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Listed under:  Language  >  Natural languages  >  English language
Interactive resource

Aussie English for the beginner

This interactive resource allows students to explore the origins and meanings of common Australian words and idioms and to test their knowledge of Australian English. The definitions are provided by the Australian National Dictionary Centre and the cartoons are by David Pope.

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Influences on Australian English

How has Australian English evolved since colonisation? Language experts Bruce Moore and Sue Butler explore the impact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages have had on it. They discuss what this means for Australia's cultural identity. This clip was broadcast in 1998.

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Code-switching: a communication survival skill

Living in a country in which English is the dominant language, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have had to adapt the ways in which they communicate. But this isn't an easy task since there is more to language difference than the words we use. Explore this extraordinary skill in this clip, which is one in a ...

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Identity, connection and language

In many parts of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were prohibited from speaking their languages following British colonisation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Explore the consequences of this repression for Indigenous people in both the past and the present. This clip is one in a series of six.

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Associating pidgin, creole and Aboriginal English

Languages constantly evolve. The way we speak English in Australia is very different to the way British colonists spoke two hundred years ago. Who knows what we will sound like in another two hundred years! The Aboriginal English dialect has also evolved. Explore its journey in this clip, which is one in a series of six.

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Making a mark at Hippo's Yawn

Throughout history, people have deliberately made marks in the environment, to show or say something. Why and when might these marks be misunderstood or devalued by other people? In this clip, visit a place where some marks made by contemporary Aboriginal people have been treated as graffiti while others are not. This clip ...

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Expressing yourself in the only way you know how

In using Australian English, do schools unintentionally marginalise students whose first language is something other? How might Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students respond when their languages and dialects are neither recognised nor respected? Listen to the implications of treating Aboriginal English as somehow ...

Assessment resource

Improve our town: arguments: assessment

Test your understanding of the arguments concerning a community issue. Help a local council decide on a development proposal. Determine whether the best use of a demolition site in the centre of town will be for a park or for a mall. Talk to people in the local community to find out their opinions. Restate the reasons given ...

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Maggie's ABC book, 1894

This is a hand-drawn and hand-coloured children's alphabet book featuring pen, ink and watercolour drawings. The book is cloth-bound and inscribed on the cover: 'ABC / Maggie Harrison / 1894'. Inside the front cover is the inscription 'Miss Maggie Harrison, Argyle Terrace, Twerton-on-Avon, Bath, England'. On the facing ...

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'Making Do' panel from the Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by artist Murray Walker. The panel consists of images and handwritten words on a pale blue and gold background. The Eureka flag, made from fabric, forms the centrepiece of the design. Across the top are small ink drawings of items including a house, a windmill and toys. There are photographic ...

Interactive Resource

Languages online: Tetris game maker

This resource is a tool students can use to make their own Tetris computer game in which a player must correctly respond to a clue that appears after every fourth falling block. Clues can be text, pictures or audio. If the answer is correct, the game continues. If it is incorrect, a 'bomb' falls through the game space, ...

Interactive Resource

Languages online: matching game maker

Students can use this tool to make their own interactive matching game. In this game there are two columns, each containing six lines. To complete the game a player must drag lines to connect matching sets of text in each column. The game designer can type in their own text or include voice recordings in each column. Included ...

Interactive Resource

Languages online: comprehension task maker

Students can use this tool to create an interactive comprehension activity based on a text. The text can be up to 20 pages long and can include images and sound as well as print. Up to 20 true/false or multiple-choice comprehension questions can be included. The tool also provides three files for the student and teacher ...

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Vanishing words: the process of language change

The English language is full of strange contradictions and vanishing words. Have you ever wondered why we sometimes put words together that contradict each other, such as 'pretty awful' or 'terribly good'? If we can be 'ruthless', can we be 'ruthly' as well? Watch as Professor Kate Burridge explains these curious irregularities ...

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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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Word histories: how extraordinary!

Words can change over time and so can their meanings. The word 'extra' broke away from other words to become a word on its own. Professor Kate Burridge explains how this impacts on words like 'extraordinary'. She also explains the origins and meanings of the words 'hearse' and 'rehearse''.

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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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Challenging grammar rules, darlings and crowbars

Find out that what appears to be a straightforward grammar rule behind the use of the words 'fewer' and 'less' may not be as straightforward as it seems! Professor Kate Burridge explains that this grammar rule has been under challenge for centuries. She also explains the origins of the word 'darling' and why the 'crow' ...

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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.