AE 492 – Interview: How to Get Permanent Residency in Australia with Mai Medina – Part 2
G’day, guys. How’s it going? Welcome to this interview episode of Aussie English. This is part two of, obviously, a two-part series with Mai Medina from Mai’s Journey.
So, hopefully, you guys checked out the last episode that I did with Mai, that was 490 – How to get permanent residency in Australia with Mai Medina. And remember, this interview ended up going for quite a while. So, I think the interview totaled like an hour and a half of time. We were having a lot of fun when we were chatting on Skype and I thought that might be a bit too much for you guys if you have to sit there and listen to, potentially, an hour and a half of me talking. One, I can imagine my voice gets pretty annoying, and two, it’s just a lot to absorb.
So, I’ve broken it up into two parts, guys. Here is Mai Medina from Mai’s Journey on YouTube. Remember, the links will all be in the transcript, and if you would like access to these transcripts go to theAussieEnglishPodcast.com, click ‘sign up’, and for just five dollars every single month you can get access to all of the transcripts and MP3s so you can study anywhere anytime. Anyway.
I give you Mai Medina from Mai’s Journey.
So moving on slightly. How did you get used to Australian English? What was, you were saying that you were having trouble at first when you started your University Masters here in Australia and that the teachers spoke obviously with an Australian accent, what did you do to get used to it and to overcome that language barrier?
Well I… because I didn’t have any Australian friends at uni. And at home we were all internationals of course, none of them were Australians.
But I think this is going to be… this is why it’s good, right? Because you have overcome it. And I think a lot of people listening are going to, at least if they’re in Australia or they end up in Australia and they haven’t done so yet, I think they may end up in a similar situation where it seems it’s always very difficult to penetrate the world of the native Australian speaker, right, and surround yourself with them all the time. So what did you do and what do you recommend people do if they find themselves in a similar situation?
I started dating.
Oh yeah. Ok, so you got on Tinder, huh, and started meeting Australian guys?
Yes. So I started dating and I was dating Australian guys. And then you get used to it. You go out with them, if you don’t understand a word you can say “can you say it again?” which is not the case in a classroom environment, you are not going to stop the teacher at every sentence trying to figure out why he just said. And then you just get used to it with time. Like, I don’t know, the first month was very hard. The second month not so hard. Right now I listen to lots of podcast and that also helps a lot. But back then podcasts were not a thing so I can’t say that I used that. But one of my friends, she is studying for her IELTS and she has been listening to podcasts, like English, Australian podcasts and she says, she said to me like a couple of weeks ago like “oh I can understand those girls”. And I was like “just keep listening, because you’ll get used to it” and she said “oh yeah”, I mean, yes, there are a few things that I can’t understand but you just get used to the way the pronunciation and the way you…
Well that’s it, right? It’s kind of like you’re doing a puzzle, right? And it’s not like you start the puzzle when there’s nothing on the board and then all of a sudden, it’s finished. You do little bit by little bit and slowly the picture emerges and it’s the same, I think, with English and improving your ability to understand native speakers. It’s not like you just do this one thing for this set amount of time and now you understand 100 percent of everything everyone says. Like, I still say “Pardon me” to other native speakers all the time if I miss what they say. But I definitely think you’re right, there are loads of podcasts, especially Australian English ones. You’ll find things like obviously mine, the Aussie English podcast, you’ll find Conversations is a good one. Hamish and Andy are two really funny comedians who have one. So there’s heaps on there, they’re free guys, get on there. But also did you watch Australian TV and were you doing any extracurricular activities that introduced you to Australians?
Not really, apart from dating that is the extracurricular activity. Not really, because I was studying full time and then I had to work to pay rent. So I was working at night and I was working as a cleaner. So I was cleaning a school in Toorak but then I didn’t have any interaction while I was cleaning because it was just me.
That’s a job I tend to try and get people to sort of like avoid if they can. Like it is good if, you know, you don’t need that many skills to get paid but it’s all alone or it’ll be with other people who speak say Spanish.
But I have to say that my English was good and that was the only thing that I found. So one of the sad realities is that if you are from Latin America and you are coming here to study and you are looking for a part time job, most likely you will start as cleaner.
Well, I was doing my PhD working as a waiter. I had to clean the toilets every day. I had to, like, you just have to take that piece of humble pie and just deal with the fact that you… even Australians take these shitty jobs to get through university. It’s not just you. It’s not because you’re foreign, it’s just that those jobs are open and they’re easy and you don’t need skills.
And also those are the ones that fix your timeframe, like your timeline, the time that you are available to work because I was studying during the day so I can only work at night and that was the only one. So… yeah!
That’s a good point. So can we dig into Tinder a little bit? What was your experience like dating in Australia? What should other Colombians or people from anywhere in the world who come to Australia and get on Tinder, obviously you can’t really speak to it from a male perspective but from a female perspective, what was that experience like and interacting with Australian men?
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
It was different.
What does that mean Mai?
Oh… Ok so this was four years ago. So Tinder wasn’t as bad as it’s now.
Was Tinder out four years ago?
Wow, I am getting old! Far out!
Because I now have a boyfriend that I met on Tinder. But I haven’t used Tinder in four years. And my friend said that it’s really shitty now but before then I did Tinder and I did… what’s the other one?
There are a lot.
RSVP and Online Harmony, eHarmony?
Yeah, there are a lot of them, yeah.
So I did those three. And it was hard because first Australian guys are completely different to Colombian guys. The Colombian guy is very romantic. They are not upfront with what they really want. So they’re kind of like they’re sweet.
So that’s a bit more cat and mouse going on, where you don’t know what’s going on. Does he like me, does he not like me? Where with Australian guys, was it a different story?
Australian guys were very to the point. This is four years ago, but the ones that I met, some of them, not all of them but some of them were like “Oh you are a Latin, you are hot”, then “We want to F”, right?
We want to have sex, yeah okay.
And I was like “No I just want to date, I just want to go for a coffee or a dinner” but then they were expecting more.
Yeah. So how do you navigate that? What advice would you have for girls coming to Australia who want to date guys or who may end up dating them? How did you obviously navigate through all of these guys who were very upfront and find your current boyfriend who’s obviously done the right things, whatever the right things are?
Well my first advice is never go on dates at night, if it’s a first date. I mean the first date, don’t accept drinks because that’s just like a synonym of have sex. And if you are not up for that, don’t do it. So my recommendation is go for a coffee date at, I don’t know, 3pm or a brunch date. Something like that, that it’s not…
I think a good sign is, with that too, that if it is ever going to lead to sex on the first date, it’s going to have been after eight hours. It’s not going be, you know, it’s the kind of thing where it’s like you’ll have to have spent the whole day together getting to know the other person before anything happens, if it’s gonna happen.
And then the other thing is : don’t expect the guy to pay.
Really? Why is that?
Well with my boyfriend it was different but with different…, I mean I’m all for half and half, I don’t have a problem with that but I do know girls who are expecting the guys to pay for everything. And then because they are paying then they believe they have rights. Anyway, …
Well, it’s just mixed messages. Yeah, it is mix messages.
You have to be very upfront with: this is my half.
I think though from my point of view too. From my point of view, when I was dating a lot more, I would get almost the same way I think you would feel as a woman if someone was just like “okay come back to my house, I want sex”, you know? I would feel like, in the same sort of way, I would feel like I was being used, if you didn’t even offer to pay for the meal or anything. If you just assumed that it was my job, I’m paying for your time, for me it feels just as bad as if it were me assuming that you’re coming home now after all the stuff that I’ve done for you, by paying for the meal and, you know? So that’s a good expectation to have though when you come here and you date someone: your job is to offer, his job is to pay.
Yeah that’s correct. And the other thing that was very different, and it took a while to get used to, is that the fact that you are dating an Australian guy doesn’t mean that you are part of his life.
Really? What does that mean?
In Colombia you date a guy and immediately you meet his friends, you are part of his family and you are all the time with that person. That’s normal in Colombia. Here, you date a guy and normally the guy will keep things apart. He will date you, but then his friends will be his mates and that will be his priority until much… like a long time passes and you become the priority. And that is completely different in Colombia. In Colombia you’re in a relationship and it’s like your world just changes and you are just with your couple. Whereas here it’s completely different. It’s kind of like you have to earn that place in his social circle before he agrees to introduce you. Like it’s not immediately.
I guess though, that’s a good sign though too, right? Because, it’s kind of like, if he does say he wants to introduce you to his friends pretty quickly after dating you or his family, that’s a massively good sign that it’s serious and that he’s not just screwing around.
Yes he’s serious when he does that, whereas in Colombia it just really doesn’t matter.
And so how long have you been with your boyfriend now and how did the relationship compare to one in Colombia? Is it much the same at the point you’re at now?
Well we have been together for four years.
Oh wow so you really met him straight away.
I was one year single, only one year single. And now after three years we’re moving together, and yeah like he was very… like he has a really good relationship with his parents which sometimes is not the case with Australian guys. Like it’s another thing, like Australian guys, Australians in general, like the millennials or whatever, they tend to leave home quite early after they finish high school. So they live by themselves or with mates but then in Columbia it’s the opposite, they stay at home.
I think for us, Australians, we kind of… Did you ever watch the TV show “Everyone loves Raymond”? Have you seen that?
So there’s two brothers, one of them has moved out, has a family. The other one’s single, lives at home, he’s 40 years old and he’s kind of the joke. That’s the joke of the whole like the tension between them, that one brother’s young, has a family. The other one stayed at home and has failed all his relationships and that’s kind of the epitome of I think for Australian guys, we don’t want to end up the guy living with the family because, at least our sexual market value, if you go out with a woman and she finds out you live with your parents after your 20 something, it’s like she’s going to be like “What’s wrong with you?”. So I guess that… And it is interesting because I had a housemate from Estonia and his relationship with his mother was very different from mine where I chat to mine all the time but it’s kind of like I text message or chat to her on Facebook or I’ll see her or I call her maybe once a week, once every two weeks and then get into it and chat to her for quite awhile. But he was on the phone every night for like an hour. Like yeah and that was… I don’t know if that’s normal for Estonians but it was a lot more like he was very connected to that relationship. So yeah it is a bit different I think.
Yeah it’s a bit different. But yeah.
That’s interesting. Crazy okay. So you got Step one : get to Australia after sorting out your visa, your IELTS, the university. Step two : find somewhere to live. Step three : get a boyfriend. Step 4 : conquer Australian English.
Step 3 was finding a job.
Yes, okay let’s talk about that. What did you do in order to find a job?
After finding a job, I got a boyfriend.
So what did you do in order to find a job here in Australia?
I was very lucky. I have always… like I’m Catholic so I believe in God and I believe God just wants me here because I only had one year. My visa was only for one year. So I needed to leave Australia by the end of December 2013 and in August I applied for a job on LinkedIn. A random job at Nielsen which is a marketing research company. And around… no no that was like July. And on August they call me and say “hey, you applied for this job, this is to be a trainer”. I was like “a what?” “A trainer”, and I was like “I don’t have any” well, I didn’t say that but I was like “I don’t have any experience training people”. It was kind of like an HR kind of role and I was like okay so I went to the interview and after one interview they called me and say “yeah sure the job is yours”.
And I said “Look, I need to leave the country in December and I’m studying, so I only can work up to 20 hours per week. If you do give me the job, is it possible to get a sponsor?
They said “well, just start working and in November we will decide”. So I was like “okay”. But I didn’t have any other option I like “great”.
So is that the usual story though? What advice would you give to people who are thinking about coming to Australia and studying and then getting a job? Would you suggest getting on LinkedIn, websites like LinkedIn and submitting CVs and trying to go for those jobs?
Okay, so I think the marketplace has changed a lot since then. My advice is just check that your career is on the list at least.
Yes for permanent residency and citizenship later on down the tracks.
Or not even for PR, just for getting a sponsor. That’s it. And it is heart breaking because many careers are not in the list. And if you do not have the experience, you don’t get to be sponsored either.
So is that something you would really suggest sort of keeping in mind before you even come to Australia, look into that and try and work out, plan ahead what kind of career am I ultimately going to try and go down that road of that will hopefully lead to me getting permanent residency or citizenship or sponsorship in Australia?
Yes so my recommendation would be: if your career is not on the list just keep in mind it’s going to be really hard to stay. If your career is on the list, just look at Plan B because the list changes all the time.
That’s the other thing I was going to ask.
The original occupation that I used to get a sponsor in the first place is no longer in the list.
Okay, it changes.
And the one that I used to get the PR is no longer in the list. So I was lucky.
So you really need to keep your finger on the pulse, right? And stay up to date with things.
One of the things that in my channel I get lots of questions about how to stay, what can I do to stay in Australia? My recommendation is go to a Visa advisor and see what are your pathways because sponsorship is one pathway but you can also get a state visa but then that means you have to go to live in Canberra or Tasmania or Perth for two years to get the visa. But it is important that people do know what are the options if they have any because it is becoming really hard. Like if someone in marketing, it’s almost impossible to find sponsorships now because it’s not in the list. And if it’s in the list, it’s only the one that gives you two years with no option to apply or extend. It is getting really hard.
So the takeaway message there is just stay up to date with the list and the different requirements for these visas and the best way to do so is talk to an immigration agent and ask them for advice. And do you need to pay for that? Are there free services that you know of?
Normally the agencies that help you with the studies, normally they will know what is up to date. But I do believe for the ones that are more like PR and all that, you need to pay like a fee for the advice for them. But it’s very important because although all the information is online, it is really tricky to know what it is. Like, I have on that Visa Advisor Australian Government website so many times looking for answers and it’s so complicated, it’s not an easy “oh yes this is ABC”, no!
Yeah, that’s it.
And it keeps changing and one thing is that the website page is not up to date sometimes because the list is still the old list. So it is confusing.
So don’t leave it up to chance, guys. If you need to know more about this and you’re just winging it, you’re just improvising, make sure that you go and see an immigration agent or maybe ask your university or ask your English School for advice on who to talk to about this and get it. Get your ducks in a row, right. Have things organised. Have a plan of attack. All right, so what happened? You got sponsorship from this job.
I got a sponsor.
Yeah, and what did that lead to? You got to stay here for another three years before you got PR?
So the visa was for four years. And after two years of working on that job and four years of working or living in Australia, no I think it’s just after two years of working on that position, you can get permanent residency. So again I asked my job, my company…
Sorry, what did you say? It broke up again. You asked your job.
So I asked my boss in my company if they will be willing to help me with the PR because although I do have one Australian boyfriend and I could have done the PR by my Australian boyfriend, I wanted to do it by myself. So I talked to the company and they said “yes, sure we will sponsor you to the PR”. But then I had to take the exam again, the English test again.
Well I had the choice. I had.. you could take either the IELTS, the TOEFL or the PTE.
Okay, and which one did you choose and why?
I took the PTE, just because the IELTS… I think the IELTS is, to test English I believe the IELTS is the best of the three, because you get to interact with someone in your speaking and you get to write a proper essay in your writing. Whereas the other two are just computer based and it’s awful.
I do believe the PTE is way easier than the IELTS.
I’ve heard it’s a double-edged blade though because I have a student who did the PTE and I think he did incredibly well in everything except for speaking and it ended up being he got like 10 percent and he rang them up and was like “What the hell?”. And they said “oh the files that you spoke and sent through just came through but it was broken up and the microphone that you used or whatever wasn’t good and that’s why you got marked down”, so…
Yeah. I mean I think it’s easier because the machine is evaluating you. Like a human is not listening to you, it’s the machine. Because the machine is evaluating you, if you can speak English then you have very good chances of passing because they have to be more flexible because it’s a machine, right? Whereas if it’s a person, well, no. The person, it will be her opinion and her opinion only. And she will be listening to you for real, whereas the other one is a machine. But the problem with the PTE, and this is why I really recommend you, if someone is going to take the PTE, just buy the two exams for free, no, the two extra exams that you can buy from the website and for practice, because PTE is not about speaking English, PTE is about memory.
So what are the pros and cons? How much does each cost the PTE and the tough one, the IELTS?
If I remember correctly, all of them are quite the same. I think one is fifty dollars more expensive than the other one but they’re around 300/350 dollars. Yeah, I remember there was one more expensive but I can’t remember which one.
I think it might be the IELTS because I think my girlfriend did that maybe six months ago and it was 500 bucks.
Oh wow. Yeah no. The PTE is not that expensive. But the other thing is the PTE goes over two days. So one for the… No sorry. The IELTS goes over two days : one for the interview, one for the actual exam whereas the PTE and the TOEFL is just one day, you just go there, you just sit down in front of the computer and just pray to God that you are going to remember. Because one of the worst… I hated the PTE although it’s the easiest one, I hated it because the speaking part, like 90 percent of the questions of the speaking part were like “this is a sentence, remember all the sentence, and then, say it back”.
So you can’t miss a word or you get penalized completely. It’s like it’s all or nothing.
Exactly, that was my lowest score speaking. And I consider myself like a good English speaker but in that exam by the time the guy had finished saying whatever he was saying, I had completely forgotten how did it started.
I guess that’s a good point for IELTS where if someone’s listening to you or speaking with you, it’s kind of like they can fill in the gaps with their intuition or whatever, if you miss a word they still understand exactly what you’ve said and it’s like “okay, yeah you communicated successfully”. You might get marked down but you don’t get a zero.
Exactly. Where with the PTE that was the worst. But on the flip side the writing part is not an essay, because for the IELTS you need to have like a structure, you need an introduction, two paragraphs or one paragraph of content and a conclusion. Like it’s very structured and you need to follow that structure, otherwise you won’t pass, whereas with PTE they said “write an essay, but no more than 200 words”. How you are gonna write an essay 200 words?
That’s half a page.
