor preparation habits
There are a lot of poor-quality PTE preparation materials out there which Kit warns his students against using. “There are preparation videos on YouTube,” he says, “which teach PTE templates for students to memorize for certain answers. For example, PTE Write Essay templates are common – but they just don’t work.”
Another task where people are tempted to use PTE templates is Describe Image. Kit recounts how a new student joined his class and was asked to do an example answer for a Describe Image task.
“The student said, ‘I can see a beautiful image here, which has blue, green, yellow, purple, and orange. And then he just rattled off, you know, some of the vocab you saw on it, and then in the end, to conclude, in conclusion, to conclude, concluding in conclusion.”
But answers like that don’t help students get a good score. “PTE Describe Image templates don’t work either,” says Kit. “Maybe students think they can trick the system because it’s computer-based marking.”
“A lot of students end up wasting time memorizing answers and then waste money taking the test and failing as a result,” says Kit, “and then they come to me for help. But there are no shortcuts when it comes to language tests; you need to use your own language and ideas and that’s the key to getting a good score.”
How Kit is inspired by the power of education
Kit has helped lots of students get good PTE scores so they achieve their ambitions – and some of his learners have been really inspiring. “The students I admire the most are trying to make a difference in their lives by having a stronger English language ability,” he says.
He’s taught lots of healthcare professionals, who’ve studied at university in Australia. There are certain professional requirements when it comes to language ability in fields like nursing, midwifery, and medicine.
Some of Kit’s students have lots of skills as medical practitioners, but maybe they struggle with pronunciation or grammar. If they don’t have the English language ability, those skills will go to waste.
“So, they’re really motivated to improve their language level so they can help people more effectively and have a positive impact on society,” explains Kit. Often his students will come back and thank him for helping them. “They say ‘Thank you for helping me pass the test – but even more than that, thank you for helping me be a better nurse or doctor in my professional life.”
That’s where Kit gets his drive and motivation. He is truly passionate about the power of education. One of his favorite quotes is by Nelson Mandela:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
And the feeling that he is making a positive difference is the reason that Kit loves his job so much. Even if he won the lotto, he’d still work as an English teacher.
“Teaching a language is really special,” Kit explains. “It’s a skill that the student carries with them for the rest of their life. It enables them to do so many things, and opens up the world in so many different ways.”
Do you teach PTE? Download these lesson plans to use in your classroom.