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Listed under:  Language  >  Language proficiency  >  Vocabularies
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Using and understanding words in context

Have you ever noticed that certain words are relevant to particular topics or contexts? View this clip to find out ten words associated with shearing and the sheep industry.

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What happened to her hanky and his cravat?

Discover what goes wrong when Ian the magician performs a cutting trick using things that belong to Natalie and Banjo. The magician ruins her hanky and his cravat. Can he fix their things? See how the words 'his', 'her' and 'their' are used in this clip.

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Gateway to Chinese

This website is a collection of resources that practise the skills of pronunciation, listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary for beginning Chinese language learners. The linked resources provide both characters and Pinyin for reading and are accompanied with audio to listen to the Chinese as well. This resource is part ...

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Build your vocabulary!

What is the importance of having a good vocabulary? A good vocabulary helps us to be better communicators. Imagine living in a world where people only know a handful of words - communicating with each other would be much more difficult! See if you can build your own vocabulary with the use of a vocabulary notebook.

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Minority groups

This is a learning object that explores the social, cultural, geographical and historical context of some of China's different ethnic groups though eight locations on a map of China. The resource offers two audio tours of its locations, narrated in Chinese by a guide and a visitor, supported by simplified characters and ...

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Chinatown

This is a learning object that explores a Chinese garden, pharmacy, restaurant, bookshop, gift shop and internet cafe, as well as Chinese signs and shrines, through the context of an Australian Chinatown. Each location contains bilingual information and bilingual captioned images, which can be saved to a tool known as a ...

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Food and drink

This is a learning object that explores Chinese food and drink through the context of preparations for a party, from shopping for food, how it is grown, prepared and cooked, through to eating. The resource offers two audio tours of its eight locations, narrated by two Chinese teenagers in Chinese, supported by simplified ...

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What your language says about you

Do you know what a 'bevan' is? Or are you more familiar with 'bogans', 'westies', 'chiggers' or 'boonies'? These are all terms used to describe the same kind of person. How is it that different places in Australia develop different expressions? In this clip, explore some of the reasons behind Queensland's colloquialisms.

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Can you guess the mystery sound?

Join Harry Spellbound as he tries to win a prize on a game show called The Mystery Sound. Can Harry use the three word clues to guess the mystery sound? Can you?

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Beijing zoo

This is a learning object that explores the appearance, habitat, diet and conservation of eight Chinese indigenous animals housed in a zoo. The resource offers two audio tours of the zoo: tour 1 is in Chinese, supported by simplified characters and pinyin text; tour 2 is in English supported by English text, and analyses ...

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The Go family

Have you met the Go family before? Old man Go, his wife Going and their two children, Goes and Gone, all live together with their cousin, Went. Find out what happens when Went goes away. Can the Go family live without Went?

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The mystery of his and her tissue paper

Prepare to be amazed, as Ian the magician performs a surprising trick with two pieces of tissue paper. Rachel's is yellow and Steven's is green. Keep your eyes on the tissue so you don't confuse hers with his.

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Is it today or tomorrow?

Discover all you need to know about today and tomorrow from the expert who knows everything. Don't wait until tomorrow if you have time today. You must watch this clip now, before today becomes yesterday!

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Angkor: exploring vocabulary

Watch this clip about Angkor, an area in Cambodia that contains a famous and ancient temple complex, to help develop your vocabulary. The clip focuses on the effects of tourism and provides a useful context for the study of English. The report includes content-specific language.

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A song about flying foxes

Have you seen a flying fox which is a type of fruit bat? Don Spencer uses descriptive words and phrases in his flying fox song to help us understand these animals and explore a day in their life.

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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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The case of the stolen letters

Join Word Squad detectives Charlie Syntax and Inspector Lexicon as they try to catch a letter thief. Mr X has been stealing letters from signs around the city. In this clip you'll see which letters have already gone and watch some letters going. Can you guess which letter will go next or work out where Charlie goes?

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Ian McEwan's 'perfect thing'

What does it take to be a great writer? Ian McEwan is the author of several prizewinning novels and screenplays, and was identified by 'The Times' of London as one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. In this conversation with journalist and presenter Jennifer Byrne, Ian discusses what he thinks it takes to be ...

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A song about platypus

Watch as a platypus emerges from its burrow on the bank of a billabong (small lake). As you watch, listen to Don Spencer's song as he describes seeing a platypus and explores its unusual looks.

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Weather and where we live

This is a unit of work about weather and its effects. Intended for the early years and written with a global education focus, the resource consists of five single- or multi-lesson activities, titled: Weather concepts and words; Changes in the sky; Houses to suit the weather; How does the drought affect living things?; and ...