It’s just a paragraph, and that’s it and I got the highest score in writing because it’s not an essay. So yeah, I hated the speaking and I got a really bad result in the speaking, but I still passed.
That’s pretty funny because you would tend to have the opposite in IELTS, right, where the writing is always the worst one for most people and speaking or listening tend to be the best.
So I recommend the PTE if you are very good at speaking and your writing is not that strong because the writing part is really easy.
Okay so you had to do that, you had to do those exams again and get a mark to get your sponsorship or to get PR?
The PR. You can not apply for PR if you don’t have that English level which has changed. So I was very lucky, so everything changed after I applied. Because now to get the PR, you have to be sponsor… I mean you have… it can only be done… oh no that’s for… I mean I think the levels of English have increased now for the PR.
Yes, I think there’s six and a half to seven band on the IELTS or something like that. Or maybe 6 and above. I guess the key is stay up to date with the requirements, no matter what you’re doing if it’s sponsorship or, you know PR, or citizenship, whatever it is, just make sure you find out what the requirements are, before you get into it too deeply. But what was it like when you were sponsored? Was that easy once that was done and you’d found someone who you worked for who is willing to sponsor you? What was the process like? And then what happened with PR? Is it easy once you get the ball rolling?
Yes, so if your career is on the list and the company said yes, it is very easy.
Of course they do it… my company did it via Fragomen which is a visa institution helping thing. They are very expensive but they are very good, like they get things rolling very quickly. Normally you get that, normally companies have an agency that helps them with that. I have heard of companies that they just said “yes, we are gonna sign the paper and the recommendation, it’s up to you to do everything” and that is very hard because you have to complete many papers, forms, you have to take a medical examination to get your PR. But in my case, it was really easy, I just sent my papers and that was it, like I took the exam, took the blood test and that was it, like I was done.
So did you pay anything for your sponsorship or for PR or was that paid for by your company?
So in my case, it was paid by the company.
Lucky. What could be expected though, if the company is not willing to pay for it but they are willing to accept it, what’s the kind of amount of money that you would expect to pay right now?
So for the PR, they can do whatever. So they can say “we cover all the costs”.
Who, the company or the government?
No, all of it, it’s the company.
So, the company can say “I will pay everything” or they can say “50/50”, or they can say “you pay everything”, that is for PR. For the other visa, for the first visa, for the sponsorship to stay in Australia, they have to cover everything. It’s illegal for them to ask you to pay.
But for PR, it’s up to them. In my case,… Normally what they do is, if they cover, I don’t know, whatever they cover, if they cover 100 percent or 50 percent, normally they will ask you to sign like a contract saying that you will not leave the company until X amount of years or otherwise you will have to pay them back. Once you are PR, you are not attached to the company. When you are sponsored, so 457 that doesn’t longer exist, but in that when you are sponsored, you are attached to the company.
Yeah, well they’ve invested in you and they just want to know that you’re not going to get the sponsorship and then leave.
That’s correct. So for example, in the first one, you are attached, so if you stop working there, you will need to find another sponsor right away, otherwise your visa will no longer be valid. Whereas with PR, as soon as you get the permanent residency, you are free to do whatever you want.
So even if you lost your job tomorrow, you’ve still got that there as long as you obviously can support yourself. Sorry?
I’m no longer there.
Ah cool! So you did change work obviously but the ball still was rolling with PR.
So I got my PR last April, so April 2017, sorry not last April. And I’ll leave my company in December, sorry January.
Brilliant! Far out! And so what was the process to go from PR and getting that to getting citizenship and I guess before you get to that, what made you decide to do it yourself as opposed to with your boyfriend?
I just didn’t want to depend on him. If there was no other option, I’m sure he would have said “oh sure let’s do it”. But I just didn’t want to, not because he would say “Oh thanks to me, you have PR”, no but more like for internal realisation and myself.
You did it all yourself. You didn’t ride on the coattails of anyone else. And what happens too if you got PR with your boyfriend and you guys broke up, are there any issues there?
No, because if you want to apply for a PR with a partner visa, you have to show and demonstrate evidence that you are in a long relationship. You have to present pictures and wedding invitations and tickets and everything because of course it’s very easy visa to fake kind of.
Otherwise yeah exactly.
The government tries to make sure that you are actually a couple. But once you get your PR, again you are free to do whatever, and if you are not together, that’s fine.
And so what’s the process then from PR to citizenship? Does PR lead to citizenship ultimately or you still have to go out of your way to get it and what made you decide to do that?
So PR it’s like indefinitely, like you kind of stay in Australia forever kind of thing. I think there is a limit of… like you can stay in Australia but you can not leave Australia for more than five years.
Yeah. I think at least when my supervisor was doing PR, he couldn’t leave Australia for a quarter of the year at a time I think. Like while he was trying to get citizenship or aim for it, for four years he couldn’t have been out of the country for more than one of those four years total.
Yes, something like that. So in theory you don’t need to apply for citizenship. I was very lucky. So when I applied for citizenship, you only needed to be PR for one year. From July this year, so in 2018 July 1st, that will change to four years. You have to be a PR for 4 years before applying to the citizenship. So I applied in April and I’m still waiting of course, the process takes up to 15 months.
And it’s really easy, like if you have the PR requirements then you just submit a form with a picture of you and the driver’s license.
It’s almost like “time served”, is it? You’re just sort of like “oh yeah, she’s been a PR for this long, yeah, give her citizenship”. And what’s the point? Was that just for you, you wanted an Australian passport or is there a benefit to it?
Yes. So, I think the biggest one for me is to get the Australian passport because being a Colombian, my Colombian passport still is not accepted in a lot of countries, so I do need a visa to get into lots of countries. Whereas the Australian passport is more trustworthy and countries are more willing to accept Australian passports without a visa. So that’s my first motivation. The other thing is that you can start voting and it will become mandatory of course for you.
Make sure you do, you’ll get fined 20 bucks if you don’t vote once you’re a citizen.
Yes exactly, which is not the case in other countries but yeah, it’s also another benefit. And the other thing that when you become Australian you can apply for benefits for school, high school, oh sorry, higher degrees like a PhD or Master.
You can get on the dole, you can get, you know, a retirement fund and all of that sort of stuff, you get the pension.
Yeah and also if you’re a girl and you have babies, if you are an Australian, you can get the benefit of the maternity leave, which is not the case with the others, if you are just a resident.
That’s crazy. So I guess you had come full circle, like you’ve left Columbia, you’ve come to Australia, you got educated here, you ended up finding a job and getting sponsored here which gave you the benefits of being able to work and stay here. Then PR, which meant you could obviously not be attached to the job and you could leave that job and do whatever you want, stay here for as long as you like, as long as you didn’t leave the country for too much of that period, right? Each year you had to stay here for three quarters of your time and now you’re getting citizenship, which will give you full citizen rights to Australia. Wow! That’s a pretty good story, I guess we should wrap up it’s been like almost an hour and a half.
I know, it’s been way too long!
That’s all good. I’m sure that the listeners will love it, there’s a lot of information there. So, where can people find out more about you, Mai? I know you’ve got an amazing video that I sort of found you through, or at least saw you for the first time. We’d been chatting online for Instagram and a few other things, but where can people find out more about you and what you do?
Yeah, so I do have a YouTube channel. It’s mostly about my life in Australia, so I do have some educational videos about how the health care system works, the transportation, how I got my PR, how I applied for the citizenship, how to get the driver license. Some of the videos are educational videos, but also some of them are more like my life, my favourites of the month, type of relaxer, my YouTube channel is YouTube… Well you can just go to YouTube and look “Mai’s Journey” or also on Instagram Mai Medina and that’s me.
Yeah, I’ll get the links to it and I’ll put them in the transcript. But it’s definitely good. Check out the YouTube channel guys, especially if you’re Spanish speakers because I think I noticed you had Spanish captions for some of these videos, so if they are learning English, the videos are in English, at least the ones that I saw were in English and you had captions in, I think, Spanish and English as well or just Spanish?
Just captions in Spanish. Yeah, just because my mom doesn’t speak English, so I do the captions for her.
Oh, that’s amazing.
But more than welcome everyone to watch those. Because funny enough, my audience in my YouTube channel is not Latin American people.
Exactly. I was wondering like, they would be other people in Australia, right, having difficulties with these things?
No, like 90 percent of my audience is people from India.
Oh wow! Okay.
So yes, and I get really like lots of questions from people from India on how to come to Australia. So, that’s why I keep it in English because I think I can reach a wider audience instead of just the Spanish.
I think you’re definitely right. Well Mai, thank you so much.
Thank you so much. It’s been a great Friday night.
No worries. Hopefully, I’ll get you back on the podcast in the future.
Thank you so much for having me.
See you guys!
Alright, guys, so that was it. Big thank you to Mai Medina. That was an amazing interview. I had a lot of fun doing this with her. Hopefully, I can get her on in the future and chat more about her experiences Down Under in Australia and what she’s gotten up to now, as it’s been a few months since we recorded this, and I’m sure a lot has happened. Anyway.
I hope you enjoy this episode, guys, and I hope to chat to you very soon. All the best. See ya.
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
AE 491 – Expression: The World Is your Oyster
Oyster farming is quite a manual job. There is planning involved as well, but a lot of the work involves manual labour and jumping into cool water in winter. So, we have seasonal benefits where in summer time it’s quite nice and very enjoyable out on the water, and in the winter time we’re in and out as quick as we can, get a load on board, and then back to the shed.
Alrighty. Let’s get started. No window open today, guys, no window.
Alright, so, g’day, you mob. I hope you’re going well. I hope you’re havinig a good weekend. I hope you’re having an amazing week. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. This is the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English.
If you want to support the podcast and if you would like access to the transcripts and the MP3s so that you can read and download all of these episodes on the podcast, specifically, and consume them on your computer or on your phone, make sure you go to TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com and just click ‘sign up’. It’s the cost of a one coffee per month. So, consider buying me a coffee once a month for $4.99 to get access to that.
If you are the kind of student, however, who likes to study and wants to get a lot more out of these kinds of episodes, and wants to study the vocab in these episodes, the expressions, some of the pronunciation tips in more depth, and kind of wants to go through this with a fine-tooth comb, I suggest signing up at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and getting into that classroom and consuming all of the content in there. There are videos for each of these episodes each week and you will get access to all the previous expression episodes too, as well as some other courses in there on pronunciation amongst other things. Anyway, guys.
That’s the intro. That’s enough of that. Welcome to this episode. I hope you like the intro scene there. I’m always trying to add these things in so you get access to other Australian accents and you also get introduced to things like the ABC Australia’s YouTube channel there, which is where that little snippet came from, so that you can find other resources and learn about Australian culture.
So, that was from, as I said, the ABC Australia’s YouTube channel, a little series called My Australia where it was following a Chinese girl called Jingjing as she visited an oyster farm in Port Lincoln on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. So, I really recommend checking out that entire video. Go to the ABC YouTube channel. I will leave a link in the transcript so that you can do so, but it’s a great way to watch more of their videos to learn about Australian culture and practice your listening comprehension for the Aussie English fact. Anyway.
Let’s dive into the Aussie joke for today, guys, and it is a shellfish joke, because, obviously, the expression is related to shellfish. So, the joke is:
What did the oyster say to the crab when he took his pearl? What did the oyster side of the crab when he took his pearl?
Don’t be so ‘shellfish’. Don’t be so ‘shellfish’.
Do you get it? The play on words here, the pun here, is with the word ‘selfish’ and ‘shellfish’, right. “Don’t be so selfish” would be the real way of saying that. Don’t steal something, don’t hold on to it, don’t keep it to yourself, don’t be selfish. And the joke here is that oysters are shellfish and we often call crab ‘shellfish’ as well so, don’t be so ‘shellfish’.
Alright, so today’s expression is ‘the world is your oyster’. The world is your oyster. I wonder if you guys have heard this expression before. This came from Michal who is from Poland. He is an awesome guy. He’s in our Aussie English Classroom Facebook group and his posting videos all the time when he’s out and about walking around. So, they’re always interesting to watch. If you guys want to be a part of that, go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, and then asked to join the group, and we post videos each week practicing the expressions from these episodes. Anyway.
Let’s define the words in this expression.
So, ‘the world’. ‘The world’ is the Earth, the planet on which we live, together with its countries and its people. So, it’s not just the physical rock that is the planet, but it’s also every country is a part of this world and every person is a part of this world. Right. The world.
‘Is’, obviously, present tense third person ‘to be’. He is. She is. It is.
‘Your’. ‘Your’ is the possessive pronoun for ‘you’. This is your thing. This is your car. This is your oyster. This is your phone.
And, ‘an oyster’, if you don’t know what ‘an oyster’ is, ‘an oyster’ is any number of bivalve molluscs with rough irregular shells, and they’re usually eaten raw as a delicacy, but they also might be farmed for pearls, the jewellery that you will get out of them. Those small spherical white, kind of iridescent, pieces of jewellery made by shellfish.
So, let’s define the expression ‘the world is your oyster’. ‘The world is your oyster’. If someone says to you that ‘the world is your oyster’, it’s the idea that you are in a position to take all the opportunities that life has to offer. So, you can do anything that you want. You can go anywhere you want. Everything is a possibility for you. ‘The world is your oyster’.
So, this is, I think, the first expression where it’s actually from Shakespeare. So, you guys might know Shakespeare, the famous British writer, playwright, I guess. And he coined this phrase. This phrase is from the Merry Wives of Windsor where Falstaff says, “I will not lend a penny.”, to a guy called Pistol who says, “Why then the world’s mine oyster which I with sword will open.”, and then Falstaff replies, “Not a penny.”.
So, the idea here is, and it’s the English’s kind of screwed up, you know, this isn’t how we would speak, today at least. So, the original implication of this phrase that Pistol is saying, “Why then the world’s mine oyster which I with sword will open.”, it’s referring to using violent means, i.e. using a sword, to steal his fortune, i.e. the pearl, that one finds in an oyster.
So, we inherit this phrase absent, though, of its original violent connotation, to mean that the world is yours or ours to enjoy. Okay? You can get everything out of it.
So, let’s go through some examples of how I would use this expression in real day-to-day sort of situations. Okay.
So, example number one. Imagine that you are a student in your final year of school. So, you’re in high school in Australia, you are in year 12, you’ve just completed all your exams, you’ve passed your exams with flying colours, so you’ve done incredibly well in these exams. When you get your marks back, your Enter Score, which is what we used to refer to as the final score you got at the end of high school so that you could enter into university, when you get your marks back, your Enter Score is as high as it could possibly be. So, you’ve done as good as you could have possibly done. And it will allow you to enter any university in Australia, do any kind of course that you would like, whether it’s medicine, science, arts, economics, law, engineering, you have your pick of the litter and you can choose anything you desire. So, as a result, when your parents find this out, they might be as proud as punch, incredibly proud, and they might say, “Well done! The world is now your oyster.”. You can choose anything you want. You can go anywhere you want. The world is your oyster.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
Number two. Imagine now you are that same student, okay, and you have entered university and you are studying science. But imagine you’re from a non-English-speaking country, right. You’re Brazil, from China, from India, from Nepal, from somewhere in Africa, you know, Zimbabwe maybe. And besides studying science, you’re also working your butt off, you’re working incredibly hard, to learn to speak English at a fluent and proficient level. So, you’re a very studious and diligent person who’s always studying science all day at university only to get home in the afternoon and start studying English. And the reason you’re studying English is because you want to have as many options as possible for your future career. Right? You want to be a world-renowned scientist one day and unfortunately for non-English speakers it requires that you learn English, right, so that you can take part in the English-speaking world of science. So, you know if you work hard and finish a science degree and you have the ability to speak English fluently and at a very proficient level, the world will be your oyster. You’ll be able to travel anywhere, you’ll be able to work overseas in any country, English-speaking or not, because you can use English there, and you’ll be able to apply to any jobs and positions in countries where English fluency is a prerequisite. The world is going to be your oyster.
Example number three. Imagine that you are a racecar driver, a real hoon, a real rev head, you know, you’ve always grown up loving cars and driving fast, and it’s led you down the road to be a racecar driver. So as a kid you battle your way up. Maybe you were driving go karts and then suddenly you got into more powerful cars like V8 cars on the Bathurst circuit, but your ultimate goal has been to get good enough, to get enough experience under your belt, to get enough street cred, to get enough street credentials or credibility, in order to race in Formula One, in the F1. So, you have one final race where if you win this race you’re going to be able to then race in Formula One. You end up winning it by a milestone, by a landslide, you absolutely dominate, and you fulfil your dreams and can now race in the Formula One. So, the world is now your oyster. You can do anything you want to do. The world’s your oyster. Alright.
So, I hope you understand the expression now, guys, ‘the world’s your oyster’. It means that you are in a position to take every opportunity that life has to offer. You can do anything. Go anywhere. Every possibility in the world is yours.
So, as usual, let’s go through a listen and repeat exercise, guys, and then we will jump into the Aussie English fact where I’m going to talk about oysters and some of the economics of oysters in Australia and some interesting biological facts as well. So, the listen repeat exercise first. Listen and repeat after me, guys. If you want to practice your Australian accent, then pay attention to the details of how I pronounce these things, and if you are just interested in your English accent, whether it’s British, American, Singaporean, could be from anywhere else, you don’t want an Aussie English accent, then just use your normal accent. Okay, guys? Let’s go.
The world is
The world is your
The world is your oyster x 5
Good job. So, now I say it using the phrases, “I said the world was my oyster”. “You said the world was your oyster”. Okay? So, it’s sort of like reported speech, but we’re going to use it in the simple past tense. Okay? So, listen and repeat after me and practice conjugating the verb ‘to say’ and ‘to be’ in the past tense. Let’s go.
I said the world was my oyster.
You said the world was your oyster.
He said the world was his oyster.
