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Listed under:  Language  >  Language proficiency  >  Vocabularies
Video

'Mary and Max', 2009

These two clips come from the Australian claymation feature film 'Mary and Max' about the friendship between two different but lonely people. Max and Mary become penpals and live across two continents, Mary in Australia and Max in New York. The first clip focuses on the misfortune that meets Max when his airconditioner ...

Interactive Resource

Inanimate Alice episode 2: Italy

Inanimate Alice is a multimodal text that uses audio, animation and interactive elements to tell a story about a girl who is growing up in the early years of the 21st century. In episode 2, Alice is separated from her parents while they are on a skiing holiday in Italy.

Interactive Resource

Inanimate Alice episode 3: Russia

Inanimate Alice is a multimodal text that uses audio, animation and interactive elements to tell a story about a girl who is growing up in the early years of the 21st century. In episode 3, Alice and her parents are living in Russia; Alice hides in her cupboard while her parents argue with some angry strangers in the next room.

Interactive Resource

Inanimate Alice episode 4: hometown

Inanimate Alice is a multimodal text that uses audio, animation and interactive elements to tell a story about a girl who is growing up in the early years of the 21st century. In episode 4, Alice finds herself trapped on top of a building when a staircase collapses.

Audio

Autobiography of a flood survivor

Imagine if the town or suburb you live in came under threat due to a natural disaster. How would you react? Shelby Garlick from Kerang, Victoria, was a finalist of the 2012 Heywire storytelling competition for young people. Listen to her inspiring story and explore the lessons she learnt as a result of working with her ...

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Shakespeare words: the process of language change

Imagine being responsible for inventing over 1700 words! That is the legacy of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers in the English language. Most of these words were created through translations of Latin words or by combining words with prefixes and suffixes in original ways. In this clip, you'll discover the ...

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Conquest: the process of language change

When the Normans conquered England in 1066, they brought a lot more than fancy clothes and castles; they also brought the French language. Discover the impact that this momentous event continues to have today.

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Naming words: significant social effects

The names we give people and places hold great significance for us. But have you ever thought about how this simple act can impact on others? Naming is a powerful tool. Watch this clip as Professor Kate Burridge explains the ways that language can have significant social effects.

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Borrowed words: the processes of language change

Do you know any words from another language? Chances are, you know more than you think you do! English is a polyglot language; one that borrows words from other languages. In this Professor Kate Burridge discusses the origins of the phrases 'short-shrift' and 'lily-livered'.

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New meanings: the processes of language change

Have you ever engaged in a bit of argle-bargle? It's the original form of a colloquialism you might be more familiar with: argy-bargy. But where does this phrase come from? Etymology is the study of the history and evolution of words. In this clip Professor Kate Burridge explains the origins of this curious phrase and other words.

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Golly gosh, what do those sayings mean?

Have you ever wondered where sayings like 'golly gosh', 'by gum' or 'drat' come from? In this video, Professor Kate Burridge explains the origins and meaning of these and other sayings. She also explains the history of the pronoun 'you'.

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Subjunctivitis! Fact or 'Furphy'?

Why is 'were' used in 'If I were king' and what is the subjunctive? What do water sources and gossip have in common? If you don't know then you need to watch and listen as Professor Kate Burridge and Peter Rowsthorn explore these questions.

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Efficient speech: the process of language change

Wassup, bro?Well 'pparently I ain't speakin' right.Will thou ha' the truth on't?We often think that only young people speak in abbreviated forms, but the truth is people have been doing this since Anglo-Saxon times! In this clip discover with Professor Kate Burridge some words that belong to the 'zero plurals' group, why ...

Audio

Evolving English: the role of social media

How many times have you heard teenagers berated for using the term 'like'? Yet this term has existed at least since 1586 when the term, 'Yon man is like out of his mind' was written into history. The truth is, our language is constantly evolving, with new words added, others dying off and some resurfacing again. In this ...

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Using and understanding words in context

Have you ever noticed that certain words are relevant to particular topics or contexts? View this clip to find out ten words associated with shearing and the sheep industry.

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Angkor: exploring vocabulary

Watch this clip about Angkor, an area in Cambodia that contains a famous and ancient temple complex, to help develop your vocabulary. The clip focuses on the effects of tourism and provides a useful context for the study of English. The report includes content-specific language.

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Images and symbols for quick, persuasive power

What can you do in just a few minutes? Current affairs stories are only a few minutes long yet need to present an entire argument. Let's explore a story about digital footprints, to see how words and images are used to convey a lot of meaning in a short space of time.

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A song about platypus

Watch as a platypus emerges from its burrow on the bank of a billabong (small lake). As you watch, listen to Don Spencer's song as he describes seeing a platypus and explores its unusual looks.

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A song about black swans

Discover a graceful Australian bird, the black swan. Watch the images (pictures) and listen to the lyrics (words) of the song by Don Spencer as he sings about the black swan.

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A song about flying foxes

Have you seen a flying fox which is a type of fruit bat? Don Spencer uses descriptive words and phrases in his flying fox song to help us understand these animals and explore a day in their life.