Summer Heights High As you are watching this episode, think about how viewers would perceive each of the different characters based on the way they speak. When the episode is over, write a paragraph describing each of the three major characters. How does the way that they speak reflect certain beliefs about them? For example: Jonah uses an excessive amount of slang and swear words. To the viewer this indicates that he is perhaps immature and disrespectful.
Discussion topic: Australian English Would you consider yourself to be a “true blue” Aussie? How do you react to “Australianisms” like “true blue” and “hard yakka” etc? How do they make you feel? What about the other extreme? How do you feel when you hear, for example, Kevin Rudd speaking?
Australian Dialects A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Where a distinction can be made only in terms of pronunciation, the term accent is appropriate, not dialect. How many different Australian dialects can you think of? Describe each dialect and give examples of people who speak with this dialect and specific words or pronunciation they use.
The Australian English Continuum Australian English is generally divided into 3 varieties: broad general cultivated
Broad Australian English This is stereotypically perceived to be most obviously Australian. It is the butt of many jokes such as the one When an Australian says he is going to hospital to die, he really means he’s going to hospital today. According to Fromkin et al (1996), broad speakers tend to be less fluent and clear in their enunciation of consonants, e.g. weegend for weekend, liddle for little and ledder for letter. Broad Australian is also attributed to using non-standard forms of English such as ‘I seen him on the bus’, rather than ‘I saw him on the bus’.
General Australian English Examples of the ‘general’ accent include the way Victorians pronounce chant, plant, castle etc. General accent speakers also pronounce Melbourne like Malbourne. This also includes dropping certain sounds, e.g. goin’ instead of going – words in general Australian English are generally pronounced quickly and therefore can be hard to understand for a non-native English speaker.
Cultivated Australian English South Australians are often perceived to use the ‘cultivated’ Australian accent. Read these words aloud so that the ‘a’ sound rhymes with PALM: dance, chance, demand, castle and graph. This is an indicator of someone with a cultivated accent. Words are pronounced reasonably slowly, often enunciating all of the sounds, e.g. going (goʊ:ɪŋ).
Discussion – identifying Australian accents Think about the people you encounter in your every day life – at home, at school, at sport clubs etc. How do the different people you associate with speak? Where would you put them on the Australian English continuum? Copy down this diagram into your book, put at least 3 people on the continuum and write examples of the way they pronounce words (use the IPA) broad general cultivated My dad, Evan Flint when he is working on our farm uses language like “woo back” (wubæk) My dad could also be placed here when he is working in his role as Chairman of the Kingston Council. He pronounces right like raɪːt(with a very long aɪsound)
broad general cultivated My dad, Evan Flint when he is working on our farm uses language like “woo back” (wubæk) My dad could also be placed here when he is working in his role as Chairman of the Kingston Council. He pronounces right like raɪːt(with a very long aɪsound)
Learning Assessment Task 2: An exploration into ‘Aussie’ English Part 1: “What does Australian English sound like in 2011?” Work with a partner to create an oral presentation (using PowerPoint) which responds to this topic. Research the language use of 3 current notable Australians – you will need examples of them speaking so use YouTube (etc.) as a search engine. Place your speakers on the Australian English Continuum – use a visual diagram (like the one I showed you). Justify your placements on the continuum by discussing the unique features of each person’s spoken language (refer to the example of my dad – give examples of specific words each person uses and use the IPA to explain their pronunciation).
Learning Assessment Task 2: An exploration into ‘Aussie’ English Part 2: Choose 3 teachers in the College. Ask them if they would mind having their voice recorded for your assignment. Record each teacher reading the passage of text that you have been given. Again, place each speaker on the Continuum and justify your placement by discussing the unique features of each teacher’s spoken language. Give specific examples of the ways that teachers pronounce different words. Remember to begin with an introduction which clearly outlines your contention (i.e. your response to the topic). Be sure to conclude your presentation by summarising your findings.