She said the world was her oyster.
We said the world was our oyster business.
They said the world was their oyster.
It said the world was its oyster.
Good job, guys. If you want access to the video that will be breaking down today’s pronunciation exercise and going into more depth about connected speech, pronunciation, intonation, all of that kind of stuff, make sure you jump into the Aussie English Classroom, guys. Sign up. Remember, it’s just one dollar for the first month, guys. You will have 30 days to give it a try before you have to pay the full fee. You’ve got nothing to lose. Give it a go and start upgrading your English. Anyway.
Australian fact. The Aussie English fact for today. We’re going to talk all about oysters and I’m going to be a little ‘shellfish’ and talk all by myself for five minutes, okay, about what I want to talk about. I’m being ‘shellfish’. Get it? Alright.
So, facts about oysters and the oyster farming industry in Australia.
So, oysters are a type of mollusk, as we said at the start there, guys, and it is a fancy way of saying a snail, right? A snail. Except these mollusks are from a group known as ‘bivalves’, which means ‘two shells’. So, any time you find things like… I don’t know. What are they? Clams and scallops, I guess. It’s hard for me to think of different kinds of mollusks. Those are all bivalves where you’ve got two sides to their shell.
So, oysters can range in size from a few centimetres to a foot across, so 30 centimetres across, and they can live for many decades, sometimes up to 40 years, right? That’s older than me. Mind-blowing.
Oysters live in marine and brackish water habitats, so the ocean, estuaries, rock pools, that sort of stuff, salty water, but not in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes, etc.
There are three species commonly eaten in Australia. So, oysters are a common food here in Australia. The Sydney Rock Oyster, the Pacific Oyster, and the Flat Oyster. The Pacific Oyster is commonly eaten worldwide, however, the Sydney Rock Oyster is an endemic Australian species, it’s only found here in Australia, and has an annual production of 70 million oysters. That’s like three oysters for every person in Australia, and that rakes in about $35 million every year. Pretty pennies. That’s a lot of money.
So, oyster farming is one of, if not the, oldest and most valuable aquaculture industries in Australia, and it has been contributing to the economy for over 140 years.
Besides being part of the food industry, though, oysters are also a big part of the jewellery industry, or more specifically, the pearling industry. The pearling industry has also been around for over 100 years since the late 1800s when pearlers is first established themselves in Broome, which is on the north western coast of Western Australia in the Kimberley region.
So, by the year 1910, Broome was the largest pearling centre in the world benefiting from newly introduced diving suits as well as its fertile waters and the booming international pearl button market of the time.
The pearls extracted from Western Australian oysters are some of the largest and most lustrous found in the world, and in recent years a single Australian pearl fetched a price of $1.5 million dollars when it was sold. That’s ridiculous. That’s like a house or two. Jesus!
Aside from the pearls, the shells of oysters known as ‘Mother of Pearl’ as well as their meat is also highly valued and traded around the world.
It’s nice to hear how humans can exploit oysters and make money by feeding them to people or beautifying the rich with their shells and pearls, but what about the environment? What do oysters do for the environment?
So, oyster shells provide important habitat and substrate for other marine-dwelling organisms as their shells are uneven and when they grow they tend to grow together on rocks, and they provide numerous nooks and crannies for other animals such as worms and snails, sea squirts, sponges, small crabs, and fishes, all to hide amongst these shells and they can more easily evade predators thanks to these friendly oyster neighbours.
Oysters are also filter feeders, that is that they feed by filtering the water of things including microscopic plankton, suspended particles in the water, and even bacteria. And they can filter four to five litres per hour, which on a daily basis is the equivalent of 50 x 2-litre Coke bottles. Wow! That’s a lot. 100 litres a day! As a result, they keep water’s incredibly pristine clean, and other organisms like seagrasses and seaweeds and coral can, thus, more easily absorb light and grow healthily, you know, to keep these sorts of environments really, really healthy.
The last cool fact about oysters is that they can change their gender, they can change their sex. All oysters start out as males and they spawn, that is, they release sperm into the water in their early life. However, at around two to three years of age, they’ve grown to a big enough size and they have developed sufficient energy stores that they can now produce eggs and release eggs when they spawn, you know, as females, because, obviously, it requires a lot more energy to create one egg than it does to create one sperm.
So, let me know, guys, have you ever eaten an oyster? And are you the proud owner of some real pearls?
Fun fact about me, I do not own any pearls, unfortunately, and I have never eaten an oyster. I’ve seen them many times, but to be honest they kind of freaked me out, and I am yet to ever eat one.
So, with that guys, I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you got a lot out of it. I hope you have an amazing weekend and I’ll see you next time.
All the best, guys.
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
AE 490 – Interview: How to Get Permanent Residency in Australia with Mai Medina Part 1
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
I have another interview episode for you today. It’s going to be broken up into multiple parts as it ended up being quite a long interview, and I know that it can be hard if you want to listen to certain parts and it’s an episode that goes for an hour or more, right. Anyway.
Before we get into the interview today and what it’s all about, I want to let you know that today’s episode is brought to you by the Native English course. So, this was the course that I was interviewing Justin Hammond about in episode of 475: How to Become an Advanced English Speaker. Native English, the course. You can get access to this course for 15% off if you use the coupon code Aussie, that is A U S S I E at lingova.com, that is L I N G O V A.com. All other links will be in the transcript. Anyway.
This is of course designed for intermediate English learners who are trying to get to an advanced level in English. If you are wanting to sound more like a native speaker when you speak English or you want to understand native speakers when they speak English, I really recommend this course if you are an intermediate English learner who is struggling at the moment, especially, if you’ve just arrived, say, in an English-speaking country.
This course is so good in my opinion, because it focuses on things like culturally-focused speaking, the kinds of words and phrases that men will say that women won’t say or that women will say that men won’t say. There are other components to like speaking-focused grammar, the way that grammar can change when speaking as opposed to writing. I really, really like that section. And then, obviously, it covers things like slang, phrasal verbs, and reductions. I love that it covers reductions. So, saying things like “I’m gonna” or “I’mena” instead of “I am going to…”.
So, it’s a really good course. Remember, you can save 15% if you use the coupon code AUSSIE. That is A U S S I E. Just head over to lingova.com. Anyway.
Today’s interview is with my dear friend Mai Medina. Mai is a girl from Columbia, in South America, and she came to Australia a few years back. I stumbled upon her when I found her on YouTube talking about this process and how she got permanent residency in Australia, and I thought, you know what, I need to cover this subject in an interview. I would love to have you on, Mai. And she said yes. And the interview ended up being incredibly long and that’s why I have to break it up into a few parts. So, we had such a good time chatting about how she ended up in Australia, what she was studying, how she got into different universities, the English courses that she had to take, and the exams that she had to pass, and then the journey to getting permanent residency in Australia. So, if that is your goal, this interview is going to be really helpful for you.
So, let’s get into it. Mai Medina from Mai’s Journey on YouTube.
Today’s episode is brought to you by the NATIVE ENGLISH course:
Save 15% with the coupon:
G’day guys and welcome to this episode of Aussie English! I’ve got a special guest for you today; this is an interview with Mai from Mai’s Journey on YouTube, and that is “Mai’s Journey,” right?
Did I get it right? Alright, awesome! And so you are a Colombian, originally, from South America.
And you have… I guess you’re in the process of migrating to Australia I take it?
Well I already migrated and I’m not going back so…
You’re not going back, it’s sorted, it’s done!
No, I don’t think so!
Mai, what can you tell us about your story? How did you how did you end up living in Melbourne enduring this bullshit cold weather that’s outside currently in 2018? How did you end up here? What’s the story?
So I first thank you for having me, it’s kinda… Really nice, this is my first time in a podcast so I’m really excited! So yes, so I’ll just say I’m Colombian and I arrived to Australia five years ago. So I came to do my Masters in marketing. I did it all at Deakin University and then I was very lucky to find a job that is sponsor me, and then after few years they help me with the PR process and now I’m a permanent resident of Australia, and I just like… Two months ago I apply for my citizenship…
…That’s like… I’m staying for good. I got PR, it’s kind of like deal, like “done deal,” like yeah.
So that’s the hard part, but we’ll get to that, we’ll get to that at the end. But so tell me, where in Colombia were you originally from? What was it like? And what made you decide to come to Australia, out of all the different English-speaking countries?
Yeah okay so uhm… I was born in a town called Ibague, which is not very famous. From all the cities in Colombia, that’s not a famous one. But I did my uni years in Bogota, which is the capital. And Australia, well… I don’t know, like I always was very into koalas and kangaroos and uhm… And yep… And then I also read one book when I was at uni. I read a book called “The Voices Down Under,” or something like that… Something “Down Under,” and it was like a book talking about… Like explaining how a journalist went to the outback and they spent a week in the outback and she kind of went through these amazing experiences with indigenous people there. And I remember reading it and I thought “One day I would be there, I will go there and live in Australia,” and funny enough, I’ve been here 5 years and I haven’t been back! So when…
It’s on the To Do list? It’s on the To Do List?
It is definitely, yeah. And then so when I graduated I tried to come to do my master right away, but coming to Australia five ye- no, seven years ago was almost impossible…
Why is that?
Because you needed… This is kind of like visa processes, but basically before, you needed to prove that you have the whole money that you needed for your uhh…. For your tuition fee and your living expenses and everything. So in theory I had to prove that I had, I don’t know, like $30,000 in my account, which I did not! So I worked hard.
I’ve never had that amount of money in my account either Mai, so don’t feel bad!
I worked for a couple of years and then with my family, and I got a loan and I finally decided… because I was working very very hard in Colombia, like I… My days, my working day started at 6 AM and it will finish at 11pm.
And what were you doing? What did you study for your bachelors and what was your job over in Colombia?
I did industrial engineering and uhm bus-… uhm… Administration or business management.
What is with that every Colombian girl that I meet I swear is an engineer? Why is that? why you guys are so into engineering. There are no girls in Australia who want to be engineers!
Okay. So let me tell you why. So there is a big difference in the education system here and in Colombia. When I graduated… Like… You if… Okay, how can I say it? You, first you need to do… You need to go to uni. I mean, going… Not to go to uni is not an option.
In Colombia or here?
Right? because if you want to get a job you need a degree. With… So that’s not exactly the case in Australia. But in Colombia you need a degree. Second: You don’t get… You know how in Australia you get like the first year out of uni, you get to take different disciplines, like different units, across different things that may be, like may interested in you, and then you get to pick what you are actually going to study.
In Colombia that’s not the case. In Colombia when you are in year 11, which is the last year of high school, you take a test, like a national test and with those results you start applying but there is no… Oh no, I think now there are those programs but most likely… Like back in my time you actually needed to pick a career right away, like before graduating high school. And in Colombia you are either an engineer, a doctor, or uhm… Engineer, doctor… Or a manager, like business management. Those are like the three top… Because there are so many engineers, like… I don’t know, ten different engineer- type of engineers. So I went with industrial engineer, which was kind of like one that wasn’t good in… Like, because I always have liked maths,… something related to that, but also related to business or… Industrial Engineer was like that mix of everything.
It was the thing that bridge- those two subjects, huh?
Yes. So back to my story of why I came back. Why I came here. So I was… I was working in my research agency. And the industry in Colombia, It’s really like… The employment and in Columbia there is no life… life/work balance.
Yeah yeah. It’s just work work work work work and that’s it.
And in my industry, agency side was worse than everything.
It’s funny that you say that, my girlfriend Kel has the same kind of story. She was in Brazil working as a journalist and says the same thing. She would start work at 5am and she would finish at 11 p.m. and it’s just like… It seems crazy that you guys have to work so hard and, you know, that’s just to get by.
Yes exactly. And I was even working on Saturdays and Sundays, going to the office. But that’s the normal, right? Like you don’t know anything else.
That’s how the market is. So there was one point in 2012 when I was like “That’s enough,”… The other thing is that, like is very… That surprised me a lot when I got to Australia is that if you want a better job in Colombia or if you want to get a raise or… Yeah, if you want to get paid more you need a master. The master, if you want to get paid more than normal, you have to have a Master from overseas. It is not the same if you do the master in Bogota as if you do it in Barcelona, or in Greece, Australia. So I started looking at different places… First I wanted to leave Colombia, because I was just sick of it, although I know my country but I was just like…Tthe traffic and everything I just needed a… I needed to rest and I needed like a different environment.
Just a change of scenery right? You just want to say something else, and I even feel that from time to time in Australia. When I was in uni I was always like “I just want something different in front of me,” you know, a different country, it could be any country, but just a change in scenery.
Yes. So U.S. was never a consideration. I really don’t like that country.
So is that… Is that because of the, sort of, of you not liking the country? Or is it a lot harder to get a master’s degree happening there and to get permanent residency and citizenship? Or it’s just that you were just, “Mmmm, not into the U.S.,”?
Not into the U.S., in general. I never even consider how hard will be to stay in, just… No.
What about England? What about England? Do you- Same sort of thing as..?
Yea, so my two considerations were UK, and… A university in Brighton or something like that, I can’t remember… And Australia.
And then uhh… And then I went to one of these fairs or, like, uni meetings, they, like, many unis come, and you can ask for the curriculum…
Like an open-day or something is it? Where they tell you about everything.
Yeah. I went to an open day of universities in Australia and I met a lovely girl from Deakin University and she gave me like all the information on the master. The master was only one year which um… Wasn’t that expensive, it was…
Was this in Bogota? Or was this in…? Yeah.
In Bogota, Yeah.
So a girl came from here, went to Colombia to do that open day.
And then I decided to come to Australia then. I was like “yes this is it. I’m going to Australia now,” because I remember the UK was more expensive… Going to the UK was more expensive than coming here, because in the UK you can not work.
So you have to have saved up all of that money before you can go there and study? And had Australia… Obviously at this time Australia’s visas had become more lax. They’d become relaxed; you didn’t need the 30000 dollars at this point?
Oh no, I needed it.
Oh wow, okay.
But… But then, because I was… I had already worked for a little bit, and I got some money from my family, so and I got a loan from my dad’s side; so I got the money. But now you don’t need that. Now, the things have… The rules have changed. SO That’s why There’s so many Colombians in this country now. Because it’s easier to come now.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh great, so what was the process? You went to this open day, you met this Australian girl representing Deakin, you spoke to her. Obviously you didn’t just say “Okay, I’m in,” and bam you’re in Australia. What was the process from deciding this is what I want to do to actually getting your feet on the ground in Australia and stepping off the plane, you know? What was that initial step like? What did you have to do?
It was a very long process because… Okay, so first I decided Deakin but then I also wanted, like, all the options. So I did a research of all the same… Like similar programs, Master of Marketing, but in different universities. So I… if I have had the money, I will have gone with Melbourne University, but the price was double the price, the cost of Deakin, right.
Wow, okay! For the same thing!
A university vs another agency. But then I was like, “You know what. At the end of the day it’s what you do with that information.” And I just didn’t have the money.
I can’t imagine having to pay full fee for… For reference for people listening right now, for an Australian citizen I get paid… It’s paid for by the government, and then I owe the government a certain amount of money and I only ever have to pay that back if I make past, I think it’s like $58,000 a year, and then they start taking it out by just charging you slightly more tax. But yeah you guys… Foreign students have to pay… Complete the full fee, you know, upfront right? Or at least a semester by semester fee, I take it.
So for example… And you… We pay more. If you are international and you pay more for education.
Yeah yeah yeah exactly. So there’s no discount and it’s full-fee. You have to pay upfront. And what were the prices, if I can ask, just for reference?
Yes. So for my masters I ended up paying… Okay thr Masten was one year only. Because it was only one year, it was… I think was $28,000.
Wow and so for Melbourne Uni it was twice that for one year equivalent?
Melbourne uni was like $57,000. It was something crazy. I was like “no!”.
Jeez! That’s more than a thousand dollars a week! Wow!
It’s higher because the Master in Melbourne Uni last one year and a half.
Ahh, okay gotcha.
Today’s episode is brought to you by the NATIVE ENGLISH course:
Save 15% with the coupon:
So it’s one semester more. But then yeah… I didn’t have the money anyway. So I decided to do Deakin, and you have… When I apply you have to write like an essay. And then when you… To get your visa you need… Oh no no no, Before applying, You need to take the IELTS.
Right? because you need to prove that you are… And back then was rank 6.
Yeah. So you have to show you are competent in English before you could even enrol in the university and go for a visa?
That’s correct. Because if you didn’t have the English, what you can do is you can come, but to do like uhh… One semester English first and then you can do your Masters. But that semester will be really really expensive If you do it with Deakin.
And did you still have to do the IELTS at the end of that semester? Or that’s ignored?
No that’s ignored. Just… You can just… They grant you pass right away…
As long as you pay upfront!
I started… What I did was… Like I…
Sorry, it broke up. What’d you say before the IELTS? Sorry just go again.
I already knew how to speak English. I have been in the U.S. working on working holidays, and I studied English different institutes on the… Over the weekend since I was kid. So that’s why my English was quite good at the moment, like back then.
But then… I wanted… Because the IELTS… One thing about exams, English exams, are they don’t test your abilities, they just test how good are you at that exam. So what I did was I prepared. So I paid for IELTS course, and I prepare because I knew… Like all exams are different, so I needed to understand how the writing was… Like what are the expectations when I’m writing.
How are they’re assessing you for each of the different components. Because, as you say, because if you did Cambridge vs. IELTS vs. PTE… All these exams are assessed in a different way.
Yes. So I took that course. it was a 3 month course. It was very good and I took the exam ,and I got very good at scores for everything but writing.
That seems to be the story for everyone though.
Yes, so it was very disappointing because I needed… band six with nothing below 5.5.
And I got… in reading I got nine out of nine, so very good. Speaking was like eight out of nine. But writing was 5.5.
