If you are thinking about going to Australia you’ll need to know what to expect with the Australian accent and slang expressions. Or maybe you want to learn more about the culture and amazing lifestyle that only Australia has to offer?
Familiarizing yourself with Australian English and culture doesn’t have to be so difficult. Through different types of media, you can start to understand the way Australians speak, and learn about all the different expressions Aussies use on a day to day basis.
In this article you are going to see how much you can learn about Australian English, culture and lifestyle without even having to go there. From your computer chair you’re going to be exposed to Australian English through:
- Australian TV shows
- Australian news programs
- Australian movies
- Australian radio stations
All these things I mentioned can be a little hard to find as Australian T.V. shows and movies aren’t as popular internationally as the media we are exposed to from the U.S.A.
Many of my students or friends that go to Australia are often surprised to find out that Australia actually has a very large film industry, and that we even have soap operas that are just as lame as the ones you find in other parts of the world.
For a full list of Australian TV shows click here
T.V. shows and Soap Operas
In Australia there are many different types of TV shows. We have sports shows, drama, romance, action, a lot of game shows, realty TV shows, everything you could think of, Australian TV has probably got it.
When it comes to Soap Operas, the most popular are, “Neighbours” and “Home and Away.” These TV shows have been playing on Australian TV for decades. Both are a great way to practice your English as both shows are set in small cities and the language they use is very typical in Australia.
Pick up some great vocabulary and colloquial terms while being entertained by the personal and professional lives of a group of people who live on the same street.
Neighbours is set in the city of Melbourne, in a fictional neighbourhood called Erinsborough. The good thing about this show is that you can learn about the language and Australian lifestyle from people of all ages as the characters in the show are very diverse.
The show tells us the story of the lives of everyone who lives on Ramsay street. Like any other soap opera, it’s filled with stories of love and hate, lying and cheating, moments of happiness and turmoil.
Learn more about Neighbours here.
Watch this video on Youtube
Home and Away
“Home and Away” will give you a different look into Australian culture because it is set in a coastal town in the state of New South Wales making it a great option to learn about Australian beach culture.
“H&A” tells the story of people’s lives from the town of Summer Bay. Although it’s intended for teenagers, as a lot of the drama is focused on adolescent problems, people of all agers find it enjoyable to watch.
Sunrise is a morning news program, but is often called a breakfast show due to its casual presentation. The main host is David Kosh, who has become nationally famous for his comical sense of humor, which is considered typically Australian.
Most of the topics discussed on the program aren’t so serious and quite often tabloid. They also have sections of the program that are focused on sports, music, and economy.
This program is watched by many Australians daily and has something interesting for people of all ages.
Watch live streamings of Sunrise everyday on their official website. Click here
The Australian film industry has grown a lot recently, but like many other English speaking countries, it has a lot of difficulty competing with Hollywood.
When I suggest Australian movies for my students to watch, I generally tell them to watch movies that are somehow related to Australian culture, history or films made about Australian icons.
Here is a list of some of my favorite Australian movies:
This is the movie that made Heath Ledger a household name (someone who everybody knows) . It tells the story of a young guy who starts to work for some gangsters in Sydney to make some extra cash. Heath gets himself into a lot of trouble when he loses some of the gangster’s money and has to find a way to pay it back.
Ned Kelly was a famous outlaw that formed a gang of Irish Australians in response to Irish and English tensions that arose in 19th century Australia. The movie tells the Story of Ned Kelly’s life and death, and is also a great movie to understand a little bit of Australian history.
Ned Kelly is played by Heath Ledger, and his brother, Dan, is played by Orlando Bloom. This was one of the first Australian movies to get international recognition.
Mark “Chopper” Reid is a famous Australian criminal who has been in and out of jail since he was 16. He has become a very iconic character in Australia since he started writing books in prison about the Melbourne underworld. In the movie, Chopper is played by Eric Banner, which was a very surprising role for him to play at that time.
He got the nickname “chopper” after cutting his own ears off in prison in order to be transferred so the other inmates wouldn’t kill him.
This movie is great for learning Australian slang expressions and is filled with swear words, and graphic violence. I must advise that this movie is definitely not for children.
“Triple J” is a non-commercial radio station that is broadcasted all around Australia as well. This station focuses mainly on Australian and alternative music, but is also filled with many talk shows and band interviews.
Nova is commercial network radio station that is broadcasted all over Australia. Nova FM changes from state to state, but is great for practicing your listening as it has many talk shows and news sections
Call to Action
What are you waiting for? It’s time for you to develop your English further by investigating and learning with other media resources that aren’t just related to American culture.
Whether you plan on visiting Australia or not, diversifying your English with media doesn’t just expose you to alternative accents and expressions, but gives you a lot of insight into different English speaking cultures and lifestyles.
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