General English Courses in Sydney: What Do You Need to Know?

The purpose of the General English course is to assist you with a wide range of language learning needs to improve your English language proficiency level across all four macro-skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing). 


Living and studying English in Sydney is one of the most fun-filled and enriching experiences you could wish for. Enrolling in a General English course not just helps to boost your English level but gives you the chance to make international friends, explore vibrant Sydney and soak up the local culture.


What’s General English?


General English (GE) is sometimes called ‘English for General Purposes’. This GE course is particularly useful for two main categories of learners: 

  • Learners with non-specific aims, such as “to improve my English”, “because English is useful”, “to help me meet people from other countries”, “because English might be useful in a job” or due to an interest in the language and culture of Australia.
  • Learners with more specific aims, such as to study English for Academic Purposes (EAP) before going to university, or to prepare for external exams, but these students have not yet reached the English language proficiency level necessary for the more specialised English course. For these students, the GE course aims to help them reach a general, non-specialist level of English sufficient to begin a course in academic English.

Students at lower levels also take part in weekly skills development electives to improve their areas of weakness in either reading and writing or speaking and listening, while students at higher levels may choose special interest focus electives in areas such as Test Preparation, Grammar and Writing, Business English, Australian Studies in Culture and Sport, English for Health Fitness and Wellbeing.


Scots’ GE courses


The GE course consists of 6 levels.


 Level 1:

 Starter (10 weeks)

 Level 2: 

 Elementary (10 weeks)

 Level 3:

 Pre-intermediate (10 weeks)

 Level 4:

 Intermediate (10 weeks)

 Level 5:

 Upper-Intermediate (10 weeks)

 Level 6:

 Advanced (10 weeks)

All levels require 20 hours face-to-face study per week.  If you have a student visa, then you must study 20 hours each week. It is also important that you do some extra study. We recommend that you spend another 10-15 hours per week doing homework and extra study.


If you studied English at primary or high school but never used it, you may need or want to start again. As a ‘false-beginner’ you probably know the English alphabet and can say simple phrases like ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank you’. The Starter or Elementary General English is best for you.


If you use English in your home country at work or with English speaking friends, then your English Level may be higher when you start your studies at Scots English College (Scots). Students who use English in their daily lives, but have not studied English since high school often start at Pre-Intermediate English level.


Students studying the Intermediate or Upper Intermediate General English course are often doing so because they want to build their language skills to do another English course such as EAP, IELTS Preparation or Cambridge Preparation.


If you reach the Advanced General English level, then you are coming close to being a native-like English user and you will have the language skills to work and communicate with native speakers.


On your first day at Scots, we give you a placement test. This test helps us decide what level is best for you when starting your English language studies. Students normally take 10 weeks to complete each level of the General English course.


Please visit here for more detailed information about our GE courses.


Scots promise




Scots is committed to the highest quality of educational outcomes and the provision of quality student services.


We achieve this commitment through our culture of quality driven by stakeholder feedback, our quality assurance review process and key responsibilities held by all members of the Scots’ team.