British, Australian and North American English. What’s the difference?

As an Australian born English teacher I am often asked by my students to teach them about Australian English and slang. This document  explains the main features of Australian English (AusA) and compares to British English (BrE) and North American English (NAmE).

The differences between all three varieties of English can be found in four main categories:

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Pronunciation differences
  3. Spelling differences
  4. Grammar differences

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Do you know the world population?

countries-by-population-size-1.pngIn my English teaching we often have the topic of world population and how many people live in Australia, Sydney or the student’s own country.

Here is a quick quiz: Do you know the world population now (in April 2018) in billion? (a) 6 (b) 7.5  (c) 8  (d) 8.5

Which are the 5 most populated countries?

What is the population of Australia?   23, 24, 25 or 26 million?

What is the population of your country?

You should know the answers to these general knowledge questions! Read on for the facts.

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Days observed in Australia

Australia has many public holidays and I wrote about these in an earlier blog post. There are many other days observed each year including religious holidays but these are not public holidays.

Chinese New Year  – Valentines Day – St Patrick’s Day  –  Harmony Day –  Mother’s Day –  Father’s Day – HalloweenMelbourne Cup – Remembrance Day

In this article I am writing about the days observed  here in Australia and these days are especially popular for various kinds of businesses. Australia is multi-cultural so there are special days for Catholics, Jews, Muslims and  Hindus.

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Public Holidays in New South Wales

How many public holidays are there in New South Wales? The short answer is that I miss 9 working days in one year.

There are many public holidays celebrated on the same date in all states of Australia such as Australia Day and Easter.

There are some holidays with different dates in each state, e.g.  Labour Day.

Victoria has Melbourne Cup Day – a public holiday on the first Tuesday of November to celebrate a horse race!  Can you believe it?

Here is the list of public holidays observed in New South Wales.

  • New Year’s Day
  • Australia Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday   (Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday fall on the weekend, not weekdays)
  • Anzac Day
  • Queen’s Birthday
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

New Year’s Eve is not a public holiday but employers usually let workers leave early to celebrate and attend parties.

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Top 10 Inventions of the past 100 years

inventorWhat do you think are the most important inventions of the last 100 years?

In a recent ESL lesson I asked the students to discuss what they thought were the most important inventions.  Naturally they named the mobile phone as something they couldn’t live without.

I showed the following video, but before you watch it make your list of the greatest and most practical innovations.  You can find the top 10 list at the end of the article.

What would life be like without this invention?

How would it impact your life?

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My favourite Korean films

KoreanFIlms.pngIn this article I share a list of my favourite Korean movies.

I have loved World movies for most of my life and discovered Japanese cinema in my early 20’s with the movies of Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu.

In later years I explored the cinema of mainland China and Taiwan.

I have only been watching Korean movies in the last five years mainly on DVDs borrowed from Stanton Library (sourced from Madman Entertainment)  and now on YouTube and other web sites.

A few years ago a took a free course at the Korean Cultural Centre in Sydney  conducted by Russell Edwards, a Sydney based film critic. He showed clips from many Korean films including what he called the “classic” films.

My overall impression of Korean cinema is that too many films are overly violent, dark or depressing. I didn’t enjoy a lot of them but I did find some which I enjoyed and recommend.

I have included links to Wikipedia articles for more information and links to YouTube where the movie can be watched online with English subtitles.

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