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Culture and Lifestyle

Page history last edited by Lesley Cioccarelli 8 years, 6 months ago Saved with comment





General lifestyle and culture

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

  • Get local Aboriginal community figures to come in and talk to students.




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 in 2013.
  • Articles: Of course you can see the authentic articles page here. 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. 


Beach safety

  • Swimming is a cultural experience for many students; need to do early on; awareness can save lives. Part of a focus on beach safety can involve getting local life savers to come in to the college (see AMES' Beach Safety unit of work below)
  • Beach Safety Workbook - 4 units of work developed by AMES NSW - free downloadable workbook and audio! 
  • Surf Lifesaving’s Beachsafe app
  • Don't get sucked in by the rip this summer - article from The Conversation, Jan 2014



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


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



  • 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 


Melbourne Cup


Tourist attractions 


Magpie awareness


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/

Drop Bears


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.




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