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Video

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 ...

Video

Are silent letters part of an evil plan?

The evil magician Wordlock explains his plan to destroy the alphabet with silent letters. Wordlock's assistant Miss Spelt tries to point out a problem with his plan. Will Wordlock listen to reason?

Video

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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Chloe's spelling secret

Listen to the clues and discover how the Word Squad detectives solved the mystery of the missing letters in 'ch' words. Meet Miss Pronounced, the new secretary. Does she really want to help the detectives discover the 'ch' thief?

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Wrestling the amazing silent letters

Mr Wren teaches wrestling, using lots of 'w' words. You might notice something amazing about the words Mr Wren writes on his board. They all begin with the letter 'w' but when Mr Wren reads them, you will hear a different sound. Find out what's going on at Wren's Wrestling School.

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Making it through customs

Find out what happens when a man returns to Australia carrying some secret items. His suitcase is searched in the customs office. What will the customs officer find that makes them both so annoyed?

Video

Think ink

This short animation shows some tricks with the 'ink' family of words. How many 'ink' words can you think of? Don't wink or blink, you might find a few surprises in this clip from The Magic Bag.

Video

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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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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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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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'.

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 ...

Video

The word again, Mrs Boltcutter

Mrs Boltcutter has a sore throat. Her doctor needs her to say a word so he can find out what the problem is. In this clip from The Magic Bag, find out why Mrs Boltcutter has such trouble saying the word. Or was she playing a game after all?

Video

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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What's the plural for 'octopus'?

Do you know what the plural for octopus is? What about the plural for platypus? See if you can guess the plurals for both before you watch this video. What were your reasons for choosing the plurals you did?

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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'.

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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.  

Video

Made in Australia

Ian the magician tries a trick with three pieces of silk. What will he make in his magic tube? Watch him carefully in case he makes a mistake.

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.