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Listed under:  Language  >  Language conventions  >  Word meanings  >  Word formation
Interactive Resource

Words ending in '-quent'

This is an interactive spelling and vocabulary list of five words containing 'u' after 'q' in the letter pattern '-quent'. All the words are supported by learning activities. Mouseover allows the user to hear and see each word in the list and its spelling letter by letter, and hear its use in a sentence. The 'Flash Cards' ...

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The Aussie Accent: whaddya reckon, mate?

Imagine a world where everybody sounded exactly the same when they spoke. What might that be like? Are there 'good' and 'bad' ways to speak? In this clip, listen to the opinions of many people about whether Australians have a bad accent.

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Why do we say the words the way we do?

What kinds of things might influence the way we pronounce words in English? Professor Kate Burridge explains why knowing when 'kilometre' came into English helps us to understand why it is pronounced differently from similar words such as 'kilogram' and 'centimetre'. She also explains what it means to 'barrack' for a team.

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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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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 ...

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Evolving English: the impact of television

Imagine if the English language never evolved. What would we be speaking? Possibly Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxon tribes, a language written down using runes known as the 'futhorc'. English continues to evolve, but it takes the media to bring new words into common usage. So which form of media is responsible ...

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The Awabakal language of the Newcastle area

The Awabakal language, once common in the area now known as Newcastle, was almost 'lost'. It is being brought back to life using old texts and translations left by an early missionary. In this audio clip, listen to a discussion about the importance of reconstructing the Awabakal language and the challenges this poses.

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Learning Dharug, Aboriginal language of Sydney

Imagine a time when the Aboriginal language Dharug was the official language spoken in the Sydney area. During this audio clip, reflect on how the language was considered almost 'lost', but (and) discover how Richard Green and others are piecing the Dharug language back together. Find out about how it is being taught at ...

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When is wrong grammar right?

Do adults or teachers ever correct how you say something? Do they tell you your grammar is wrong? Even when everybody you know says it that way? Find out who is wrong and who is right with language expert Professor Roly Sussex.

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Preserving 'Norf'k Laengwij'

Imagine living on a tiny island thousands of kilometres from the Australian mainland. Would you feel like you were part of Australia? This is the dilemma for people living on Norfolk Island, an Australian territory in the Pacific Ocean. In the past, Norfolk Islanders were expected to learn English - but, as this clip from ...

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Evolving English: where do new words come from?

What do you think the term Spanglish might mean? Or Chinglish? Or Franglais? Our language is constantly changing and one way in which it does so is by 'borrowing' words from other languages. In this clip, learn about our evolving language.

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Pronunciation wars

How much attention must broadcasters pay to the pronunciation of words? Watch language experts and ABC staff discussing the preferred pronunciation of 'Don Quixote', a fictional Spaniard who appears in the novel bearing his name and in several significant artistic works. This clip reveals the importance placed upon the ...

Interactive Resource

SpellingCity - iTunes app

Learn and practise your spelling, grammar and vocabulary with 10 multimodal spelling games. Build customised word lists and test yourself on your spelling. SpellingCity is a companion app for the www.spellingcity.com website. Free when reviewed 7/6/15.

Interactive Resource

SpellingCity - Google Play app

Learn and practise your spelling, grammar and vocabulary with 10 multimodal spelling games. Build customised word listsand test yourself on your spelling. SpellingCity is a companion app for the www.spellingcity.com website. Free when reviewed 7/6/15.

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BBC Skillswise: choosing '-able' or '-ible' endings - information sheet

This is a single-screen information sheet about the '-ible' and '-able' word endings for adjectives. It provides information and hints to help students choose the right ending. The information sheet gives examples of common 'ible' and 'able' words and explains that the '-able' ending is much more common.

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BBC Skillswise: using '-able' or '-ible' endings - worksheet

This is a single-screen worksheet about adding the correct '-able' or '-ible' word ending to common adjectives. The worksheet contains three passages of text that can be printed for students to add the correct ending to incomplete adjectives. Students can check their answers against an onscreen answer sheet.

Interactive Resource

Words in the 'degrade' family

This is an interactive spelling and vocabulary list of six words that form part of the 'degrade' word family. All the words are supported by learning activities. Mouseover allows the user to hear and see each word in the list and its spelling letter by letter, and hear its use in a sentence. The 'Flash Cards' button links ...

Interactive Resource

Words ending in '-aneous'

This is an interactive spelling and vocabulary list of six words containing the suffix '-eous'. All the words are supported by learning activities. Mouseover allows the user to hear and see each word in the list and its spelling letter by letter, and hear its use in a sentence. The 'Flash Cards' button links to onscreen ...

Interactive Resource

Words ending in '-graphy'

This is an interactive spelling and vocabulary list of six words illustrating the spelling of multisyllabic words ending in '-graphy'. All the words are supported by learning activities. Mouseover allows the user to hear and see each word in the list and its spelling letter by letter, and hear its use in a sentence. The ...