Today is Australia Day, which commemorates the first convict ships that brought immigrants to the continent to start the country. I thought I’d bring together a quick list of links about the country that would be accessible to English Language Learners.
I suspect that Australians might have some great suggestions to add to this list, so please include new links in the comments section of this post.
Here are my choices for The Best Sites To Learn About Australia (not in order of preference):
A Good Day To Be An Australian is a Wall Street Journal slideshow showing how today is being celebrated in that country.
English Listening Lesson Library Online has a ton of activities about Australia specifically designed for ELL’s.
Barnaby Bear Goes Under gives an introduction to the country.
Passport Australia comes from Channel One.
National Geographic has an Australia section.
Here’s a simple online presentation on the country.
Enchanted Learning has a page on Australia.
Discovery has a video of the Great Barrier Reef.
Mr. Nussbaum has a number of activities related to Australia.
Only In Australia is the title of a slideshow from The News in Australia. It shows images of places and things that make Australia unique.
Australia’s Deep-Sea Creatures is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.
ESL Holiday Lessons has a nice resource on the holiday.
How Stuff Works has many videos about Australia.
Aussie English For The Beginner is a fun interactive from the National Museum of Australia.
Thinkquest has several student-created websites about Australia.
Here’s a relatively accessible overview of the country from World Info Zone.
The Telegraph has a slideshow on Australia Day celebrations.
Australia’s Hidden Gems is a beautiful slideshow.
The Great Barrier Reef – in pictures is a slideshow from The Guardian.
Darcy Moore suggested I add some resources that offer a different perspective on that Australia Day, and I invited him to write a piece that I would add to that list. Darcy is a blogger, photographer & Australian deputy principal. He has a keen interest in collaborating with students and educators around the world.
Australian history has been fiercely contested by historians and politicians in recent decades. ‘History Wars’ have been fought over the various interpretations of ‘our past’. The two major opposing views have been pejoratively described as, ‘The Black Armband’ and the ‘Three Cheers’ version of our history. One interpretation emphasises Australia’s march to nationhood and progress, the other, acknowledges the destruction of both the environment and Aboriginal culture. Past government policies, including removing Aboriginal children from their homes (‘The Stolen Generations’) were particularly contested. The central position of the ‘ANZAC legend’, the positive story of Australia’s armed forces, is also questioned. To understand Australian History it is important to understand this debate. You
can read more here.
Australia Day on the 26th January is a good example of the debate about our shared history. How can Aboriginal Peoples, dispossessed of their land, celebrate the European founding of a colony on this date in 1788? Here are some important questions about Australia Day posed at the ‘official page’ suggesting Australians are often working positively to reconcile the challenging, disturbing aspects of our shared past. Many people applauded former Prime Minister Rudd’s apology to ‘The Stolen Generations’ after his predecessor, John Howard, had refused to do so for more than a decade.
You might also be interested in The Best Sites To Learn About The Fires In Australia and The Best Sites For Learning About The Australian Floods.
Feedback is always welcome.
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You might also want to explore the 400 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.