Yeah. But that’s good then, right? So you go through by the skin your teeth.
No I couldn’t! Because you couldn’t have any band below 6!
Oh okay, “below 6,” gotcha. Damn.
So I wrote to university saying “,hey look this is like… All the other bands are so high. Can’t I just apply with that?” And they say no you need to actually pass.
It was a good try. A good try.
So I had to do it again. And then the second time I pass all the bands, But then because I was nervous, I think I got worse… Like as good scores as at the beginning…
But not all of them above six, obviously, or six and above?
Okay. And then after that… And then and then you apply to university. You have your English, you have the essay. There’s an essay that you have to write saying why you want to study there.
So is that important? If you… Say you do absolutely crush the IELTS, you have all the money that you need, how much… How important is that lette,r that essay, for the university? Is it still required that that could, you know, they could decide no or yes? Or are you just…
I don’t think so, because money is money after all. Like… I don’t think so. It’s just like uhh… Like “oh let us…” Yeah it’s not a competitive entrance. It’s not like in Barcelona, there is a marketing university that is very competitive. You have to actually show that are worth for university. I don’t think Deakin is like that.
Well they have more than enough spaces so that they could yeah… So you still just have to have gone through the process of writing that letter to show that you’re serious and then go through the process. So what happened? You had the money saved up from a few years of working your arse off. You had contacted this uni through this girl who came over at one of these open days. You had gotten above six on everything in the IELTS in order to be able to… Is that just Deakin University or is that all Australian unis?
I think it’s all Australian unis. Yeah I think so.
So for anyone who is thinking about doing a masters or some kind of uni degree in Australia, it’s more than likely you’re going to have to have done the IELTS before trying to enroll or get a visa. So what do you do then for getting a visa in order to come over here? You had those things sorted out. I take it, do you need to get the visa before you enroll? Or do you need to enroll before you get the visa?
You need to enroll… So you send your papers and when you get your confirmation, like your letter offer, like offer of position or the based in uni. Then with that letter you apply for the visa.
So you don’t say anything yet. You just get an acceptance letter saying that if you do come to Australia you’re in.
Yeah, I think… No no I think you have to pay like a portion. You have to pay 50 or something again to get… No, but you get a letter. But if you have to pay something to actually say you apply for the visa, you have to have accepted that position.
So these two things kind of have to be done simultaneously?
Then for the visa, you also have to write a message saying why you want to come back to your country.
Oh! Really? is that you know that Australia feels comfortable that you’re not going to try to overstay or..? So is that… What were you thinking at the time then? were you thinking “Oh, this is all bullshit. I’m not coming back. I don’t want to come back,” Or were you thinking “oh yeah no, of course I’ll do my degree and I’ll come back?”Llike what was your mindset like?
No my mindset was : “I’m not going to come back.” Who goes back? I mean no… I mean yeah. There are people that go back, but 90 percent of people stay so… Yeah no… Of course I… You have to write something, so of course you say that you would be alone in Australia and family ties are in Colombia, and you want the country to grow and you want to contribute to the prosperity of the country and you want to know the culture there, but then bring the knowledge back, and all that BS.
Alright, so you did that process and then how much did the visa cost and how quickly did you get it?
Ooh the visa costs…
Roughly, it doesn’t have to be exact but just to give people a reference.
I don’t remember. It’s not that expensive.
A few hundred dollars is it?
I can’t remember, but I remember… like… I don’t think it’s that expensive. I think it’s like 400 yeah like $300 maybe 250.
So after having paid the tuition fees for the university it was effectively nothing. You were like this is not an issue.
All right, sweet, so you got on the plane. You had all that sorted. What did you do with regards…
Oh yeah then before that, for all the listeners that want to come to Australia to study a Master, I really recommend you to check if there is any grants or any scholarships for international students. Because I won and just by applying like I apply. When you get acceptance, you get the chance to apply with the letter acceptance you can apply for International Scholarship. And that was four thousand dollars for my tuition fee.
And so what were they looking for and how did you find information about whether or not those scholarships were available?
Well… when I did my research I talked to the girl to see if there was any scholarship that could helped and second, all the universities have the information on their website. Sometimes it’s really hard to find them and that probably the actual information because there are so many different like links and the scholarships are by Departments so like Business Department or whatever Department. So but then yes, you just have to look online and see the scholarships and normally they do have a scholarship for International Students. And if you have like a good CV and you have like good grades back in uni because that was another thing. You have to show, you have to send your grades, like how you did in uni. And I got the scholarship and it was just by e-mails.
Yep. So literally, you know, you could have just ignored applying for that and missed out on 4000 dollars which would have been you know what like at least a month or two worth of tuition.
Crazy! So what happened to with that, if you… did you just have to fill out a form online, submit it to the university with those forms, your grades, the acceptance notice and everything.
Yeah it was… yeah I don’t think it is… I think it’s just an e-mail to the Department saying that you have been accepted and that you would like to apply for the scholarship, International Scholarship, and these are the papers and this is why I think I deserve it. And that’s it.
And so was it specifically for that Master’s degree and there are like scholarships offered for all of the degrees or is it just a university wide kind of international student scholarship?
I think the one that I got, I think it’s for Business International so any Master under the Business Department. And it was only for International students.
That’s a good point and I think too even if you’re in Australia right now, after having you know gone through and done my Bachelors, Masters and PhD, during those degrees you can still apply for these things. So I think even if you forget to do this and you’re listening right now and say you’ve just arrived or you’ve been here for a year, if your degree is ongoing, still you’ve got six months a year ahead of you, you might still be able to get one of these, if you apply. So I’d probably say yeah do a search for International Student Scholarship and then the name of your university so and you’ll find it on Google I would recommend. But that’s crazy, so did the money just get put straight into your account while still in Columbia or did you come to Australia and then you received it?
No because I only pay half at the beginning. They discount it to just four thousand, and then the other half I just pay the taxes.
So in this case you didn’t receive any money and it was up to you to do whatever with it. It was just that they reduced the fees that you had to actually pay?
That’s interesting because there will be some I think at least with the girls that I went through my PhD with where some of the scholarships they received although these were four Australians but there are international ones they would just get a certain amount of money sent to them every six months and it would just go straight into their accounts. So there are those kinds of options I believe.
Awesome. So did you sort that out obviously before you came to Australia? So you already got the discount?
Awesome. Then what? What did you do? You got on the plane?
Then I got my Visa, and then for the flight, this is another tip for people who are coming from Latin America, if any, there is an organization, OTA, I think.
Yeah… it’s organisation… I will have to check. It’s an organisation, it’s called OTA something.
But what does it do exactly? What’s the function of it?
So I got my tickets half of a price.
Yeah, it’s for students, and it’s the students that are doing Masters overseas and you get discounts on tickets. The only thing is that they buy the tickets. So, you don’t have a say on what’s that route or what’s the date, like, you just give them a range of dates, and they… and the papers, again, like, why do I do deserve the discount. And then, they go back to you saying okay this is the ticket and you just pay half of it. So, my tickets were two thousand dollars and I only have to pay $1000.
Oh wow. So, another way of saving. So, you’ve already saved five thousand dollars and you haven’t even arrived in Australia yet.
And another good point too would be to contact some of those English schools. What are they? I mean if you’re studying English. Maybe not if you’re doing a Master’s degree, but like Go Study English or Go Study in Australia in Melbourne, I know they were saying, I was interviewing Lorena from Go Study recently, and she was saying if you contact them, quite often they have discounts they can get you through different airlines too. If you’re coming to South America or Europe, they can often get you 10 or 20 percent off if you go through a certain airline that they organize.
Okay. So, you got the ticket, you got on the plane, you arrived in Australia. Had you organised anything else before arriving here like where you were going to stay or…?
Yeah, so, the only thing was where to stay the first week because my university was Deakin in Burwood.
Which is very far away from the city.
It’s about an hour away, right, by public transport from Melbourne, from the CBD.
So, it’s not easy to find accommodation online, like… Yep. So, what I did is one of my friends, my high school friends, is living… she was living in Melbourne, and she contacted me with a guy that had like a balcony with a bed.
Jeez! Any port in a storm!
Well, it was January. It was February so it was easy. Well it was a balcony but it was like a big balcony, and I slept there for two, for one week, one week and a half.
And did you pay rent for that or was that just a…?
Yes. I had to pay per week. I remember that it was quite expensive for…
Yeah I was going to say what do balconies go for these days with regards to rent? I don’t think I’ve seen a balcony available for 50/100 bucks a week.
I’m grateful that he agreed to do it. But like I didn’t have… the walls like I had one of those curtains but they are like clear curtains.
Okay so you were protected but it was still somewhat like the ambient temperature of outside. You wouldn’t get rained on but you were sort of a victim of the outside temperature whatever that decided to do.
Today’s episode is brought to you by the NATIVE ENGLISH course:
Save 15% with the coupon:
Yes and everyone who was outside could see me sleeping.
Okay gotcha but I guess beggars can’t be choosers, right?
Yeah. But I was grateful I didn’t know better. I mean I didn’t have any other place to arrive and I didn’t have to pay for a very expensive hotel so I stayed there and then the first three days I went to Deakin to the invitation day and I dedicate myself to look for accommodation in a student house.
Okay so too what would you do if you went back and you didn’t want to do that? Would you recommend say people who don’t have friends in Australia whether they’re from Colombia or not, how would you recommend that they find accommodation for or short term accommodation? What kind of options do they have?
Well I was not very well-informed when I did the process but I know that some universities, at least Deakin, they have a community service that they allocate homestays. So homestays where you stay with a family and the family gives you the food and a room and WIFI. Of course it’s a little bit more expensive than just renting a room because you are like with a family. But I didn’t know that was an option. Otherwise I would have payed for at least a week on a homestay near close to University instead of. Because that place was… I was living in Bundoora which is like opposite side.
That’s also quite a fair way out of the CBD as well for those listening.
Everyday, 2 hours from home, I mean 4 hours to get there and back, yeah.
So do you know the prices off the top of your head for, roughly, weekly prices for homestay? Like a week 200 bucks?
I think it was more because I ended up paying 180 for my room.
For the balcony?
No, no, 180, when I found a place near Uni I ended up paying 180.
And was that shared or was that just you?
No, it was just me but it was a house with 10 people and one toilet and one shower.
Wow. Okay so scraping the bottom of the barrel there, a little bit.
It was bad but I didn’t have much money so I had to go with that.
It’s a learning experience but I would suggest if you don’t have anyone that you know, obviously check out these homestay options through the university, so contact them, look online. But also hostels short term, if you can handle sharing a room with other people tend to be a pretty cheap and affordable option and they’re everywhere in Melbourne and they’re probably 20 or 30 bucks a night.
Yes. Also I didn’t know back then but now I know that Facebook, there are lots of communities. So Colombianos in Melbourne or Chileans in Melbourne or I don’t know Europeans in Melbourne. There are tons of groups that you can join and most of the time there are people offering like a room or a bed or something. So you can just ask.
What would you say, if that’s the case though, because I know you’re right and I’ve seen those, how much do you think it’s important for people coming to Australia who want to study and study English here to avoid living with fellow people from their homelands like so that’s the tradeoff right you want someone to stay but would you recommend that they maybe only do that if they have no other options because then they’re probably going to end up in a house full of Colombians for example.
Yeah so what I will recommend is that for the first two weeks or first week that you’re in Australia, definitely go with those, if you can with a house with other Colombians, or whatever is your nationality, because you not only get to like I mean you get kind of… how can I say that? Like you get to a safe place.
Yep okay, so you can feel comfortable you find.
Comfortable. They can explain how everything works, the tram and everything. You don’t have to figure it out yourself if you haven’t done it on online before arriving. But I would recommend that for just one week up to two, until you find something on your own.
So you need to keep in mind, okay this isn’t permanent. I’m doing this for a short period, don’t get too comfortable. You know, it’s kind of like getting too close to the fire and then falling asleep and you fall in the fire.
Okay. Alright so once you found a place, what was your experience like with sharing this house with other people? And do you have any advice there for people who would be obviously looking for a share house?
I will say that if you don’t have patience and if you are not very into… like if you are very picky, I wouldn’t recommend a house with lots of housemates. Because one thing that… like cultures are completely different and I was sharing my house with people from Russia, people from Asia, like different parts of Asia, also people from Europe and all of them have different habits.
And expectations, right? Some of them are probably comfortable with dirty like plates sitting around and laundry out and others are probably like “no I can’t handle any of this”.
Even with hygiene, like I use deodorant every single day but there are other cultures that they don’t use deodorant so of course they have a natural smell, that for me that’s a really bad smell but for them is normal.
So it’s just to have that expectation in mind and realise if you live with a lot of foreign people, it’s the more of them that they are, the more difficult it may be for you.
Yes. So if you have the money because everything comes down to how much money you have per week. If you have the money what I did after getting my first job in Australia was moving out of there and moving into one apartment with another girl, only the two of us. I found her on flatmates.com.au. She is from the Maldives. And it was just the two of us, it was way better. We had space in the kitchen. The hygiene for both was the same and but then of course that was way more expensive than the little room within the house that I was sharing with 10 other people.
That’s the tradeoff, right? I think that happens where initially you’re like “ok I’m going to find somewhere cheap so I can save money” and then you realise it comes at the cost of mental well-being, your psychology, you know. So, what advice would you have for people trying to find these houses? Where were you looking, where did you find this one with the girl from the Maldives? And what are the prices, if I can ask, that you’re paying just so that people have a reference?
So I think I was wrong at the beginning when I said it was 180 per week. This house, the share house, it was 160 per week. And the first house I found at… like Deakin has a website with all the listings for international students. And just an advice, landlords are kind of dodgy sometimes. So, just be careful not to sign anything. My landlord wanted me to sign a one year lease and I was like “No, I can do only six because” and I said “oh I’m just doing one semester at Deakin and then I’m going to change” something like that. Because yes like… landlords are tricky, especially in those student homes, they’re tricky. So I found that one by our university listings, because yeah it was right next to uni. And also I would recommend if you’re looking for a place…
Sorry what did you say? It broke up there for a sec. You recommend?
I recommend that if you’re going to study in Australia, you wait until you are actually here to actually find or sign a contract or commit yourself to stay in a place because for example Deakin is really far away. So it would have been really bad if I had committed to rent a place in the city because that’s two hours away. Or maybe… yeah like I mean, apartments and houses and rooms can look really nice on the pictures, on the photos, but the reality could be completely different.
I think that’s a good point to make too : make sure that you go in person and inspect a lot of these places, don’t sign up online before you’ve seen them because they can tend to be different and photos can be doctored. They can be made to be a lot nicer than reality.
That’s correct. And then if you really want just to go with a normal flatmate, like you want to rent a room in an apartment that is not like with other students, I really recommend flatmates.com.au. You will have to pay like a subscription fee, getting on to the listings. But that is why it’s so good. Because there are no rubbish, there are no dodgy adverts in there. Whereas if you go with Gumtree, expect the worst because you never know what is in Gumtree. I wouldn’t recommend Gumtree, unless it’s like your last last resort, but I would go with Facebook or or flatmates.com.au.
Oh brilliant, alright. And so, you had that sorted out. What was studying at university like in Australia? Did it meet expectations? Was it difficult? Was it easy? Was it a nightmare? What was it like?
It must mix emotions because I have so much expectations. My expectations were really high.
And what were you thinking? What were your expectations after you got off the plane? What were you thinking it was going to be like?
Well I thought it would be like, yes, multicultural. I knew that, but I didn’t know the extent and I was expecting to study with local people. More Australians, which was not the case because I was doing a full time Master. That means that my classes where during the day and unfortunately during the day, Australians don’t go to class, they go to the class at night. So my team, like my…
Yes, the people who I was studying with, were from everywhere but Australia. I found two of my best friends, I found them there, like I met them there. But it was hard because, I don’t know, we Latin people, we are very open. We tend to be really nice and open to everyone, but I found that some cultures are more close. So, the Asians for example, the people from China or from Japan, they will always like close together like they didn’t talk to you, they didn’t say hello. And…
I think it’s very very difficult too, because at least in places like Melbourne University, I experience a similar sort of thing especially with the Chinese and it’s difficult because there are so many Chinese students that it’s obviously, you know, it’s the path of least resistance. They go there, they see a lot of Chinese people and they become good friends with them. But then it makes this kind of barrier there, because they’re always with their Chinese friends, they’re always speaking Chinese, that there’s no real way for you to kind of enter that conversation and never meet a lot of these people, because it would be like me going to class and seeing a heap of Colombians speaking Spanish and not having any Spanish and I’d be like “wow I’ll never get to know these people.” So, I guess that it’s on both sides, you know, try and push a little bit and get to know these people even if they’re speaking other languages, but also if you find yourself in a situation where you make a beeline straight for other people from your country, keep that in mind. And don’t think that people are ignoring you or don’t want to be friends with you because of that, but they may just feel like they can’t, if you’re always with Chinese people or always with Colombians speaking your native language.
And also the English was very broken for them. One of the things that I noticed is that, although, yes Australian English at the beginning was horrible for me, like so fast, I was like “what are you saying? Oh my God, how am I going to pass this class?”. I couldn’t understand my teachers because they were just speaking fast. But you get used to it, right? But then, my English was way better than my team members’ English. Like they never speak up at class, they never contribute to the classes. So it was a little bit… I don’t know. And then, no Australians whatsoever. So, it was a little bit disappointing. I took eight units, so four and four in two semesters. And out of the eight units, I will say, three were really good with really high quality teachers, professors. The other ones, I felt like I was back at uni, like a normal uni, just read the textbook and ABCDE type of… Yes some units, I was like “this is not helping me at all. I mean, I’m not going to use this ever”. So, I think the curriculum is a little bit tricky. I mean, it depends on what you like, but I wish I had knew that because I would pick other electives.
