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Interactive

Languages online: comprehension task maker

Students can use this tool to create an interactive comprehension activity based on a text. The text can be up to 20 pages long and can include images and sound as well as print. Up to 20 true/false or multiple-choice comprehension questions can be included. The tool also provides three files for the student and teacher ...

Interactive

Languages online: Tetris game maker

This resource is a tool students can use to make their own Tetris computer game in which a player must correctly respond to a clue that appears after every fourth falling block. Clues can be text, pictures or audio. If the answer is correct, the game continues. If it is incorrect, a 'bomb' falls through the game space, ...

Video

Writing drafts with Sally Rippin

Listen as Sally Rippin describes how her reading feeds into her writing. Why does she sometimes stop reading when she's in the early stages of writing a new story? Do you write a few drafts of your stories before you get to your final version? What does Sally say about the first draft of a story?

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How to Build Stories, Ch 6: Giving your story a heart

Emotions help create connections with your audience. So filling your stories with your hopes, dreams and fears can make your stories more relatable and memorable for your readers. Find out more with this fantastic video!

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How to Build Stories, Ch 1: What is a story?

Stories are all around us and they're happening all the time. But what exactly is a story? Stories teach and explain things, create emotion and entertain us. Watch this wonderful video and find out more.

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Four Corners: Core speech with extras, thanks

A national survey in the 1960s indicated that the use of spoken English was surprisingly similar throughout Australia. This challenged the notion of 'regionalism', which suggested that people from different places would use language in different ways. In this clip, two leading academics discuss regionalism and suggest that ...

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How to Build Stories, Ch 5: Using language to flavour your story

Language is like the flavour of a story. It helps relate your imagination to readers in a way they'll understand. But you have to add the right flavours; otherwise your story will be like a bad meal. Learn how to write what you want your readers to imagine and feel.

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Can We Help?: The keys to clearer explanations

G'day cobber! Are you a true-blue, dinky-di Aussie? Australian slang can be quite bewildering for anyone who is new to this country and even for those who've lived here quite a while. In this clip Professor Kate Burridge explores how to use verbal and non-verbal language to explain difficult concepts.

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Can We Help?: Vanishing words: the process of language change

The English language is full of strange contradictions and vanishing words. Have you ever wondered why we sometimes put words together that contradict each other, such as 'pretty awful' or 'terribly good'? If we can be 'ruthless', can we be 'ruthly' as well? Watch as Professor Kate Burridge explains these curious irregularities ...

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Representing diversity with Sally Rippin

How important do you think it is for writers to represent a diversity of experiences and perspectives in their books? What does Sally Rippin say about the world she represents in her stories? Who are the characters she writes and illustrates?

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Developing script ideas with Hannie Rayson

How do you come up with ideas to write about? Watch this clip to find out how Australian playwright and screenwriter Hannie Rayson begins her writing process. She begins with a "big question" - if you were writing a play, what big question would you ask?

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Can We Help?: Golly gosh, what do those sayings mean?

Have you ever wondered where sayings like 'golly gosh', 'by gum' or 'drat' come from? In this video, Professor Kate Burridge explains the origins and meaning of these and other sayings. She also explains the history of the pronoun 'you'.

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Can We Help?: Conquest: the process of language change

When the Normans conquered England in 1066, they brought a lot more than fancy clothes and castles; they also brought the French language. Discover the impact that this momentous event continues to have today.

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Can We Help?: Subjunctivitis! Fact or 'Furphy'?

Why is 'were' used in 'If I were king' and what is the subjunctive? What do water sources and gossip have in common? If you don't know then you need to watch and listen as Professor Kate Burridge and Peter Rowsthorn explore these questions.

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Can We Help?: 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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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.  

Audio

Radio National: Gender convergence in teenager swearing

Explore how the use of swearing by teenagers is changing. Maria Zijlstra talks to Mike Thelwall, Professor of Information Science at the University of Wolverhampton, about the upsurge in swearing on social networking sites, especially among girls. He contends that, in the UK in particular, swearing is losing its shock value ...

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Rebecca Lim's spooky themes

Do you enjoy reading spooky stories? Listen to Rebecca Lim as she describes how her half-memories, reading experiences and imagination come together to inspire her.

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Story development and plot holes with Andy Griffiths

How do you move your characters forward in a story? A trick Andy Griffiths uses is asking a lot of questions. His favourite question to ask is "what's the worst thing that can happen next?" Try asking yourself that question if you get stuck when writing your next story. In this clip Andy also talks about plot holes. What ...

Video

Creating characters with Sally Rippin

Listen as Sally Rippin talks about how her characters come to life. What does she say about the link between the writer and the characters they create? Why does she say that imagination is like a muscle?