General English 1-4

Cambridge College Australia - Circle Shapes in red
ELICOS - General English 1-4
Cambridge College Australia - M Shapes in red
Cambridge College Australia - Delta Shapes in red
Cambridge College Australia - X Shapes in red

Course Details

What is General English?

Cambridge College Australia is proud to present its General English course as a comprehensive English language course designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of learners.

General English is flexible enough to accommodate learners from any background and English level. Learners may be absolute beginners, or they may already be highly proficient in English and require preparatory language instruction prior to entering university.

Entrance requirements

All students must be at least 18 years old.


To learn and enhance English skills for:

  • Social survival
  • Community access and participation
  • Personal growth
  • Career enhancement
  • Professional development
  • Further study

Course duration

This course is delivered as full time study at 20 hours per week of scheduled class time at the Cambridge College Australia campus.

Students may enrol for short or long periods of time, however each proficiency level is completed over 26 weeks of full time study, including three weeks of holidays.

This qualification is delivered face-to-face in the classroom. There is a new intake each month.

An example timetable for each proficiency level:

Study/ training 24 20 460
Holiday 3
Total 26 460


Proficiency levels

Students are placed in the class that best matches their English level and learning style.

The General English curriculum is arranged into four proficiency levels:

  • Elementary
  • Pre-intermediate
  • Intermediate
  • Upper-intermediate

Entrance to these proficiency levels is determined through diagnostic placement testing occurring at the time of enrolment or course commencement. Each proficiency level is taught over 26 weeks, including three weeks holiday. Learners who progress rapidly may be transferred to the next proficiency level ahead of schedule, and those who require additional tuition may remain in the class for a longer period of time.

There are seven learning areas in General English 1-4:

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Function

Each proficiency level covers all seven learning areas.


The curriculum is designed to include ongoing assessment tasks. These assessment tasks cover all the skills of the general English program and are delivered in a variety of methods, including:

  • Written tests
  • Oral presentation
  • Role-play
  • Interviews
  • Observation
  • Group discussion
  • Pairwork or group work
  • Homework tasks
  • Research assignments
  • End of course tests


Upon successful completion of General English 1-4, learners may continue in further study in the VET sector, at TAFE, university or other higher learning institution.

Elementary Elementary
Pre-intermediate Pre-intermediate
Intermediate Intermediate
Upper-Intermediate Upper-Intermediate



Speaking Communicate in simple and routine tasks on familiar topics and activities. Simply describe:
  • Family and other people
  • Living conditions
  • Educational background
  • Present job
Listening Understand phrases and common vocabulary on common areas:
  • Very basic personal and family information
  • Shopping
  • The local area, and employment

Understand the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.
Reading Read very short, simple texts. Find specific, predictable information in:
  • Advertisements
  • Prospectuses
  • Menus and timetables

Understand short simple personal letters.
Writing Write short, simple notes and messages:
  • Write a simple personal letter
  • Write thank you notes
Grammar Demonstrate elementary comprehension and use of:
  • Present Simple for habits
  • Articles
  • Pronouns
  • Countable / uncountable nouns
  • Adverbs of frequency and manner
  • Can / could for requests
  • Adjectives and modifiers
  • Past Simple for simple recounts
  • Present Continuous for things happening now
  • Comparative and superlative
  • Present Perfect for life events
  • Imperatives for instructions
  • Should for advice
  • Have to / need to for obligation
  • Be like for descriptions
  • Present Simple for future facts
  • Future Simple for future facts
Vocabulary Demonstrate elementary comprehension and use of vocabulary to describe:
  • Families
  • Food and meals
  • Clothing and shopping
  • Prices
  • Daily routines
  • Personality, appearance, abilities
  • Work and jobs
  • Transport and travel
  • Machines and inventions
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Weather and climate
Function Use elementary constructions to:
  • Give opinions
  • Talk about routines and habits
  • Talk about intentions
  • Describe experiences
  • Talk about feelings
  • Make comparisons
  • Invite
  • Make decisions
  • Buy things
  • Talk about possibility and hopes
  • Talk about rules and obligations
  • Give instructions
  • Make offers
  • Give advice and suggestions
  • Apologise


Speaking Demonstrate pre-intermediate spoken comprehension. Deal with most situations when travelling in an area where people speak English.
  • Talk about family, hobbies, work, travel and current events
  • Talk about experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions
  • Give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans
  • Tell the story of a book or film and describe your reactions
Listening Demonstrate pre-intermediate listening comprehension.
  • Understand the main points of clear speech on work, school and leisure
  • Understand the main point on many radio or TV programmes on current affairs or familiar topics, when the speaker speaks slowly and clearly
Reading Demonstrate pre-intermediate reading comprehension.
  • Understand common, basic or job-related language
  • Understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters
Writing Write at a pre-intermediate level.
  • Write simply about familiar topics
  • Write personal letters describing experiences and impressions
Grammar Demonstrate pre-intermediate comprehension and use of:
  • Present Simple
  • Present Continuous
  • Comparative and superlative
  • Past Simple
  • Past Continuous
  • Present Perfect
  • Going to and will for predictions and future events and spontaneous decisions
  • Adverbs of frequency and manner
  • Reflexive pronouns
  • So / such
  • Have to/ need to for obligation
  • Present Simple Passive
  • When / while / as soon as
  • Must / might for deductions
  • Be able to / good at
  • Although / however
  • First Conditional
  • Used to + verb
  • Relative clauses
Vocabulary Demonstrate pre-intermediate comprehension and use of vocabulary to describe:
  • Families
  • Restaurants and leisure venues
  • Personality and biographical information
  • Buildings and monuments
  • Weather Clothes and accessories
  • Large numbers
  • Travel and tourism
  • Work and careers
  • Hobbies, sports and interests
  • Education
  • Life changes and events
  • Political systems and change
  • Animals
  • Descriptions of people, health, fitness and illnesses
  • Types of music and concerts
  • Household equipment
Function Use familiar English functions at a pre-intermediate level:
  • Ask personal questions
  • Talk about personal experiences
  • Ask directions
  • Describe personality
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Order in a restaurant
  • Talk about preferences
  • Express preferences
  • Make deductions
  • Make predictions
  • Offer and suggesting
  • Talk about obligation
  • Request