I guess it’s difficult though because you don’t know before you get there and you start doing it, right? You don’t really have many options.
I guess so. But yeah, I mean I don’t know. Like I had good teachers but I had bad ones too and I was very disappointed because I was like “I’m paying a fortune for this” and this isn’t the level that I was expecting.
I guess you just have to make the most of what you get though, right?
Yes, but then some of them were like… there was one class that the last assignment, the final assignment, that was like 70 per cent of the final grade was just copy paste the Internet. It was like “pick a country and develop all these different subjects for that country”. So I picked Colombia and it was just copy paste from the Internet. I was like “this is… I didn’t pay to do this”. So yeah, you just have to be prepared, and also it depends on what was your uni like, what was your experience at uni. Because I had very good expectations, very high expectations, because at my uni, I studied in very good uni in Colombia so it was very very hard, whereas this was a walk in the park compared to back then.
So, that’s the interview for today, guys. I hope you enjoy it. Just remember that that is part 1 of 2. So, if you would like to listen to the second part of this interview, stay tuned for part 2.
If you would like to check out Mai’s Instagram you can find her @MaiMedina, that is M A I M E D I N A. And you can also find her at Mai’s Journey on YouTube and that is M A I ‘ S space journey, J O U R N E Y. Okay.
The links will all be in the transcript. Big thanks for Mai for coming on the interview.
And don’t forget, guys, if you would like to get access to the Native English course, use the coupon code A U S S I E to save 15%. That means you’ll get it for less than $60 at lingova.com. L I N G O V A.
And there’s some stuff that’s coming out in the future. I’ve been chatting to Justin about this course. He’s wanting to add more components to it about slang and expressions and grammar used in other countries so that people can get used to different accents, and he has asked for me to do the Australian section in this course. So, hopefully, in the near future you’ll hear from me and see me in some videos in that course. Anyway.
Thanks for joining me today, guys. I hope you had an amazing time and I will see you soon. Catch ya.
Today’s episode is brought to you by the NATIVE ENGLISH course:
Save 15% with the coupon:
Watch the video here!
AE 489: 50+ Most Difficult English Words to Pronounce
G’day, guys. What’s going on? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I have 50 or more different and difficult-to-say English words. Okay. So, these were chosen by you guys on The Aussie English Facebook page. I put out a little message saying, hard words in English, give me a suggestion for a video, and this is your list. So, I’m going to try and go through all of these. I’m going to try and say them, maybe explain a little bit of the pronunciation that’s going on for these words, and then I’ll give you an example sentence of me using the word that I want you to repeat this sentence so that you can practice your pronunciation with me. Okay? So, the definition will also be down the bottom there, guys, if you would like to know more about how to use each of these individual words. I hope it expands your vocabulary. Let’s get into it.
Alright, guys. So.
1: encyclopedia. Encyclopedia. Notice where the emphasis is here. Okay. Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia. James has an encyclopedia.
2: colloquial. Colloquial. I speak with my friends using colloquial English. Colloquial.
3. This is a long one. This is a long one, okay? Antidisestablishmentarianism. Antidestablishmentarianism. Okay? So, to be honest, this isn’t one you’re going to use very often. It’s just kind of a joke, because it’s a very long English word, but an example of using this would be. This man supports antiestablishmentarianism. Antidisestablishmentarianism. See if you can say that fast, guys.
4: thirsty. Oh! thirsty. Thirsty. Notice with my Australian accent I’m not saying that ‘R’. Thirsty. Thirsty. Thirsty. I’m thirsty. I’m really really thirsty.
5: loyalty. Loyalty. Loyalty. Okay? Loyalty is an important trait. Loyalty. Loyalty.
6: colonel. Now, this is one that screws up a lot of people, even kids learning English. When they see this word and they’re like “Colonel? What the hell is a “colonel”?”. We would pronounce this as “colonel”. “Colonel”. Sort of sounds like a kernel of corn, right. Little bit of corn. Colonel. His father’s a colonel in the military. Colonel.
7: hungry. Hungry. Hungry. She is incredibly hungry. Hungry.
8: angry. Hungry – Angry. Okay? Say that with me. Angry. Angry. Why are you so angry? Angry.
9: ridiculously. Ridiculously. Notice where the emphasis is there. Ridiculously. This car is ridiculously priced. Ridiculously.
10: bespectacled. Bespectacled. Another one that is not that common. Funny word though. (It) means to have glasses on, right. Bespectacled. He is a bespectacled and studious young man. (He) loves to study and is wearing glasses. Bespectacled.
11: surreptitiously. surreptitiously. So, notice where those emphasis? emphases? emphasezes? Emphases. Notice where those emphases are. surreptitiously. Surreptitiously. Surreptitiously. James surreptitiously left the room. Surreptitiously.
12: towel. Towel. And that’s a difficult one, because of that vowel, ‘ow’, ‘ow’. Towel. Okay. Have you got a towel? Have you got a towel? Have you got a towel? Towel.
13: iron. Iron. In this example, I don’t pronounce the ‘R’. I would say this like, ‘iron’, ‘iron’, and there’s a ‘Y’ in there. Iron. A ‘Y’ sound. Iron. I’m going to iron my clothes. Iron.
14: world. World. Again, I’m not pronouncing that ‘R’. World. It sounds like ‘whirled’, as in you whirl something around. Wohoo! Whirl! But the world. It’s a big world out there. World.
15: redundant. Redundant. Notice that emphasise. Redundant. Redundant. What he said was redundant. (It) wasn’t required. Redundant.
16: jewellery. Jewellery. Jewellery. Jewellery. (It’s a) bit of a tongue twister there, because of the ‘L’ and the ‘R’. My mum loves jewellery. Jewellery.
17: another R-L word. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. Australia has no squirrels. Squirrel.
18: required. Required. Required. What is required for the job interview? Required.
19: hour. Hour. Hour. We leave in an hour. Hour.
20: phenomenon. Phenomenon. Phenomenon. Notice the emphasis. Phenomenon. Weather is an interesting natural phenomenon. Phenomenon.
21: anemone. Anemone. Anemone. Again, that emphasis on the second syllable. Anemone. This is what I used to screw up. I used to say “amenome” or… yeah, I used to screw up all the time in school. Anemone. You find sea anemones in rock pools. Anemone.
22: unbelievable. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. That story was unbelievable. Unbelievable.
23: thigh. Thigh. I’m always saying with ‘TH’ make a sandwich. The tongue is the meat in the sandwich. The teeth are the bun, I guess, the bread above the tongue. Thigh. Thigh. Okay? The ‘TH’ is difficult. The ‘GH’ is silent. So, it sounds like the word ‘I’ with ‘TH’ in front of it. Thigh. Thigh. My thigh hurts after running. Thigh.
24: dough. Dough. ‘GH’ that’s silent again. Dough. Dough. I made some dough. Dough.
25: clothe. Clothe. Clothe. In this case, the ‘TH’ is voiced. Your throat needs to be vibrating. Clothe. Clothe. As opposed to ‘cloth’ where it’s not vibrating, right. Clothe. Clothe. We clothe our children. We close our children. Clothe.
26: vegetables. Vegetables. Vegetables. So, it’s not ‘veggie tables’, right? Veggie tables. Tables made of veggies. It is ‘vegetables’. Vegetables. Eat all your vegetables. Vegetables.
27: comfortable. Comfortable. Sort of similar to ‘vegetables’, where we get rid of a syllable ‘vegetables’, ‘comfortable’. Comfortable. This shirt is pretty comfortable. Comfortable.
28: choir. Choir. Choir. Choir. I don’t know why this one spelt with a ‘CH’, guys. To be honest, it’s one of those really, really stupid words in English. Choir. Okay? Choir. They sing in a choir. Choir.
29: message. Message. Message. Not message. Not message. Message. Message. Did you get my message? I sent you a message today. Did you get it? Message.
30: massage. And it can be ‘massage’ if you want. There’s kind of two variants. Massage. 30: massage. Or massage. Massage. I’d probably say massage. Massage. She’s getting a massage today. Massage.
31: farrago. farrago. Notice where the emphasis is. Second syllable. Farrago. Farrago. It’s a farrago of fact and myth. Farrago.
32: bamboozle. Now this is a good one. Bamboozle. It just sounds good to say. Bamboozle. Bamboozle. The puzzle is going to bamboozle him. Bamboozle.
33: thread. Thread. Now make that hamburger with a tongue in the teeth, thread, and then go straight to the ‘R’. Thread. Thread. He had a loose thread in his shirt. Thread.
34: languages. Languages. Languages. Again, emphasis at the start there. Languages. Languages. How many languages do speak? Languages.
35. Now, this isn’t really a common one, okay, but you’ll hear this attached to other words. So, borough. Borough. Borough. You’ll hear this in words like David Attenborough, right. His surname, Attenborough. Which borough were you born in? Borough.
36: unequivocally. Listen to that emphasise. Unequivocally. Unequivocally. Unequivocally. Okay? This is unequivocally true. How I pronounce ‘unequivocally’ is unequivocally correct. I hope. Unequivocally.
37: thorough. (It) rhymes with ‘borough’, right. Thorough. The investigation was a very thorough. Thorough.
38. Not to be confused with ‘thorough’, through. Through. Through. Concentrate on that ‘TH’ sandwich. Through. Like ‘threw’ the ball. (It) sounds the same. Through. Except this means to go through, right, to go through something. We walked through the forest. Through.
39, and I was dreading this word. I hate this word. Anesthetist. Yeah, that’s it. I got it. I hate this word. Anesthetist. This is difficult because you have the ‘S’ and the ‘TH’. Anesthetist. So, you’ll say that ‘S’ and as you’re saying the ‘S’, poke your tongue into that ‘TH’ sandwich, say it, ‘S-TH’, anesthetist, right? Anesthetist. God, that one’s hard. Anesthetist. The anesthetist applied the anesthetic. And that’s the biggest problem. You’ve got the word ‘anesthetic’, which is related to ‘anesthetist’, but the emphases are different. Anesthetist. Anesthetic. I don’t know why, guys. I don’t know why.
40: unfortunately. Unfortunately. Unfortunately. Unfortunately, you didn’t win the lottery. Unfortunately.
41: jeopardy. Jeopardy. And I think I used actually mispronounce this as ‘jeopardy’. Jeopardy. Jeopardy. Okay? Jeopardy. Jeopardy. It’s not ‘geoparty’. It’s Jeopardy. Jeopardy. Though, ‘geoparty’ sounds fun. Maybe it’s a party where geologists. ‘Geoparty’. Jeopardy. You put everyone’s lives in jeopardy. Jeopardy.
42: repeatedly. Repeatedly. He said the word ‘repeatedly’ repeatedly. Repeatedly.
43: misogynistic. Misogynistic. Notice the emphasis there. Follow the eyebrows. Misogynistic, right? Misogynistic. Misogynistic. My father is rather misogynistic. That’s not true. He’s not really, but for the sake of this example, my father is a rather misogynistic. Misogynistic.
44. I also hate this word. Rural. Rural. Rural. This is a really hard one. Rural. Rural. He lives in a rural area of Australia. Nailed it! He lives in a rural area of Australia. Rural. Rural.
45: persuasive. Persuasive. That argument was persuasive. Persuasive.
46: sophisticated. Sophisticated. Sophisticated. They had a sophisticated conversation. Sophisticated.
47: judgemental. Judgemental. She’s very judgemental of other people. Judgemental.
48: threshold. Threshold. I’ve reached my threshold. Threshold.
49: mirror. Mirror. Mirror. What do you see in the mirror? Mirror. Notice that Australian accent. ‘Mirror’ as opposed to an American accent, “mirror”. Mirror.
50: walnut. Wall, nut. Got no nuts here. Walnut. She has eaten a walnut. Walnut.
51. I don’t know how you guys found this word. Jesus. Otorhinolaryngologist. Hopefully, I’ve said that right. Otorhinolaryngologist. I wonder if people who work with or as Otorhinolaryngologists take a long time to learn this word. You work as an otorhinolaryngologist. Otorhinolaryngologist. Okay. I finally got it.
52: Worcestershire. Worcestershire. I love Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire.You’re only ever going to use that word with regards to the sauce Worcestershire or if you go to the place in England, Worcestershire or Worcestershire. Worcestershire.
53: authoritative. Authoritative. Notice the emphases. Authoritative. Authoritative. His voice was calm and authoritative. Notice to that very last ‘T’ is a t-flap. Authoritative. Authoritative.
54: impetuous. That’s a good one. Impetuous. I love the ‘P’. Impetuous. She made an impetuous decision. Impetuous.
55: plough. Plough. Another ‘GH’ that is silent. Plough. I plough the farmer’s fields. Plough.
56: conscientious. Conscientious. Conscientious. She’s a very conscientious lady. Conscientious.
And the very last one, guys, you got there. Well done. Well done.
57: vulnerable. Vulnerable. Vulnerable. Right. Vulnerable. The little boy was vulnerable. Vulnerable.
Well done, guys. I hope that helps. I’m going to do more of these sorts of videos in the future, so if you have a difficult word that you would like me to do a video on, put it in a comment below, guys, and I will compile a list, I’ll put together a list for the next one.
Anyway, guys, in the meantime, make sure you hit that ‘Subscribe’ button and the bell notification next to it if you would like to stay up to date with all the videos as they come out.
Also, make sure that you listen to the Aussie English Podcast. If you guys are learning Australian English, this is a free podcast you can download on your phone and you can listen wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, in order to improve your Australian English, or English in general, guys. So, check that out at www.TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com.
Anyway, that is enough from me, guys. I hope you have a ripper of a day and I will see you soon. Peace.
Otorhinolaryngologist. Far out. Otorhinolaryngologist. Jesus. Otorhinolaryngologist. I wonder if people who work with or as otorhinolaryngologists take a long time to learn this word.
You work as an otorhinolaryngolo… jesus. You work as an otolaryn… You…. F^&* me! Why is this so hard? You work as an otorhinolaryngologist. Yes, yes.
Definitions & Pronunciation:
1. Encyclopedia – /ɪnˌsɑekləˈpiːdɪɐ/ – a book or set of books giving information on many subjects or on many aspects of one subject and typically arranged alphabetically.
2. Colloquial – /kəˈləʉkwɪəl/ – (of language) used in ordinary or familiar conversation; not formal or literary.
3. Antidisestablishmentarianism – /ˌantɪdɪsɪˌstablɪʃmənˈteːrɪənɪzəm/ – opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England.
4. Thirsty – /ˈθɜːsti/ – feeling a need to drink.
5. Loyalty – /ˈloɪəlti/ – the quality of being loyal.
6. Colonel – /ˈkɜːnəl/ – a rank of officer in the army and in the US air force, above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier or brigadier general.
7. Hungry – /ˈhɐŋɡri/ – feeling or showing the need for food.
8. Angry – /ˈæŋɡri/ – feeling or showing strong annoyance, displeasure, or hostility; full of anger.
9. Ridiculously – /rɪˈdɪkjələsli/ – so as to invite mockery or derision; absurdly.
10. Bespectacled – /bəˈspektəkəld/ – wearing glasses.
11. Surreptitiously – /ˌsɐrəpˈtɪʃəsli/ – in a way that attempts to avoid notice or attention; secretively.
12. Towel – /ˈtæɔl/ – a piece of thick absorbent cloth or paper used for drying oneself or wiping things dry.
13. Iron – /ˈɑeən/ – smooth (clothes, sheets, etc.) with an iron.
14. World – /wɜːld/ – the earth, together with all of its countries and peoples.
15. Redundant – /rɪˈdɐndənt/ – not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
16. Jewellery – /ˈdʒʊlri/ – personal ornaments, such as necklaces, rings, or bracelets, that are typically made from or contain jewels and precious metal.
17. Squirrel – /ˈskwɪrəl/ – an agile tree-dwelling rodent with a bushy tail, typically feeding on nuts and seeds.
18. Required – /rɪˈkwɑeəd/ – officially compulsory, or otherwise considered essential; indispensable.
19. Hour – /ˈæɔ/ – a period of time equal to a twenty-fourth part of a day and night and divided into 60 minutes.
20. Phenomenon – /fəˈnɔmɪnən/ – a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.
21. Anemone – /əˈneməni/ – a plant of the buttercup family which typically has brightly coloured flowers and deeply divided leaves.
22. Unbelievable – /ɐnbɪˈliːvəbəl/ – not able to be believed; unlikely to be true.
23. Thigh – /θɑe/ – the part of the human leg between the hip and the knee.
24. Dough – /dəʉ/ – a thick, malleable mixture of flour and liquid, used for baking into bread or pastry.
25. Clothe – /kləʉð/ – put clothes on (oneself or someone); dress.
26. Vegetables – /ˈvedʒtəbəl/ – a plant or part of a plant used as food, such as a cabbage, potato, turnip, or bean.
27. Comfortable – /ˈkɐmftəbəl/ – (especially of clothes or furnishings) providing physical ease and relaxation.
28. Choir – /ˈkwɑeɐ/ – an organized group of singers, especially one that takes part in church services or performs in public.
29. Message – /ˈmesɪdʒ/ – a verbal, written, or recorded communication sent to or left for a recipient who cannot be contacted directly.
30. Massage – /ˈmæsɐː(d)ʒ/ – the rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain.
31. Farrago – /fəˈrɐːɡəʉ/ – a confused mixture.
32. Bamboozle – /bæmˈbʉːzəl/ – cheat or fool.
33. Thread – /θred/ – a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibres used in sewing or weaving.
34. Languages – /ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒəz/ – the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.
