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Listed under:  Language  >  English language
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English: an evolving language

In this clip, explore two viewpoints about the use of the English language, particularly in regards to punctuation. Should English remain a static language or is there room for a more flexible view of the 'rules' of English language?

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English: the global language?

Have you ever imagined how easy life in a globalised world would be if we all spoke the same language? Well, for many of the Earth's seven billion people this is fast becoming the reality. But what are the implications of a global language? In this clip, explore some of the issues related to language and power.

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History of the English language

This is a film and accompanying case study about the origin and development of the English language, especially the great number of words it has borrowed from other languages. Beginning with the source Indo-European languages, the film traces the birth and growth of English through the invasions of Britain and subsequent ...

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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.  

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One English language or many?

Do people around Australia all speak the same English? In this clip, explore the ways that language evolves and consider the impacts that other 'Englishes', such as British English and American English, can have on the way we speak.

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David Crystal: English as a global language

Imagine a world where everyone spoke English. It would make life a lot easier, right? But what would be lost in such a world? In this clip, explore the impact of English becoming a 'global' language. Listen to linguist Professor David Crystal as he considers ways in which English is likely to be influenced in the future.

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Using descriptive language to evoke mood and feeling

Is there a particular place or time of day that you love? How would you describe this place and time to someone to convey how you feel? What sort of mood would you want to create? The narrator in this video tells us she loves sunrise. How does she communicate this through the language she uses? What is the mood created?

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Where did English come from?

This short video for students traces English from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers

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What is debating?

Well, come along to round six of the 2015 National Schools Debating Championships to find out! What are the rules of debating? And what are the speakers judged on? As BTN reporter Carl Smith explains, in order to make a good argument, you need to try to prove that your ideas are right and your opposition's ideas are wrong. ...

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Why do we create poetry?

There are many reasons why you might write poetry. Maybe it's because you saw something beautiful and you want to share that feeling with others. Or maybe something funny happened to you on your way to school and you want to remember it. You don't have to be a creative genius to write poetry and you don't have to have the ...

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David Williamson on inspiration

Listen as David Williamson explains where he finds inspiration for his plays. What are his aims as a playwright?

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What is poetry?

It is easy to dismiss poetry as too difficult, but really all you have to do with poetry is read it and then think about how it makes you feel. Yes, there are rules to poetry, but there are rules to most things we enjoy. Watch this video as Matt from the Sydney Story Factory explains how writing poetry is just another way ...

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English Years 3 - 4 with Mrs Jegers: Inference Investigators

In this lesson, Mrs Jegers teaches you how to make connections when reading. She demonstrates how to use prior knowledge and clues from her character clue bag to make an inference, and she gives you some tips on how to be an inference investigator by making your own character clue bag.

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When is wrong grammar right?

Do adults or teachers ever correct how you say something? Do they tell you your grammar is wrong? Even when everybody you know says it that way? Find out who is wrong and who is right with language expert Professor Roly Sussex.

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Sounds

In poetry every word, syllable and sound counts! Poetry is usually much shorter than stories so it is important for a poet to convey as much as possible using as little as possible. Sounds can be a very powerful tool in expressing mood and emotion when used correctly. Watch as Matt from the Sydney Story Factory gives examples ...

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What is the biggest lesson Andy Griffiths has learnt?

Listen as Andy Griffiths reveals the biggest lesson he's learnt as a writer. What did he once think he needed to do to be successful? And what did he discover? Why does Andy believe that being yourself when you write is the most important thing?

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Pronunciation wars

How much attention must broadcasters pay to the pronunciation of words? Watch language experts and ABC staff discussing the preferred pronunciation of 'Don Quixote', a fictional Spaniard who appears in the novel bearing his name and in several significant artistic works. This clip reveals the importance placed upon the ...

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Ways of talking

The ways that people talk can reveal much about themselves, and can also cause strong responses in listeners. Julian Burnside reads from his book 'Word watching' about the controversy over the pronunciation of the letter 'h', and how the pronunciation of words starting with 'h' has changed over the centuries. He suggests ...

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English Years 3 - 4 with Mrs Jegers: Curious Questioners

In this lesson, Mrs Jegers teaches you how to ask questions to identify information from images. She demonstrates the "See, Think, Wonder" routine to help you ask great questions, and she gives you ideas for using the "See, Think, Wonder" routine at home.

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English Years 3 - 4 with Mrs Jegers: Syllable Surfing

In this lesson, Mrs Jegers teaches you how to monitor your understanding when you're reading. She takes you on a smooth ride, demonstrating how to be a syllable surfer by breaking down larger words by identifying vowel sounds and syllables.