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Can We Help?: Words and sayings over time

Have you ever wondered where sayings like 'hanging by the skin of your teeth' come from? Professor Kate Burridge explains the origin and meaning of this saying. She also explains the opposite word (antonym) to 'misogynist' (someone who hates or has a long and deep prejudice against women) and the origins of the word 'goodbye'.

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Can We Help?: 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 ...

Audio

Big Ideas: Evolving English and 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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Can We Help?: Got or gotten? What a nightmare!

Words have a history. Knowing their history helps us to understand what they mean and why some people use them in different ways. Professor Kate Burridge explains how the use of the past tense of the verb 'get' (gotten) has changed, but is still in use by many people. She also discusses the history of the word 'nightmare'.

Interactive

Little Stars - Word Wizard - iTunes app

Learn and practise spelling and word recognition, on your own or with a partner, in this space-themed game. Answer questions to move your rocket ship and earn stickers on the way. Includes over 150 CVC words. Free when reviewed 6/6/15.

Interactive

Phonics Fun 4 - iTunes app

Learn letter sounds and rime as you tap pictures and hear letter sounds. Match the letters and sounds to the pictures. Covers 9 letter sounds (a, e, i, o, u, qu, sh, z, v), 5 rimes (ip, ot, x, at, un) in 75 words. Free when reviewed 6/6/15.

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Can We Help?: Dude: American words and pronunciations

Where does the word 'dude' come from? Why do speakers of English often pronounce words differently depending on their country of origin - not only because of their accent? Find out with Professor Kate Burridge when she takes on these questions from viewers.

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How many versions of the English language are there?

Did you know that in Australia the way we use, pronounce and spell some words is different from the way they are used, pronounced and spelt in America? Can you list all the countries in the world where English is used? See if you can think of countries not mentioned in this clip.  

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Can We Help?: Changing letter sounds and butterflies

Have you ever wondered why you can't just add a prefix such as 'in-' to the beginning of a word to make its opposite? Professor Kate Burridge explains how a prefix is influenced by the sound of the letters that come after it. She also gives two explanations about the origins of the word 'butterfly'.

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Can We Help?: From possessive apostrophes to discombobulation!

People often worry about the use of apostrophes. See how Professor Kate Burridge answers a question about how to use the apostrophes after certain names, telling us how the rule has changed over time. She also explains the origins of the word 'discombobulate' and why the plural of house is not 'hice'.

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Can We Help?: 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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Can We Help?: 'Bought' or 'brought' and radio code

Changes in the use, pronunciation, and meaning of common everyday English words happen all the time. Professor Kate Burridge explains that we can see this in the way people increasingly switch the past tense of the verbs 'buy' and 'bring'. She also answers a viewer's question about why 'Roger' is used on two-way and CB radios.

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ABC News: Julia Gillard addresses misogyny in parliament

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard's 2012 address to Parliament, in which she described the Federal Opposition's criticism of her support for controversial politician Peter Slipper as being misogynistic, proved to be one her most memorable. The speech went viral and was reported widely in international media, scoring over ...

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English Year F with Leanne: Decoding unfamiliar words using onset and rime

In this lesson, you will learn how to decode unfamiliar words by breaking them up into onset (the starting sound) and rime (the ending of words). Leanne demonstrates how to build and read new words by changing the onset. She provides opportunities for you to have a go at home.

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Voice of the People: 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.

Video

Can We Help?: 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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Can We Help?: 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''.

Audio

Radio National: Different meanings for the same word

<span style="line-height: 1.4;">You've heard people speaking English with different accents, but have you noticed that the differences in accent come down to the way words are pronounced? Listen to this interview with linguist David Crystal and find out about accents and why the same word can mean something different or ...

Online

TrackSAFE Education Primary School Resources: Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 English

This unit of work focuses on developing student understanding of the importance of being track safe and the key message 'Stop, Look, Listen, Think'. It builds students' familiarity with the vocabulary and key concepts related to rail safety and provides differentiated activities for writers at different stages of development ...

Online

TrackSAFE Education Primary School Resources: Year 5 and Year 6 English

This unit of work focuses on the influences that impact on safe behaviours in and around tracks, platforms and trains. Guided activities build students' rail safety vocabulary including grammar and word building. Modelled writing activities support students to shape a research-based inquiry investigating factors that impact ...