35. Borough – /ˈbɐrɐ/ – a town or district which is an administrative unit
36. Unequivocally – /ɐnɪˈkwɪvəkli/ – in a way that leaves no doubt.
37. Thorough – /ˈθɐrɐ/ – complete with regard to every detail; not superficial or partial.
38. Through – /θrʉː/ – moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location).
39. Anesthetist – /əˈniːsθətɪst/ – a medical specialist who administers anaesthetics.
40. Unfortunately – /ɐnˈfoːtʃənətli/ – it is disappointing that
41. Jeopardy – /ˈdʒepədi/ – danger of loss, harm, or failure.
42. Repeatedly – /rəˈpiːtɪdli/ – over and over again; constantly.
43. Misogynistic – /məˌsɔdʒəˈnɪstɪk/ – strongly prejudiced against women.
44. Rural – /ˈrʉːrəl/ – in, relating to, or characteristic of the countryside rather than the town.
45. Persuasive – /pəˈswæɪsɪv/ – good at persuading someone to do or believe something through reasoning or the use of temptation.
46. Sophisticated – /səˈfɪstɪkæɪtɪd/ – having, revealing, or involving a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture.
47. Judgemental – /dʒɐdʒˈmentəl/ – of or concerning the use of judgement.
48. Threshold – /ˈθreʃɔld/ – a strip of wood or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room.
49. Mirror – /ˈmɪrɐ/ – a surface, typically of glass coated with a metal amalgam, which reflects a clear image.
50. Walnut – /ˈwoːlnɐt/ – the large wrinkled edible seed of a deciduous tree, consisting of two halves contained within a hard shell which is enclosed in a green fruit.
51. Otorhinolaryngologist – /ɔtəʉˌraɪnəʉˌlærənˈɡɔlədʒist/ – the medical specialty concerned with diseases of the ear, nose, and throat.
52. Worcestershire – /ˈwəstəʃə/ – a pungent sauce whose ingredients include soy, vinegar, and garlic
53. Authoritative – /oːˈθɔrəˌtæɪtɪv/ – able to be trusted as being accurate or true; reliable.
54. Impetuous – /ɪmˈpetjʉəs/ – acting or done quickly and without thought or care.
55. Plough – /plæɔ/ – a large farming implement with one or more blades fixed in a frame, drawn over soil to turn it over and cut furrows in preparation for the planting of seeds.
56. Conscientious – /ˌkenʃɪˈenʃəs/ – wishing to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly.
57. Vulnerable – /ˈvɔlnərəbəl/ – exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
AE 488 – Expression: Bang for Your Buck
Well, Aussies have long had love affairs with their cars, right, in particular, the big V8 or the muscle car.
Well, as Mike Dalton reports, recently, there was a battle to find the best.
It’s a question of honour for local motoring enthusiasts, who makes the best V8s, the locals or the septics? And so, Unique Car Magazine’s drawn together two generations of V8s from either side to duke it out in the battle of the donk.
G’day… Oh! Wait a second, guys! Wait a second. Sorry, I’ve just realised. window’s open. Window’s open. All right. So, let’s try that again.
G’day, guys, and welcome to this episode of Aussie English. The number one Aussie… the number one Aussie English Podcast?! The number one podcast for anyone and everyone or wanting to learn Australian English or English in general, guys. This is an intermediate to advanced English speakers’ podcast for anyone who’s really trying to get to native-like level of comprehension when they’re speaking or just trying to understand English, and specifically, Australian English. Obviously, that is the accent that I have.
Anyway guys, if you would like to support the podcast, if you would like the bonus content for these episodes, make sure that you go to theAussieEnglishClassroom.com, you can sign up there for just one dollar for your first month, and you will get all the bonus videos for this episode, and about 40 or 50 previous episodes as well, and there are also mini courses in there for pronunciation, little bits and pieces on grammar, and I’m adding to that every single week. So, there’s a great community there too on Facebook where we all hang out and chat about these things and complete different speaking challenges related to these episodes. Anyway. If you’re thinking about trying to get your English to the next level and you like studying, check that out.
If, on the other hand, you are just after the transcripts and the MP3s for these episodes, because you just like to be able to study your own way, in your own time, with the transcripts, make sure you go to TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com, and you can sign up there for the price of a coffee every month. It is $4.99 for a monthly subscription there where you can download or the content for the episodes, the transcripts and the MP3s. Alright, anyway.
With that out of the way, the movie scene from the start there today guys it was a story from Channel 9, which is one of the 4 or 5 channels that we have free-to-air on Australian TV, although, free-to-air TV seems to be in its death throes at the moment and dying off as the Internet and media on the Internet becomes more and more consumed by people, right. I don’t think… I can’t even remember the last time I was watching normal TV. Anyway.
The story was from Channel 9 and it was on muscle cars. So, we’re going to tackle that in the fact about Australia today, and we’re also going to talk about it in one of the examples today. But if you would like to watch that entire story on muscle cars from Channel Nine, you can check out the link in the transcript, okay, to check it out.
Aside from that, let’s just get into it, guys. To start with, an Aussie joke, an Aussie joke. They’re all pearlers. They’re all rippers. They’re all beauties. I know you guys have a love for his jokes so I’m going to keep them coming. Alright, so here we go. Here we go. Today’s joke.
A guy walks into a mechanic shop and he says, I need a petrol cap for my Holden Commodore. The mechanic looks over to him and says, yeah, okay. Sounds like a fair trade! Sounds like a fair trade!
Do you get it? Do you get it, guys? Alright, so a guy walks into a mechanic shop, somewhere that some mechanic works who repairs cars, and he says to the mechanic, I need a petrol cap, as in the cap that goes on the petrol tank where you obviously fill up the car with petrol, I need a petrol cap for my Holden Commodore. Holden Commodores are a kind of car in Australia that are ubiquitous, they are everywhere, they are a dime a dozen, they are all over the shop. You will see them as far as the eye can see in Australia. So, he asked for a petrol cap for his Holden vehicles, as a result of Holden cars being cheap, common, the mechanic says, yeah, okay, sounds like a fair trade.
So, the joke there is that the mechanic thinks that this guy wants to trade his Holden Commodore for a petrol cap, right. That’s how cheap and bad those cars are in the mind of the mechanic. Whereas, the guy just wants a new petrol cap for his Holden Commodore. Anyway. That’s the joke. Okay? That’s the joke.
So, today’s expression is ‘bang for your buck’ and this is from Esmaeil. He suggested this in the private Facebook group for members of The Aussie English Classroom. Remember, if you want to sign up there and be a part of selecting these expressions, posting videos, hanging out with the community, then sign up at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Good job, Esmaeil. This was an amazing suggestion, as it’s an expression that I use quite often.
You might hear this as ‘get more bang for your buck’, ‘to get the best bang for your buck’, ‘to get better bang for your buck’. So, it can be in different variations, but it is relatively common all over Australia and in America, and maybe even Britain as well, although, they may say ‘pound’ instead of ‘buck’, I am not sure.
Also, I want to give an honourable mention to Emma. She came equal first with Esmaeil and she had suggested the expression ‘to put the mockers on someone’, although, I’d never heard this expression before, and that’s why I said, you know what, I’m going to let Esmaeil have this one as I do use ‘bang for your buck’.
So, let’s go through and define the words in the expression ‘bang for your buck’, right. Okay?
So, ‘bang’. ‘A bang’. You know, ‘boom!’. ‘A bang’ is literally the sound of an explosion. You know? If a nuclear bomb goes off, I am certain it goes off with a bang. If you shoot a gun, it makes a bang. If a car breaks down, the engine quite often goes bang, right. But in this sense, when they’re saying ‘bang’, they mean ‘value’, the value of something. Okay? We’ll get to that when we talk about the definition.
‘A buck’. ‘A buck’, I’m sure you guys have heard of if you’ve been listening to this podcast for quite a while. I often say ‘a buck’ when I’m talking about ‘a dollar’, right. So, how much was the coffee? Four bucks. How much was the car? A few thousand bucks. How much was the camera? Two thousand bucks. So, you’ll often hear ‘a buck’ or ‘bucks’ used in Australia is also used in America. And again, I’m not sure, I don’t think it’s used in Britain, because they don’t use the dollar, they use pounds.
So, that’s it for the definitions in the expression ‘bang for your buck’, right. You guys all know what the word ‘for’ and the word ‘your’ mean already.
Expression definition wise, though, this is a simple expression. If you get good bang for your buck, the idea here is that ‘bang’ is value, so you get good value for your buck, you get good value for your dollar. So, it just means to get your money’s worth or to get incredibly good value for the money that you have spent on something, right?
So, I went and tried to find the expression origin for ‘bang for your buck’ and there was an early citation of this expression, ‘more bang for your buck’, that was placed in an advert in a publication called Metals and Plastics Publications all the way back in 1940. So, I assume the ad referred to a product that was low cost, but really high value. Hence, being ‘good bang for your buck’ or ‘being the best bang for your buck’, compared to other competitors. Right?
But then, I was also further reading about this on a Phrases.org.uk blog post and they were talking about the origin being related to nuclear weapons. Okay? Hear me out. Hear me out. Okay? So, I’m going to read out a little bit of this article for you guys, because I thought it was really interesting. Okay?
So, you can imagine that generals and political leaders have argued over the costs of military since the beginning of time. Their conversations have probably not changed much from the general saying, we need more cannons, nuclear weapons, and soldiers, and the country’s leader, the Emperor, the President, the king, saying, well, the people need food. Can’t you manage with what you’ve got? Right? So, there has been that push and pull throughout history.
So, American president Dwight Eisenhower faced something of a dilemma in 1953. He was a military man to his socks and was inclined to augment defense in the face of the perceived ‘reds under the bed threat’, right, the Communists being a threat there, but he was also a Republican US President and, as such, politically wedded to cutting state spending. So, his solution was simple, increase the armed forces by decreasing their budget.
In ordinary circumstances, that circle would be difficult to square. The solution that the US Joint Chiefs of Staff came up with, which they titled ‘The New Look’ was a policy of using nuclear weapons in any conflict bigger than what they called ‘a brush fire war’–I would take it a very small war, something that’s not very important–and that allowed them to radically reduce the numbers of servicemen and replace those servicemen with comparatively inexpensive atomic bombs.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
You may have seen those videos online sometimes where you see a nuclear bomb go off in the distance and soldiers start walking towards it. 1950s, guys, the 1950s.
So, this was described in a story in the Winona Republican Herald in December of 1953, and the story also reported that Admiral Arthur Radford as describing the policy as the ‘more bang for your buck theory’. Okay?
So, that’s where this idea really comes from and I think it climbed to popularity after the 1950s. Alright.
So, let’s go through some examples now of how you could use this expression, ‘bang for your buck’, ‘to get bang for your buck’, ‘to get more or better bang for your buck’ like a native speaker.
So, example number one. Imagine that you want to buy a muscle car. Right? So, you’re a bit of a rev head, you love your cars, and you want something with a lot of power. So, you’re probably after something with a bit of umph, probably a V8 of some kind, something with a lot of horsepower, a lot of kilowatts. So, you go to your local car dealership and check out the second-hand cars that he has for sale, and after looking for a few minutes the car salesman comes up and he says, well, what can I help you with? What would you like? And you might say, I want as much power as I can get for the best price. And he says, you know, not to worry! I’ve got the perfect car for you. And he goes off and finds you this beautiful second-hand V8 Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon, right. These are two very popular V8 sort of muscle cars in Australia. So, he finds this car and he says to you, this is going to give you a lot of bang for your buck. It’s going to give you the best bang for your buck. They’re cheap as chips to repair, and as well, Holdens and Fords are a dime a dozen in Australia. They are everywhere. So, they’re cheap to buy.
Example number two. You’ve decided that your house is old and needs renovating. And so, you’ve decided to bite the bullet and finally get around to beginning a reno on your house. ‘A reno’ being the slang term for ‘a renovation’. So, you’re trying to pinch pennies, you try to save as much money as possible, hence, doing the reno yourself or with your wife, family, friends, instead of hiring some professional tradies to do it for you, right? That would be a cheaper way of doing it if you had the knowhow and you could do it yourself. So, you hit up the local Bunnings Warehouse, a household hardware chain of stores in Australia. If you guys live here, you’ll know those huge factories that are green and red called Bunnings, Bunnings Warehouse. So, you go and chat to the people that work there and tell them that you are doing a reno at home, and you give them a list of things that you require. You give them a list to sink their teeth into and go and find all this stuff that you need. If you want to ask them to give you the best value for money possible so that the items you buy are of the highest quality possible that you can afford, you might ask them, how can I get the best bang for my buck? What should I buy if I’m trying to get more bang for my buck, if I’m trying to get my money’s worth, if I’m trying to get the best value, right? The worker might say to you, not to worry, I’ll search through every nook and cranny in this store, in this huge warehouse, and sort you out with all the gear that you need, all the supplies that you need, to renovate your house like a pro. And then Bob’s your uncle, he goes off, finds the stuff, comes back, kits you out with everything you need, and gives you great value for money. He gives you the best bang for your buck.
Example number three. Imagine that you are a gun enthusiast. Although, I don’t think there’s many of these in Australia, but for the sake of this example, imagine that you love guns. You are a responsible gun owner. You have a gun safe that you keep your guns in, and you have another safe that you keep your ammunition in, and you keep both of them safely under lock and key so that no family members or kids can get their hands on these weapons. So, maybe you loved hunting and that’s why you’ve got the guns. You like game hunting, maybe feral animals like deer or pigs or camels. You love hunting them in Australia. Or maybe even native animals. You can hunt kangaroos in Australia. You usually catch up with your mates on weekends and you guys kit yourselves out with your guns, with scopes, with the camo gear–meaning ‘camouflage gear’, the stuff that you wear to blend in with the surroundings–and all of the rest of it, and then you go bush, meaning you go into the bush, you go into the forest or into the isolated areas to go hunting. So, one day your mate shows up and he has a huge new gun of some kind, right? Maybe a rifle of some huge caliber. You know… I don’t know, a 50-caliber gun, right? This huge weapon. You might say to him, Wow, man! That’s a big gun. I hope you haven’t bitten off more than you can chew, I hope your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach, and I hope you can handle that gun as it looks like it’s a bit much for you. He might reply, no stress, mate. It’s fine and works well and I can handle it. I went to the gun store, told them that I wanted as much bang for my buck as possible, so they gave me this little beauty. And considering the value, she’s definitely the best bang for my buck that I could find. And figuratively, that’s true, but also literally, it’s probably also the loudest bang for his buck too. Right?
So, there you go, guys. That is the expression, ‘bang for your buck’. I hope you understand it now and it means to have value for your money, to get value for your dollar, to get your money’s worth when you purchase something.
So, as usual, let’s go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys. Today’s is a bit more of an advanced one. Okay? So, we’ll go through it. We’ll go through the expression ‘to get the best bang for your buck’ first, and then, I want to go through using the expression ‘to be after something’, ‘to be after something’. And in English this means, ‘to want something’. I’m after some food. I’m after a drink. I’m after a few friends in Australia. I’m after something. I want something. Okay, guys? So, listen and repeat after me, and remember if you would like to practice this lesson as well as all the previous expression lessons in more detail, sign up at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. Anyway. Listen and repeat after me.
To get the
To get the best
To get the best bang
To get the best bang for
To get the best bang for your
To get the best bang for your buck x 5
Alright. Good job. Now let’s go through the phrase ‘to be after the best bang for your buck’. Okay, we’ll conjugate through each pronoun here in the present tense. Let’s go.
I’m after the best bang for my buck.
You’re after the best bang for your buck.
He’s after the best bang for his buck.
She’s after the best bang for her buck.
We’re after the best bang for our buck.
They’re after the best bang for their buck.
It’s after the best bang for its buck.
Good job, guys. Good job. Let’s just dive straight into the Aussie fact today.
So, today I wanted to talk about racing in Australia, because it’s related to muscle cars and I thought, okay, muscle cars and racing in Australia, Bathurst, the Bathurst races that occur every year are always with muscle cars, with Holdens and Fords. Alright.
So, let’s talk about some motor racing history in Australia, specifically, I want to tackle the races that occur in Bathurst at Mount Panorama. Okay.
So, the Mount Panorama Circuit is a motor racing track located in Bathurst in New South Wales and Australia. This is the South East Coast, Central Coast of Australia. It’s situated on a hill with dual official names of ‘Mount Panorama’ and ‘Wahluu’. And it’s world-renowned for being the home of two annual races in Australia. Number one the Bathurst 1000 motor race, which is held every October each year, and number two, the Bathurst 12-hour event, which is held every February.
The track is approximately 6.2 kilometers long, which is exactly 4 miles long, and is technically considered a street circuit as it is on a public road, which has normal speed restrictions when no racing events are being held, and, as a result, there are numerous residences that live around this track where they can actually only get access on the circuit. So, that must be a real pain in the arse when these events are held, because they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get to their houses. So, they must have to stock up on food and stuff during those days.
So, from the start-finish line, the track can be divided up into three main sections. Number one: the short pit straight and then a tight left turn into a long steep mountain straight as the road climbs up the hill. Number two: the tight narrow section across the top of the mountain itself. And then, number three: the long downhill section of Conrod Straight with the very fast chase and the turn back on to pit straight to complete the lap.
Throughout its history, the race track has been used for a large variety of different racing categories including everything from motorbikes to open-wheel racers. However, due to the fact that the race track is considered somewhat unusual in its layout and because of tighter modern safety standards for racing, it’s unlikely that major race meetings in those categories will be held on the track again in the future. As a result, the race track has become the near-exclusive territory of close-bodied cars, specifically, Holdens and Fords, the V8s.
