How Teachers Can Record Math Lessons For Students To Use The Teacher and Preserving the Aussie Idiom

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The Teacher and Preserving the Aussie Idiom

When Hugh Lunn began writing his memoirs of growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, he found that he had to remember the phrases and words of that era to recapture the essence of that time in his life. Only then did he realize that we Aussies were losing something special about our Australian character and heritage: our Aussie Lingo.

The experience of trying to recover these words and phrases became the impetus to record over a sixteen year period as much of our Aussie Lingo as we could. This record became the basis of his book, “Lost for Words”. A second book, “Words Fail Me” was the result of many calls, letters and emails with other Aussie stories and idioms from Aussies from all over Australia.

We, as teachers, have a professional responsibility to convey to our young students, our history, our culture and our unique version of the English language. Owning these books, reading them ourselves and to our elementary school students is an excellent way to pass on our unique culture.

There should be several copies of Hugh Lunn’s books in every school library, especially where access can be given to middle and high school students.

In fact, these books should be required reading for any teacher-in-training for elementary school teaching, as well as for teaching Social Studies and English at the secondary level.

A challenge for teachers:

Your position as a teacher is unique. Influence curriculum writers to add a study of our Australian language/slang to our programmes. After all, there are many teachers in curriculum writing bodies.

I am confident that within current curriculum structures, teachers can use this material to teach all the necessary skills detailed in the curricula.

By doing so, you can help keep alive what has been and can continue to be our unique version of the English language.

Some didactic ideas

If I were a tenured elementary school teacher with an upper school class, I would regularly read an episode of the Bert and Grace story from “Lost for Words” to supplement the novel I was reading in my class.

Here are some suggested lessons on various topics. The first is how I got started in my role as a relief teacher. I’ve used versions of it many times when there was free time in my day. I find that students are fascinated by our Aussie Lingo. There are two subjects that are the favorites of primary school students. The first is one that Hugh Lunn calls “Dolls”. It catalogs what Australian men called their wives, for example, an old boiler. They love the explanation of where it came from. The second theme is “Gossip” and the preferred term is “The bush telegraph”.

There are so many different topics you could talk about that you could go on for years without repeating any of them.

So help keep our Australian slang alive and help maintain the Australian character and our way of life along with the new aspects of our lives brought to us by our new citizens.

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