Speaking Demonstrate Intermediate speaking proficiency.
  • Speak regularly with native speakers
  • Discuss familiar topics in detail
  • Give opinions and explain advantages and disadvantages
Listening Demonstrate Intermediate listening proficiency.
  • Understand long speech and lectures and follow complex arguments if the topic is reasonably familiar
  • Understand most TV news and current affairs programmes
  • Understand the majority of films in common accents
Reading Read at an intermediate level.
  • Read articles and reports about common topics
  • Understand modern novels
Writing Demonstrate intermediate writing skills.
  • Write clearly and in detail about a wide range of subjects
  • Write an essay or report
  • Write letters about events and personal experiences
Grammar Demonstrate Intermediate comprehension and use of:
  • Used to + infinitive
  • Past Simple and Present Perfect
  • Neither / so do I
  • Modal verbs
  • Reported speech
  • First, second conditional
  • Adverbs of manner and modifiers
  • Relative clauses
  • Adjectives and their connotations
  • Present Perfect Continuous
  • Look + adjective, look like + noun
  • Be able to / can/ manage to
  • Passives Past Perfect
  • Simple Have and have got
  • Be allowed to and be supposed to
  • A / few and a / little
  • Although / in spite of / despite
  • Question tags
Vocabulary Demonstrate intermediate comprehension and use of vocabulary to describe:
  • Education
  • Appearances
  • Clothes
  • Character
  • Housework
  • Holidays and travel brochures
  • Illness
  • Cooking
  • Weather
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Types of books, films, and TV programmes
  • Crime and punishment
  • Political systems
  • Family relationships
  • Pets and animals
  • Consumer services
  • Hotel facilities
Function Use intermediate English in common and important functional ways:
  • Describe location, people and things
  • State preferences and opinions
  • Talk about obligation
  • Report requests and orders
  • Give advice
  • Make deductions
  • Guess
  • Talk about possibility / probability and certainty
  • Refuse
  • Describe faulty goods


Speaking Demonstrate advanced levels of spoken English.
  • Speak fluently without searching for language
  • Communicate effectively in social and professional situations
  • Give ideas and opinions and relate ideas to those of other speakers
  • Talk about of complex subjects and develop arguments
Listening Demonstrate advanced comprehension of English listening skills.
  • Understand long complex speech
  • Understand most TV news and current affairs programmes
  • Understand most television programmes and films
Reading Demonstrate advanced English reading skills.
  • Understand long and complex factual and literary texts, with different styles
  • Understand specialised articles and long technical instructions
Writing Write using advanced English skills.
  • Write long, clear, well-structured text to express your points of view
  • Write about complex subjects in a letter, an essay or a report
  • Write in an appropriate style
Grammar Demonstrate upper-intermediate comprehension and use of:
  • Habit in the Present and the Past
  • Present Perfect
  • Simple and Present Perfect
  • Continuous Past Simple and Past
  • Continuous and Past Perfect
  • Question tags
  • Will, going to, Present Simple, Present Continuous for the future
  • Future Perfect
  • Phrasal verbs Zero, first, second and third conditionals
  • Wish and if only
  • Passive Compounds of some, any, no, every
  • Reported speech
  • Relative clauses
  • Conjunctions: although, despite, in spite of , otherwise, unless
  • Modals: present and perfect
  • Always for frequency / + present continuous
Vocabulary Demonstrate upper-intermediate comprehension and use of vocabulary to describe:
  • Collocations
  • Work, working conditions
  • Approximations with -ish
  • Transport and exploration
  • Phrasal verbs
  • Crime and punishment
  • Relationships
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Connotation
  • Homonyms
  • Idiomatic expressions
  • Sport and leisure
  • Euphemisms
  • Adverbs of manner and modifiers
  • Geography and climate
  • Participle adjectives
  • Banks / money
  • Colloquial expressions and slang
Function Demonstrate familiarity with advanced and specialised English functions:
  • Give opinions
  • Summarise
  • Express regret
  • Draw conclusions
  • Make offers
  • Describe cause and effect
  • State purpose
  • Emphasise
  • State contrast
  • Add information
  • Congratulate
  • Commiserate
  • Clarify
  • Guess
  • Order arguments
  • Give examples


Click the button below to see our current fee structure.

Is this course available for Domestic or International students?

The majority of our courses are open to both international and domestic students. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information.

How it works

Step 1


Start your journey by applying to Cambridge College Australia.

Step 2


Our team will reach out to you to discuss your application.

Step 3


Complete the enrolment process and secure your place.

Ready to Take the First Step?

Seize the opportunity and apply now to begin your transformative educational journey. Don’t wait. Take action today and unlock a world of possibilities.