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Listed under:  Language conventions
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Formal vs Informal Writing: What's the Difference and When to Use Them

Before you start writing any article, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is "Who's my audience?" Answering this question will help you decide if you should use a formal or an informal writing style. This resource explores this and other questions to be answered before writing, such as 'What's the best way ...

Audio

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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Ways of talking

The ways that people talk can reveal much about themselves, and can also cause strong responses in listeners. Julian Burnside reads from his book 'Word watching' about the controversy over the pronunciation of the letter 'h', and how the pronunciation of words starting with 'h' has changed over the centuries. He suggests ...

Audio

Gender convergence in teenager swearing

Explore how the use of swearing by teenagers is changing. Maria Zijlstra talks to Mike Thelwall, Professor of Information Science at the University of Wolverhampton, about the upsurge in swearing on social networking sites, especially among girls. He contends that, in the UK in particular, swearing is losing its shock value ...

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My Place - Episode 16: 1858: Benjamin, Working together

Ben and Leck work together to repair Mr Owen's broken clock. Leck corrects Ben on the truth behind the ugly stereotype he learned from Mr Wilson.

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TXT spelling: the end of formal education?

Should students be allowed to use text-message spelling in an exam? It's not uncommon for older generations to disapprove of the ways that younger people mould language to fit their lifestyles. Using this news report, explore the 2006 controversy surrounding plans to allow New Zealand students to use text-message spelling ...

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Word on internet slang

Do your parents understand what you are saying in a text to your friends? LOL. The way we communicate and use technology affects the way we use language. The same message can be written differently on a computer screen or a phone screen. Mark McCrindle's book 'Word Up' tracks changes in language use due to online communications.

Interactive

Syllabus bites: Active and passive voice

A web page with information, teacher guides and activities on writing sentences using the active and passive voice. This resource supports the BOS NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum in English K–10.

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My Place - Episode 17: 1848: Johanna, My father's house

Johanna asks a number of locals about her father but is concerned by the inconsistencies in the information she receives. When she confronts her grandmother about her father, she is given just one enigmatic fact. Johanna's aunt dresses her down for her pranks.

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My Place - Episode 21: 1808: Sarah, Sarah's life

Sarah is dropped off at her new place of employment but makes a poor first impression on her new employer, Mrs Owen. While doing her chores she meets Mrs Owen's sickly daughter, Alice.

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My Place - Episode 21: 1808: Sarah, Seashells

After their outdoor adventure, Sarah and Alice have a moment of companionship but it is quickly ruined when Alice exerts her power over Sarah's position.

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My Place - Episode 18: 1838: Davey, Horsewhipping

Mr Owen has Davey demonstrate whip cracking to his grandsons but then gives Davey some sad news about his favourite horse, Duchess. Despite Davey's protestations, Duchess is headed for the tannery.

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The keys to clearer explanations

G'day cobber! Are you a true-blue, dinky-di Aussie? Australian slang can be quite bewildering for anyone who is new to this country and even for those who've lived here quite a while. In this clip Professor Kate Burridge explores how to use verbal and non-verbal language to explain difficult concepts.

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My Place - Episode 22: 1798: Sam, Milking time

Sam enters Mr Owen's house through a hole in the roof and is amazed when he sees his reflection for the first time. After failing to milk the goat, Sam has a difficult night's sleep on his new bed. He uses his ingenuity to dig hard ground.

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My Place - Episode 25: Before Time: Bunda, Fishing

At the creek, Bunda's father tells him and his brother to catch a fish. Each uses a different method of fishing and Bunda's method of building a small dam proves to be the most successful. Their father is annoyed that they are not working together.

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My Place - Episode 25: Before Time: Bunda, Water

Bunda and his brother Garadi are competing with each other to find the best method of transporting water. Bunda constructs a raft to carry the water down the river, while his brother carries his water on foot. Bunda's father then tells his sons to bring him something that takes two to get.

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My Place - Episode 15: 1868: Minna, The legend of Bloody Mary

Minna and some of her friends play the game 'Bloody Mary' and scare each other with stories about what she is like. After Minna breaks their mirror, she decides to give the neighbourhood boys a fright by crawling under their house and making strange noises.

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English: the global language?

Have you ever imagined how easy life in a globalised world would be if we all spoke the same language? Well, for many of the Earth's seven billion people this is fast becoming the reality. But what are the implications of a global language? In this clip, explore some of the issues related to language and power.

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My Place - Episode 19: 1828: Alice, The bets

Alice is training her piglet Wilhelmina for the pig race but is unable to convince any of the local workers to bet any money on her. Freddie the bookie is concerned at the thought of losing money as most of the locals have bet on Oink, the favourite.

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My Place - Episode 17: 1848: Johanna, Torment

Johanna carries out a variety of chores around town. While delivering vegetables, she overhears a piece of gossip about her father. The local boys tease and attack her because of her bright red hair.