Last week on our “Where to Improve Your English” series, we talked about South Africa. This week we will take a look at the land down under…Australia!
Like American and British English, Australian (a.k.a. “Strayan”) English is different mostly because of the accents and vocabulary used. The first known colonizing effort by Europeans is said to have been in 1606 by a Dutch navigator. In 1720, a British colonist explored the east coast of Australia, and in 1788 the British established a penal colony at Botany Bay. The influx of European settlers weakened the presence of indigenous Australians due to conflict and the introduction of new diseases.
Because of colonization, English became the most spoken language in the land, leading to the development of different dialects and accents in the early 20th century. Vowels and diphthongs (a sound formed by combining two vowels in a single syllable, for example, “loud”) were modified to sound like the British “Received Pronunciation.” It eventually became focused more on nasality, flatness of intonation and omitting certain syllables. Different types of Australian-English developed, including “Cultivated Australian,” the goal which was to uphold British values and “Broad Australian,” which was more nationalistic and strayed away from the British idea of social class.
The school year is split into four terms, with breaks in between. The first term runs from January to April, then April to June, July to September, and October to December. Some of the best cities to study English? Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Gold Coast are a few. English training can be found in any of these cities (and more). They offer general English practice, English for academic purposes, exam preparation, etc.
Australia has beautiful cities and wildlife. They even offer a work visa for up to 20 hours a week on top of your student visa. This makes it easy to make a little extra money while studying. There is a possibility you can snag a job in Australia afterwards!
Next Week: New Zealand!
Need a recap? Take a look at these English-speaking countries we talked about the last 5 weeks!