If you a bit of a rev head yourself or you’re just interested in checking out Mount Panorama and Bathurst itself, the Mount Panorama Circuit is open to the public as a public road on non-race days when it isn’t closed off due to an event. And if obviously, you want to check it out too, because you’re a rev head and love races, then obviously, go and check out the Bathurst 1000 in October or the Bathurst 12-hour event in February. So, I guess the next one coming is in October.
On your average day, cars can drive in both directions around this circuit for free. However, you will have to adhere to a snail-pace speed limit of 60 kilometers an hour unless you want to risk receiving a speeding fine from the local cops, the local police.
Anyway, guys, I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you guys like cars as well. I’m sort of a rev head, I guess, kind of, I kind of like cars. I’m not obsessed, though. Though, I do love cars. I do love a good V8. Anyway, I hope you have an amazing weekend, guys, and I’ll see you soon. Catch ya!
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
AE 487 – WWP: What a Day! Photography Update
Badabing, badaboom! (It’s) time for another Driving with Pete episode. So, it be Walking with Pete except I have just finished walking around and I have to go grab Kel. So, just let me reverse up. Reverse, reverse, reverse. Do a U-ie. Do U-turn. U-ie, U-ie, U-ie. And it’s time to drive into Canberra and I’m early. I’m early. (I) thought I was going to be late. I normally have to grab Kel at about 3 o’clock and it is 2:20 at the moment, and I was taking photos out in the back of this sanctuary, reserve. It’d be a reserve. So, it’s a nature reserve, Mulligan’s Flat, Mulligan’s Flat Reserve.
So, this is in… It’s near Bonner, which is a suburb in Canberra, and this is the place that I’ve been going a heap recently in order to practice photography, and get a load of photos of kangaroos and echidnas, birds, all kinds of stuff. It’s been amazing. And today, was no different. Today was absolutely awesome.
So, I finished work. I was doing my podcast stuff. I released an interview today. Kit was chatting to me about IELTs. So, I put that interview up this morning. And I’m… at the moment, this week at least, I’ve been trying to get everything done by about 12 o’clock. So, I normally start work, I normally get out of bed at about 8:00, 8:20, and I start work downstairs in the kitchen, situate myself at the kitchen table, make a coffee, and then I wait for people to come downstairs, to wake up slowly, although usually two of them, two of the Brazilians that I normally chat with, have already disappeared.
So, but yeah, normally Luma at the moment, one of my housemates’ girlfriends who is with us at the moment, she is normally there. She gets up after me, and then I’ve put myself downstairs so that we can chat and I can practice my Portuguese or, you know, just be social, because I don’t want to be cooped up, ‘cooped up’ like a chicken coop, right. The place where you keep chickens at night. You put them in a coop and that’s where they are locked. If you’re cooped up in English that… that means you’re sort of locked up in a room or you’re in a small confined space for a long period of time, right.
So, I’m always cooped up in the office, in my bedroom, and I don’t really like to be too cooped up for too long. I like to be sociable like to come out chat to people. So, I situate myself downstairs, put my computer on, have my camera gear down there too. Recently, I’ve had my… this new lens I bought two days ago, and if you haven’t checked it out, I made a video about how I saved $100 when I bought this lens and that was using the expressions, ‘What’s the best deal you can give me on this?’ and ‘What’s the best price you can give me on this?’. Okay? So, you can use those expressions when buying things like cameras or cars, or expensive electronic equipment, in particular, you can do it. So, if I were to go to JB Hi-Fi, for instance, I wouldn’t obviously do it if I was just buying a CD, right.
If I’m buying a single seat for 20 dollars they’re not going to give me any money off. But if I were to buy a $5,000 camera and a $2,000 lens and a 100 dollar memory stick or memory card, whatever it is. If you were to say, ‘What’s the best price you can give me on this?’, because you’re spending a significant amount of money they are almost certain to say, ‘I will knock a few hundred bucks off it’ or ‘we’ll knock a thousand dollars off it if you’re spending enough’. You know, normally, they’ll be able to pull off 5 to 10 maybe even 15 percent of the price, because they have the profit margins kind of built in there so that they have room to do that and room to offer deals when someone’s actually wanting to spend a lot of money.
So, I thought I would make a video on that, guys, and some of the comments were really impressive. Someone was saying that they had gone, I think, to Dick Smiths and JB Hi-Fi to get a price for something and one of the places had it really cheap, but they had only found it online, and so they’ve gone to, I think it was, JB, shown the price, and JB matched it, and they saved more than 50 percent. So, that was really crazy. Anyway. I thought that was worth talking about.
But yeah, I bought this new lens and it is 100 to 400 mm. So, anyone who is into cameras knows that the higher the number of millimetres, effectively, the closer you can get to your subject, the thing that you’re photographing, the more zoomed in you’re going to be the higher the number of millimeters on a camera. I’m still learning all this sort of physics of how this works and everything, but in other words, 100 to 400-millimeter lens is a big lens. And finally, it is allowing me to get a lot closer to the animals or to the people or to the architecture and buildings that I want to take photos of.
So, at the moment though, it’s just a matter of getting used to how to use it. Right? So, every time you’re going to it lens, normally it’s got different features, it does different things, it’s got a different depth of field, a different aperture, it can reach a certain range, and you just have to get used to using it, and how much light can get in, and the settings that you have to adjust on your camera. So, I’m trying to do that at the moment and that means finishing work, if I can, by about 12 o’clock in the afternoon, I guess, 12 pm, and then just relaxing for the rest of the day and not stressing out, because I find it easy to get kind of carried away and just keep working all day until late, and forget to give myself a bit of time to relax.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
And this… if you guys have been listening to or know of a guy called Jordan Peterson, he’s a clinical psychologist who has sort of made his way into to famous status recently, because he’s released a book and his message is basically, ‘Get your act together’, meaning be responsible, be the person that you would like yourself to be, etc., and quite often, he talks about designing your day to be the day that you would like to have, you know? Not working your arse off, because you think you need to work your arse off, but designing the day, as in like, organising your schedule so that the day is the day you want, whether that’s getting up and going to work, and then after work, setting aside time to see family or to do a hobby or to watch TV or to cook or to spend time with your partner, your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. He puts a lot of emphasis on being kind to yourself whilst also kind of being responsible and strict on yourself at the same time, but better organising your life so that you can enjoy it more.
So, I’ve taken that and I’ve tried to sort of apply that to myself this week at least more, in a more in-depth approach where I specifically aim to get a certain number of tasks done as soon as possible in the morning, I try and be efficient, and then I try and relax for the rest of the day, or you know, I might come back and do some more work later on if I feel like, I might have some lessons in the evening if I’m teaching on Skype.
But yeah, and yeah, this week’s been really good. I really enjoyed it, especially, being able to just go and do photography in the afternoons at least once a day and just learn, learn, learn, learn.
I’m trying to be a sponge at the moment. A sponge. One of those things you wash your plates with that when you put it in water, it soaks all the water up. I’m trying to be a sponge, I’m trying to get my brain to be a sponge and soak up all this new information with regards to photography. You know? There’s a lot to learn if you want to become effective. You know, if you want to be a talented photographer, one thing is being able to see the things you want to take photos of and get the composition and places right, but the next thing is being able to use the equipment that you have effectively and efficiently, and that’s the difficult part for me, at least. I tend to have a pretty good eye and can set photos up pretty well, but quite often they are out of focus, they’re underexpose, they’re overexposed, the aperture is wrong. So, we’re working on that has been the sort of difficult, but fun part of photography, and I think that’s why I enjoy it so much, because it’s kind of like an intellectual approach to learning something where I realise I have to sort of pick up all of these details and really study quite a bit. It’s kind of like learning grammar at the start of learning English, right. You sort of need to do that bit at first to get a basic idea of the rules and how to be efficient, and then you can kind of be a bit more relaxed and do what you want to do with the language or with photography, right. So, I’m at that stage at the moment where I’m still learning “the grammar”, in quotation marks, “the grammar” of photography.
Anyway today, I wanted to tell you about today, because I just had an amazing day at Mulligan’s Flat. It was insane. It was insane.
So, I went out there thinking, you know, it’s a windy day, it was just beginning to become overcast. So, prior to going out, the day had been really bright, really blue, lots of sun, not many clouds, but then all of a sudden, the clouds sort of appeared and I was like, oh, no, there’s not going to be any good light if I want to take some photos of some birds. Another thing I’ve just learnt, you need quite good light or the birds, because they move so much, tend to be really blurry quite often. And I had that experience yesterday, the first day that I got to take this lens for a spin, meaning I got to take this lens out and try to use it. I think we get that expression from… “to give something a spin”, that’d be like getting getting a car or a bike for the first time, something with wheels, and spinning the wheels, as in driving it or using it. So, if you hear someone say, “oh, can I give it a spin?”, they may use it for cars and bikes, and things with wheels, but they could also use it for things that don’t have wheels. So, just means to try that thing “to give it a whirl”, “to give it a spin”.
So, what was I talking about? So, yeah, yesterday, I went out and Kel I was taking photos down at Lake… What’s the lake called? The lake in the middle of Canberra. There’s a big lake there. If someone tells me that I goingn to know, but I’ve forgotten that off the top of my head.
So, we went down there were taking photos of loads of birds, or at least I was, Kel was wandering around with some other lenses playing around, but I was specifically trying to photograph things that were moving a lot, so birds, people, kids, bikes, dogs, things just moving around and I was really trying to get my settings correct on the camera. So, I’m trying to get aperture correct so that enough light gets into the camera so that the shutter speed isn’t too low, too slow, so that everything’s blurry, and so that I don’t have to boost what’s called ISO, I-S-O, ISO too high which causes the photo to be grainy, to be really grainy, to be noisy.
And yeah, I hope you guys don’t mind me talking about these sort of technical aspects, because I know that quite a few of you are photographers so learning about this stuff, hopefully, you’ll get a bit of vocab out of this if I talk about the more technical side of it. If you don’t do photography, forgive me, just try and hang in there know and understand what I’m talking about.
But yeah, so you have to play with these three things when you do any kind of photography. You have to play with these three things: Aperture, which is how much light you’re allowing into the camera; Shutter speed, which is how quickly the photo is taken, which again, sort of decides how much light is allowed into the camera based on time. And then; ISO, which is the computer… the computer chip inside the camera boosting or decreasing the sensitivity of the sensor, I think. So it artificially looks like there’s is more or less light based on that.
So, in photography, whenever you’re taking your photo of anything, you have to juggle these three things depending on the light that you’re using, like if it’s really bright, if it’s really dark, if the thing’s moving, if it’s not moving, if you’re taking a photo of the night sky, you have to set these settings for these three things differently in order to capture the photo the way you want to capture it.
So, I’ve been learning and juggling with those three things at the moment and it’s a steep learning curve. There’s a lot you need to learn to actually become effective at it.
And so, yeah, I was going out yesterday with Kel, we were taking photos of all these birds, animals, people, and with the birds, at least, I hadn’t appreciated just how hard it is to get a really sharp photo. “Sharp” we use in photography terminology, “Sharp” like the end of a knife, to mean that all the lines in the photo are really sharp, as in, they’re not fake and blurry lines, everything is crisp, in focus, and sharp.
So, it was really difficult. I took… I think I took about 2 maybe 3000 photos yesterday. We were out for an hour and I had it on burst, burst shoot, so that it takes many photos when you hold your finger down.
And yeah, it was frustrating, because so many of the photos were blurry and dark, and the… I was obviously not setting those three things correctly on aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, so that I would get clear, sharp, crisp photos. And so, previously, on other cameras… on other lensesm rather, using them on my camera. I had sort of gotten the hang of that. It wasn’t too much of a big deal.
But with this new lens, it’s a different lens, it’s big, it’s got different, you know, features to it, or aspects to it, so I have to learn how to change the settings in order to best utilize that lens.
So, yesterday was a nightmare. I got maybe, I think, 200 photos out of 2-3,000, so, you know, 10 percent or less that I liked and I deleted the rest.
So, today. Today, I decided to go out as well. I’m just going to open up Pepsi, I’ve got a drink here. I’m driving in to get Kel, but I’m losing my voice, because I’m talking so much.
So, today I went out and I was hoping to just see some birds at Mulligan’s Flat. You know, there’s lots of kangaroos there. They’re pretty easy to film, but they’re not moving very much. So, they’re kind of, sort of, you know, photography on easy mode. You don’t really do much unless they’re running away from you, or hopping away from you, rather.
So, I was out there and it was really good. I saw some birds… It’s… another thing that I want to talk about. Photography has really opened my eyes to different aspects of the world. So, you just see the world completely different constantly. You see photos that you want to take in your head every time you are looking at scenery or animals or people or buildings. I’m constantly now thinking of how to position things into good composition, to like a position to take a photo, good composition. And it’s weird. Previous to doing photography, my mind it never really been looking at the world that way. So, it is really funny when you learn something a bit different that your brain starts seeing the world differently, starts perceiving the world differently, starts thinking about different things. And this was the same when I did jujitsu, when I started martial arts, all of a sudden, when we were walking around I was always thinking about how big is this guy, how would I subdue this guy if he were to suddenly get violent, you know, when you’re out on a Friday or Saturday night, I’d be constantly thinking if there was loud noises or someone started yelling or making a scene or something, I’d be thinking okay, if push comes to shove and I have to fight this guy, how am I going to do it?
Previous to learning a martial art, I’d never even thought about that. But yeah, after a few years of doing jujitsu that suddenly was always something I was thinking about.
Same with photography, I’m always seeing it. So, yeah, I started noticing things a lot differently. So, today when I went out, and this is the point that I was trying to get to be seeing things differently, it was really funny, because I’ve come, maybe the last three times that I’ve been to Mulligan’s Flat, including today, I’ve seen the same birds in the same place, and this is something that I’d sort of taken for granted. Every time you’re out and about and taking photos, well not taking photos, whatever outside your house, walking around, you see birds, you think, the birds are sort of, I guess, that they move on. They don’t just stay in a sort of localised place, right. You never sort of see the same bird twice unless it has some kind of really distinctive features.
And although today, and this is the funny thing, I had noticed when I first went out there a few days ago this Kookaburra sitting on a sign and then he flew to a tree that was nearby, and then when I went to that tree to try and take a photo of him, he flew to another tree. And today, he was on the same sign, when I walked up to try and get a photo of him, he flew to the same tree, and then when I walked up to that tree, he flew to the same tree again. So, it goes to show just how much these animals are often utilizing the same area in nature, utilizing the same trees, and this is probably something that you guys already know. There’s probably a few photographers there that are like, “No dah, Pete! No shit Sherlock!”. They’re animals and you should know this.
As a biologist, you get taught this, but you never think about it unless you’re actively out there. And it was the same thing with the kangaroos. I keep seeing the same kangaroos now, especially the ones with different scars like the one that I’ve called Gus. There’s this big brown male kangaroo and he has like a scarred eye, one of his ears is ripped up. So, from all fighting, you know, fighting to dominate the mob and have rights to mate with all the females. He’s scarred up, but because of that, he’s one of the only ones I can recognise. And I can find him every day now. So, it just goes to show that these guys are always in the same place.
So, that was one thing that I noticed today. I was really thinking about it, because when I went out there again to Mulligan’s Flat, I saw the same Eastern Rosellas. There’s a pair of them that I see all the time, these pretty parrots that are like green, yellow, red, blue. They’re really beautiful. I saw a pair of Crested Pigeons. These are pigeons that are native to Australia that have like a crest on their head like a little Mohawk, and I saw the same pair of them, or at least what I assume was the same pair, as they were in exactly the same place. I went for a walk and then saw that cockatoo in the same place, ah cockatoo?! Kookaburra*. So, Kookaburra* in the same place. And it was just really funny. Goes to show that all these birds are always in the same location.
So, that was something really funny. I took some photos of these guys. I tried to get some good shots, although, it’s pretty hard to get close to them. And then I decided to walk around. Another thing that I had to sort of learn just recently getting into bird photography over the last, I don’t know, what’s that, maybe two weeks, three weeks, you have to think about what your angle is with regards to the sun pointing at the bird so that you get sunlight hitting the bird as directly as possible so that the bird is crisp and sharp in the photo. I’d never thought about this previously. I hadn’t really taken that many photos of birds, and when I had, I hadn’t paid attention to that aspect. So, I’d learnt that recently and it makes a big difference with regards to getting a sharp photo.
So, I was happy to concentrate on that. Anytime I would see a bird that I would want to photograph today, I had to make sure that I walked towards the sun first, if I wasn’t already with the sun to my back, and then I had to make sure the sun was behind me facing the birds so that when I got a shot, it was nice. And that made a big difference. That was really good. There was one piece of “grammar” that I learnt for photography.
Another thing was, what was the other thing that I was going to say? Obviously, adjusting the settings, I had to play around with those today.
And then, oh yeah! Another thing that I noticed, certain birds have flight distance. So, this is the distance that you can get close to an animal before it flies away or at the point that it runs away or flies away. Right? So, the thing that’s really funny is that some small birds won’t let you get anywhere near them. You’ll get within 20 metres and then fly off. Whereas, some other small birds, you can get really close to them, within five metres, and then they’ll fly off. And it’s the same thing with some of these big birds, like, cockatoos, you can get really close to and they just don’t care. They’ll fly off eventually, but you can usually get within two or three metres of them. The Kookaburra flies off every time I get within about 20 metres of it. Some of these other birds called ‘choughs’, which are these black and white birds that live on the ground and feed together. They’re always hanging out in a big group. They…, I was trying to photograph them today, but they were sort of really difficult to get close to, and they were always on the ground. I wanted them to kind of fly so that I could get some action shots, but they kept sitting on the ground just sort of digging up bugs and grubs and seeds and things to eat. And so, that wasn’t very interesting. I kept getting close, but they would just walk off, they wouldn’t fly off. So, that was really funny.
