Australia, with its topsy-turvy seasons and love of sport and the great outdoors, is a rich subject for language and cultural learning.
Australia Day on 26 January is a great time for some Oz-themed resources.
This is a nice easy short video about finding your own way to celebrate Australia Day. From A2.
This is an excellent interactive quiz game about Australian symbols, holidays and traditions.
For each question, players can click to get simple information about the photo and choose to keep or eliminate it to work towards the answer to a question. (For example, “I’m unique to Australia”, they keep kangaroo and Sydney Opera House but not opals. Usable from A2.
For 2017, Australia Day organisers in Sydney are encouraging the public to learn a song in the local Aboriginal language.
In this video, there’s an interesting explanation of what the song symbolises in English before the performance. B2
There is a downloadable 2-min video documentary about songlines on the this Australian education site. Usable from B1.
This is an excellent site accompanying short films of songline stories from different Aboriginal communities. The videos are extracts, but useful as they are. All the videos are a little slow to load for streaming. It’s best to let them load fully before playing.
Particularly useful in a classroom context for EFL learners:
Naji: The onscreen text explanation of the story (in capital letters) is very simple, feasible from A2. The video is very visual. There are subtitles because the elder telling the story has an elderly voice and strong accent.
Wardbukkarra: The text is more sophisticated here (B1 up) but the video mirrors the main points of it, so provides reinforcement.
This is a really clear, interesting explanation of songlines by an Aboriginal lecturer. He speaks clearly but very fast, so it’s not suitable under B2 level. It fits well into a theme on Mythes et héroes, but also into ecological themes, as well as anything about Australia or indigenous peoples.
A song about Christmas in the sun:
Audios > A1+ > Rencontres avec d’autres cultures > Chansons > Christmas in Australia
Two Australian boys from Sydney describing their daily routine, school day and leisure activities. The two slightly different levels make them perfect for different level groups within a class:
Audios > A1+ > École et société > Témoignages > Jack’s Day (Australia)
Audios > A2 > École et société > Témoignages > Nicholas’s Day (Australia)
An extract of a speech given to the Parliament Canberra in 2008 by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologising to the Aboriginal community for the atrocious treatment they received in the past.
Audios > B1 > Rencontres avec d’autres cultures > Témoignages > Saying Sorry
There are also articles on Australia in general, and an organisation that takes classes on immersion trips in traditional Aboriginal communities. Each article is presented in three versions: A1+, A2, B1.
Articles de presse > A1+, A2, B1 > Langues et cultures étrangères et régionales > “Awesome Australia”.
Articles de presse > A1+, A2, B1 > Information, Communication, citoyenneté > “Classes Visit Australian Aborigines”.
Spirit of Australia
The Give me five 4e textbook has a whole unit on the Spirit of Australia, which can work in combination with any of these resources.
Download a sample double-page here.
> School of the Air in Australia