If you are coming from non-English speaking countries to study in Australia, understanding local dialects and informal speech might be a problem. You may had studied English for years in your home country, but when you arrived here and overheard people talking on the street in their local slangs, you had no idea what they were talking about. Apparently, this issue is common among international students studying in Australia.

To break down the barrier, INSEARCH, The University Technology of Sidney (UTS)'s pathway provider, and Australia Network, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Asia-Pacific arm, developed Study English back in 2004. It is a unique television program specifically aimed at IELTS students.

Based on audience feedbacks, they have now come with the third series, Study English: IELTS Preparation. This series focuses on the skills needed to pass the IELTS test, however, it is cleverly presented using everyday speech. The uniqueness of the program is that they use unscripted, authentic spoken text. The idea came from the ABC, who suggested using their archive footage in the programming. The archive enables the INSEARCH team to uncover samples of interesting speech and grammar, which are related to topics covered in IELTS such as family, education, employment, technology, society, culture and transport.

The third series also includes an interactive, online vocabulary activity that allows viewers to listen to 20 key words and phrases from each episode, then practice how to say and write them. 

The famous IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is used by most English speaking countries in the world to figure out the English proficiency of potential students or migrants coming into their countries. While there are several resources out there for people studying for the IELTS test, not many of them are freely available, especially the ones developed by IELTS specialists.

INSEARCH itself has long been regarded as one of IELTS specialists, while Australia Network's online and television English learning programs are among its popular. In their collaboration, INSEARCH develops the content for each-10 minute episode, which is then being adapted for television by Australia Network. The program is aired in 44 countries across Asia, the Pacific, and the Indian subcontinent and can be seen on ABC's i-View in Astralia. For international viewers, they broadcast via satellite then re-broadcast within each country through the arrangements with pay-tv operators.

Unfortunately not everyone can subscribe. Many people in countries like India and Indonesia can't afford it and people in China can't access it. To resolve this, Study English is also made available online on Australia Network's website. By being online, anybody from any countries can watch it. Since June 2009, there have been over 300 000 individual visitors from 150 countries viewing over a million pages of the Study English website.

Study English can be viewed at www.australianetwork.com/studyenglish