Culture & Lifestyle

Australian Culture and Lifestyle resources

One of the best ways to explore and access this is to involve real Australians. This may mean excursions – even just within walking distance from your classroom –  but there are also other ways to bring ‘real Australians’ into the classroom. Ideas, with related topic content, are listed below:

Australian Cultural Dictionary

  • This dictionary is designed for people who are living, or who are going to live, in Australia. We hope it will be particularly useful for international students.  http://www.culturaldictionary.org

Aboriginal culture

ANZAC Day

Australia and the world

  • Compare living conditions between countries – great for work on comparisons at various levels or just seeing how other countries compare to Australia. http://www.ifitweremyhome.com/

Australian culture

  • Campus survey: Students love interviewing Australians about culture, even at low levels. Students can decide on the area(s) of culture, e.g., sport, transport, parenting, finding a spouse(!)
  • Interviews: “Interview an Aussie Day”. Great for students to see how ‘diverse’ Aussie are.
  • Videoconferencing: Connect with other Australian classes via video conferencing NB: Vivian (@vivimat78) works in a high school. We thought her classes might be interested in talking to adult EFL classes as part of a cultural exchange project, where they can interview each other on their knowledge/experiences. This could be a fantastic opportunity, so please think about contacting Vivian if this is something you would like to explore.
  • Articles: Of course you can see the authentic articles on the News & Articles page, but MaryGlasgowMags, who create magazines for schools have a page of Australia-related texts here. You get 5 free downloads, so why not?! http://pinterest.com/maryglasgowmags/australia-day/
  • They’re a Weird Mob (1957 book, 1966 film) – A bit dated now, but the story’s depiction of the struggles of a migrant who has learnt ‘proper’ English to understand Australian English (as well as understand Australian culture) still rings true. [The link here is to Australian Screen website which has 3 clips from the film, with accompanying transcript & teacher notes.]
  • Language (see also the Expressions and Idioms page, and the Pronunciation page) eg: Australia Day McDonald’s ad: This one could be good with advanced learners, exposure to accent, rhyme & of course some common slang – can also look at common Aussie -o words (ambo, sambo, arvo, relo etc.) The ad text is: “Here’s Gazza the ambo who’s pulled an all-nighter./Nan and mum with the ankle biter./Stevo from Paddo on a break from a reno,/havin’ a chinwag with the visiting relos./Back from the Murray are Hoddy ‘n’ Binny,/with pav McFlurries ‘n’ towin’ a tinnie./Porko ‘n’ Simmo in a ute that’s chockers./Best behaviour fellas: these two are coppers./Yep, there’s Jimbos ‘n’ Bennos ‘n’ Rachs ‘n’ Ackers./But there’s only one place on earth where you can get Macca’s.”
  • Latest census statistics as an interesting video infographic with comprehension and discussion questions: Australia Street The voiceover is pretty quick so best for higher levels. 
  • Australia Plus
    “Produced by the ABC, AustraliaPlus.com shares stories that reveal the culture, life and society of Australia to inform, inspire and include the diverse audiences of Australia and our region.”

Beach safety

Christmas in Australia

… NEWS:

… SONGS:

  • We wish you a ripper Christmas by Bucko And Champs (song on YouTube)
    – Shared by Mignon Butler: “For a fun Aussie Xmas song to teach your S’s, ‘We wish you a ripper Christmas ‘ is at the top of my list”
  • Aussie Jingle Bells by Bucko And Champs (song on YouTube)
    – Shared by Mignon Butler: “‘Aussie Jingle Bells’ by the same musicians is a hoot as well”
  • White Wine In The Sun by Tim Minchin (song on YouTube)
    – Shared by Rachael Adams: “Obviously for a particular group, but this brings back so many great Christmas memories. As for grammar, present tense for describing preferences and some future continuous.”
  • Summer Wonderland (song/video from Air New Zealand, featuring Ronan Keating)
    “Finally a festive tune we can get behind here in the Southern Hemisphere, where the pavs are a-plenty, the sun’s a-shining and the bros are a-glistening.”
    A downloadable mp3 is available, also lyrics and sheet music.
    – Shared by Nicki Blake: “Compare and contrast Northern Hemisphere Christmas with Southern Hemisphere Christmas. Perhaps get students to write their own lyrics?”
  • Australia’s Christmas Day by The Borderers (song on YouTube) Lyrics PDF
    Lovely song about celebrating Christmas in Australia, far away from family, the essence of giving, and the one day we have the chance to unite.
    – Shared by @cioccas
  • Christmas in Australia by Tom, Ellen and the Spice time Band (song on YouTube)
    Tom, Ellen and the Spice time Band celebrating Christmas in Australia. A new version of ‘Jingle Bells’ sung by some visitors from the UK judging by the accents. Check the lyrics before playing in class.

Coins

  • This is a no-prep warmer of 5-15 mins. See notes here.

Cross-cultural communication

  • Cross-cultural communication videos
  • These videos were created by students in the Cross-cultural communication unit (LNGS 2617) offered by the Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, under the supervision of Dr. Ahmar Mahboob.  These videos can serve as a great resource for class activities and discussions as well as for professional training (across a range of fields).
    • Adjusting to Australian Uni Life: Tips for International and Local Students
    • International Students vs Australian Slang
    • The Integrated Workplace: Australia and India Combined
    • The Cross Cultural Issues Faced by Sydney Taxi Drivers
    • JET Programme Problems

Drop Bears

  • These might be useful to demonstrate how language and genre is used to present fictitious information as fact, especially for EAP and work on digital literacy
    • Drop bears target tourists, study says (Australian Geographic, 1 April  2013)
      ‘Drop bears are less likely to attack people with Australian accents, according to experts at the University of Tasmania”
    • Animal Species:Drop Bear (Australian Museum)
      “The Drop Bear, Thylarctos plummetus, is a large, arboreal, predatory marsupial related to the Koala.”
    • Drop bear (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
  • For more ideas to expand on this for a lesson, see Nicky Hockly’s digital literacy lesson based on a similar idea: Digital literacies 2: The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Food 

  • Cultural ideas: Cook, bring in, share, an ‘International Food Day’ at your school
  • Language focus: imperatives, sequencing, writing reviews, comparison
  • Study skills: research, presentations
  • Useful sites: All Down Under – food section

Magpie awareness

Melbourne Cup

Names

Remembrance Day

Sounds of Australia from NFSA

  • A mix of songs, speeches and many other sounds, the Sounds of Australia (formerly known as the National Registry of Recorded Sound) is the NFSA’s selection of sound recordings with cultural, historical and aesthetic significance and relevance, which inform or reflect life in Australia. Each year, the Australian public nominates new sounds to be added with final selections determined by a panel of industry experts.

Tax and Superannuation

Tourist attractions 



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