I saw a hare. That was really cool. A hare is like a really big rabbit, a really big rabbit with long back legs, and this thing, I think, I surprisedm because I didn’t know it was there. I was photographing these chuffs and all of a sudden it ran. This hare took off, it ran, and the cool thing was I had to think about, okay, how do I get close to it? Because it ran off into the distance, maybe 100 metres, and then it stopped. So, I had to think, okay, I want to get close to it. I want to try and get a better photo of it. So, there was a tree between me and the hare, and I had to line the tree up so that the hare couldn’t see me, so I couldn’t see the hair. That tree was between the two of us. And then I walked about 100 metres and I got to this big tree, snuck my head around the side, and got a photo of this hare, which was really cool. And then again, it ran off up the hill and it was sort of like this cat and mouse game of me trying to sort of follow it quietly before it ran off, but eventually it disappeared.
The last thing I wanted to mention, before we finish up, was that there was this really, really cool wallaby. So, this is really funny. After I’d finished chasing that here and I’d gotten to the top of this hill, I had seen these kangaroos in this valley, and I thought, oh, I’ll walk down and see what these kangaroos are doing, and I made a bit of noise, and these kangaroos looked up and were like, what’s going on? So, I thought, oh, I’ll stop and see if they relax. And I sat down and took a look to my right hand side and there was a, I think, it was a red-neck wallaby, either that or a swamp wallaby, because it was actually quite dark. It might have been a swamp wallaby. But it was ‘a wallaby’ is a smaller kind of kangaroo. They’re not… technically, they’re not kangaroos, but they’re similar. They’re called… they’re in the family Macropodidae, which is what… “Macropod” means “big foot”, and it’s what all of those animals like kangaroos and, well, yeah, wallabies, are in.
Anyway, so it was sitting next to me and I sat down, because its head was blocked by a log, by a sort of tree trunk. So, I was like, okay, I’ll sit down. I’ll be quiet and I’ll see how close I can get to this thing, or see how close it comes to me before I can take photos. But it wasn’t doing anything. I sat there for 10 minutes and it just sat still, frozen, didn’t do anything. The kangaroos in the valley, in the gully, were still sort of just, you know, relaxed and eating and had gone back to what they were doing after I’d made all that noise.
This wallaby just sat frozen there. So, time was sort of running out and I had to think about walking back to the car so that I could drive and get Kel, because I had to leave at about 2:30, and I just decided to walk towards the wallaby a little bit to see what it would do, see if it would run off and maybe I’d get a shot or two of its bum as it ran off into the distance.
But the funny thing was, the moment that I did that and I walked up to the wallaby, it saw me and did nothing, and I was kind of like, okay? That’s really weird! Usually, wallabies are more skittish, they’re more afraid of humans, than kangaroos are, and kangaroos would never let me get that close. So, it was very bizarre that this wallaby would allow me to get so close to it. So, I walked up a little closer and it took a few steps, and I thought, oh, okay, here we go. It’s about to bail. It’s about to run off. It’s about to disappear. But it just stopped and then started eating one of the plants in front of it.
So, I spent maybe 10 to 20 minutes just photographing this wallaby walking around in front of me, and I got within three or four metres of it a few times, and it was just really bizarre, because it didn’t… it didn’t really run off that far. It kind of just took one or two steps any time I got too close, and then would just relax again and have another bite of the tree.
So, that was really amazing, really, really amazing. Obviously, there are a lot of people that run around this park and the wallabies and kangaroos and other animals there just used to humans and not as skittish and flighty. They’re not, you know, going to run off really really quickly when they see you.
But that was amazing. So, hopefully, some of those photos turned out okay. But yeah, I wanted to share that with you.
Oh! And I also saw a dead fox a dead fox. So, we have foxes in Australia that are a pest species, and in Mulligan’s Flat you’re not allowed to take your dogs, probably, because there’s obviously kangaroos and animals. But then also, they use 1080 poison. 1080 poison is this really horrible poison that kills predators. I’m not sure if it kills… I think they put it in meat baits. I think it probably kills all mammals, but obviously herbivores don’t eat meat. So, they put it in meat baits and they drop them all over the place in the hope that foxes and cats will eat these baits and die.
But they’re really horrible, because I think they make the animals bleed to death internally. So there’s a bit of a… it’s a bit of a contentious issue in Australia as to whether or not you should be using these poisons to kill these animals. You know, it’s not their fault that they were introduced into Australia and are just trying to make a living killing all the native wildlife, which is not not too good.
Anyway, I saw a dead fox. He did obviously eaten some poison, because it was very young. So, it must have been pretty naive and didn’t realize that poison was what it was. Poor little dude.
And yeah, that was about it. That was my day. So, I was running around, doing photos, haven’t those thoughts, thought I would share them with you and make this Walking with Pete episode whilst I drive in to grab Kel.
And, I guess, also the other news is that I’m about to move back to Melbourne. We are going to move back within the next month. So, that should be really fun. I’m looking forward to being close to family friends and being back in Melbourne. But that is another story for another time.
Anyway, guys, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Hope it wasn’t too long. Hope you got something out of it. I hope you guys who like photography were finding the content interesting in that vocab in here’s really useful, and I’ll show you guys soon. Peace!
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
AE 486 – Expression: Cash Your Chips
Independent senator and power broker Nick Xenophon has vowed to continue his battle against gambling.
These figures show Australia tops the world in gambling losses.
The average Australian who gambles loses $1,279 a year and increasingly that’s via online sports betting sites.
The ABC’s national sports editor David Mark has more.
G’day, you mob. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone or wanting to learn Australian English. Whether it’s your first time listening to this podcast, guys, in which case, big welcome, thanks for taking the time to listen to this podcast and take your English to the next level, or you are a long-time listener from the very beginning, back in, I think, 2015, a few years back, three years back, when I started. Big thanks to you as well. I really, really appreciate that you’ve stayed with me this whole time, and I keep getting e-mails from people who, obviously, I’ve never met, but who say, you know, I’ve been following you since the very beginning, and it really means a lot to me when you guys send me those emails to say ‘g’day’, to tell me your story, to tell me how long you’ve been listening to the podcast, because even though you guys hear me all the time when I’m talking or I’m in videos, I don’t get to hear from you guys unless you send me an e-mail. So, don’t ever feel like you can’t do that. I really do appreciate that, guys.
And if you’re curious my email is TheAussieEnglishPodcast [at] gmail.com so feel free to always send me a message, give me feedback, just say ‘G’day’, ask me questions, I’m always available, and I always try to reply to as many e-mails as I can. Anyway, guys.
This is the Aussie English podcast, obviously. It’s brought to you by the Aussie English Classroom and that is at TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com. This is the website where for these expression episodes I have a classroom, right, so I have an online classroom where I upload bonus content for these expression episodes specifically designed for students who want to study and who want to improve their Australian English or English in general as quickly as possible. And so, I have quizzes. I have vocab lists and videos explaining complicated vocab from each of these episodes, complicated expressions, and then also challenges like creating short videos to share in the Aussie English Classroom Facebook group.
So, get in there and give that a go, guys, if you haven’t already. It’s a dollar for the first month. TheAussieEnglishClassroom.com.
And also, if you’re just the soda student who doesn’t have that much time to spend on studying at the moment and you’re just interested in the transcripts and the MP3s, remember, you can go to TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com and sign up there for a very small fee, it’s about the cost of a coffee a month, in order to get all the transcripts and MP3s every single week. Anyway.
Today’s movie scene, guys. Today’s movie scene was from a story from ABC News a few years back in 2016 and it was obviously on gambling in Australia. So, this is quite often a contentious issue that comes up in the news in Australia, and we’ll get to that a little bit later, but yeah, Nick Xenophon, who was mentioned at the start there, is an Australian pollie, an Australian politician, who’s always fighting against gambling. I think for his electorate, the people who voted him in, gambling’s a big issue. Anyway. We’ll get to that in the Aussie English fact today.
So, let’s talk about the Aussie joke. Well, it’s not an Aussie joke, it’s just a joke, but I got a joke today about gambling, right? So, gambling, the expression today, which will get him to too shortly, is ‘cash you chips’, related to gambling, the joke’s related to gambling as well. So, here’s the joke, guys.
What did the dealer say to the deck of cards? What did the dealer say to the deck of cards?
I can’t deal with you anymore.
What a pearler! What a pearler! What a good joke!
I can’t deal with you anymore. Do you get it? Do you get it?
What did the dealer, the person who deals cards, as in to hand them out to the players, what did the dealer say to the deck of cards? I can’t deal with you anymore.
So, the joke here is, obviously, ‘I can’t deal with you’, literally, that would be I can’t use you to deal when a we’re playing a game of cards. I can’t physically do it.
But, ‘to deal with someone’ is a phrasal verb that means to stand someone, to tolerate someone, to put up with someone. So, if you can’t deal with someone, it’s that they are annoying you and you cannot tolerate that person anymore.
So, what did the dealer say to the deck of cards? I can’t deal with you anymore. Meaning, I can’t tolerate you, but also meaning I can’t literally hand you out to other players. Alright, anyway.
Bad jokes aside, today’s expression is ‘to cash your chips’, ‘to cash your chips’. This was suggested by Paula in the Aussie English Facebook group. If you guys are in The Classroom, make sure that you send me an email with your Facebook email so that I can invite you to the Facebook group, because this is where we suggest the expressions each week. You guys then vote on them. And then, I’d do them in this episode. So, ‘to cash your chips’. Good job, Paula, this was a really, really good one. The definitions, we’ll go through that first.
If you ‘cash something’, you know, ‘cash your chips’, ‘to cash something’, it is to exchange something for money in terms of coins or notes, as opposed to check or money orders or credit online, right. That’s ‘cash’. ‘To cash something’, to turn it into cash, to turn it into money like coins and notes. ‘To cash something’.
‘A chip’. ‘A chip’ can be a few things, right. If you hit a trunk of wood, a tree, with an axe, the bits of wood that come off the tree, the small pieces of wood that chip off the tree, are called ‘chips’. And I would imagine this is where the word ‘a chip’ comes from, which refers to a small disc used to represent money in betting games like poker at casinos. Right? So, I would imagine back in the day, people probably used chips of wood in order to represent money when they were gambling with one another, right? ‘A chip’. A small disc used to represent money.
So, let’s go through the expression definition, guys.
Literally, ‘to cash your chips’, if you cash your chips, it is that you’re at a casino or you are playing some kind of game where your gambling money and you’re using chips to represent money, obviously, and you wanting to convert those chips into money after you’ve finished gambling. So, ‘to cash your chips’ is literally to exchange your chips for money when you’re done with playing a game.
And it can also be to convert your assets into money more generally, right? If you want to sell your shares in a company or something and turn it in to actual cash, you might cash your chips in that sense.
But figuratively, if you ‘cash your chips’, this is to stop participating in a gathering or an activity. It is to leave a gathering, like a party or some kind of event, and/or go to bed.
And it can also mean to die, okay? To cash your chips.
So, let’s go through three examples of how I would use this expression on a day-to-day basis, right, in everyday life.
Example number one. Imagine you’re at a casino. You’re obviously playing a card game like poker or blackjack, you’re gambling, you’ve been gambling for a few hours, you’ve lost a bet, you’ve won a bet, but at the moment you’re ahead, right? So, you want to quit while you’re ahead. You have made a bit of money. You’re not at a loss. You’re at a win. You’re making a bit of money. Maybe you’ve made a few hundred dollars, a few hundred bucks, and it’s a good time to call it quits, it’s a good time to call it a day, it’s a good time to go and cash your chips. Both literally and figuratively, right. Cash your chips, turn them into cash, but also to leave, figuratively, cash chips, go home. So, you might turn to the dealer who’s dealing out the cards at the table and maybe the other players as well and say, sorry fellas, sorry guys. I’m done for now. I’m in a cash my chips and head home. It’s time to hit the sack. It’s time to go home.
Enjoying Aussie English?
Support AE on Patreon today so I can bring you even better content!
Example number two. You’re at a friend’s party or a family gathering of some kind, right? Maybe it’s a baby shower, and ‘a baby shower’ is where you celebrate a pregnant woman who is about to give birth by showering her with baby gifts, right. Maybe you give her… what are baby gifts? Jesus. A dummy, a pack of nappies, some baby clothes. I don’t know. Whatever they sort of items are. So, you’re showering this woman with baby gifts at the baby shower, and it’s her first child. She and her husband bit the bullet a few months ago and they decided they wanted to start having children, and lo and behold, within a few months they were pregnant and well on the way to having their first child. So, once the party’s wrapping up, though, once it’s finishing up, wrapping up, people are thinking about leaving. They may say, okay, time to go home, time to leave, it’s time to cash our chips. Time to cash our chips and head home. Sorry to bail, but we’re going to cash our chips and we’re going to leave.
Example number three. In this example, imagine you are a carer are working at an old person’s home. What we call ‘a nursing home’, an elderly people’s home, in Australia, and this is where elderly people, once they get to a certain age where they can’t live on their own, they go to a nursing home and they’re taken care of by carers. So, one really grumpy old man named Bob who is always giving everyone hell, he’s always treating everyone horribly, he’s treating the staff horribly, the other members or clients really horribly, and he ends up getting sick and passing away at the ripe old age of 101. So, when you find this out, you might go and tell the other clients or the other staff, you might announce to them, that this guy’s passed away. You might say, oh, (it) turns out Bob cashed his chips last night. He passed away. He died. He kicked the bucket. He snuffed it. He cashed his chips.
And I guess, a note here, guys, referring to someone dying in this way is somewhat insensitive, right? So, you can do it, but you need to be aware that, in delicate situations, it could be perceived as offensive. Right? So, if you were to know be at a funeral or something and walk up to the person who was married to the person who died and said, oh, I’m sorry to hear that Bob cashed his chips, you would want to use the correct term ‘pass away’, right? I’m sorry to hear Bob passed away. That is the most correct term to use in sensitive situations.
If on the other hand you’re in informal situations, you’re hanging out with friends, it’s not a big deal, you don’t even know the person you’re referring to, saying things like ‘kick the bucket’, ‘snuffed it’, or ‘cashed their chips’ is absolutely fine. Okay.
Let’s go through listen and repeat exercise, as usual, guys. This is your chance to practice your pronunciation. Whether you are trying to nail the Australian pronunciation like my sort of general Australian accent, or whether you’re trying to now your American English, British English, Irish English, South African English, New Zealand English, whatever accent it is, focus on that, and let’s practice your pronunciation, okay. Let’s go.
To cash your
To cash your chips x 5
Nice one. Nice one. So, we’re going to do this in the present perfect today for the full phrase, conjugating through the different pronouns. Okay? So, the present perfect tense ‘to have done something’, in the perfect tense, right. Okay. So, let’s go.
I’ve cashed my chips.
You’ve cashed your chips.
He’s cashed his chips.
She’s cashed her chips.
We’ve cashed our chips.
They’ve cashed their chips.
It’s cashed its chips.
Good job, guys. Good job. I know it’s not easy saying it at the speed that I say it quite often, using the connected speech that I use quite often, but I don’t want to sort of coddle you. I don’t want to baby you. You guys are intermediate to advanced learners you need to be listening to and practising the pronunciation of how native speakers actually speak, and so that is why I try to keep this relatively advanced. Okay?
So, remember too, if you would like the breakdown video for the pronunciation, connected speech, intonation, everything related to your pronunciation in English for this episode as well as all the previous episodes, make sure you go to TheAussieEnglishclassroom.com, sign up, give it a go, and you’ll get the video for today’s episode as well as all the previous expression episodes.
All right, with that, guys, let’s get into the Aussie English Fact and then we’ll wrap up for the day, we’ll finish up for the day. Okay.
So, today’s Aussie Fact is all about gambling, and it’s more than one fact, it’s a number of different facts. And I actually learned something new too, when I was researching this for today’s Aussie facts. So, gambling in Australia.
So, the most popular forms of gambling in Australia include electronic gambling machines, also known as ‘poker machines’ or the slang term ‘pokies’, casino-based games such as poker and roulette and blackjack, lotteries, scratchies, which are scratch tickets, where you get those tickets that you will use your nail or a coin to scratch the surface of to reveal a number or a symbol, ‘scratchies’, and online betting, particularly for racing and sports.
In 2010, about 70% of all Australians gambled in one way or another. Whether it was your one-off punt at the Melbourne Cup, the horse racing cup once a year in Melbourne, or the habitual gambler at the local T.A.B. gambling on sports or racing as well. And ‘T.A.B.’ is used in Australia and New Zealand to stand for ‘Totalisator Agency Board’, T.A.B.. It’s a betting shop somewhere you go to bet on racing or sports.
Australia spent about $19 billion in 2008 to 2009 on gambling, $12 billion of which was pissed away on the pokie machines alone. That’s insane. That really shocked me.
Australia leads the developed world for gambling losses, something else that shocked me.
In 2014 the average Australian lost $1,279 dollars per adult gambler only just beaning Singapore who came in at $1,243, and way ahead of the U.S. at $705 who was in third position.
The average problem gambler in Australia loses $21 grand a year, $21K, $21,000 every single year, with about 115,000 Aussies considered ‘problem gamblers’. Another 280,000 Australians are considered ‘moderate risk gamblers’ who are on their way to becoming problem gamblers. And a sixth of pokie players are considered problem gamblers.
People aged 18 to 24 spend more on pokie machines than any other age group. Something else that shocked me as every time I’ve passed through one of those places with lots of poker machines, I tend to see a lot of elderly people in there. I don’t see many people who are 18 to 24. So, there you go.
And 90% of women who are deemed to be problem gamblers report that pokie machines were where their addiction began.
Despite Australia being ranked 50 third in terms of population in the world, it has one fifth of the world’s pokie machines, easily having more poker machines per head of capita than any other country in the world. And despite poker machines accounting for 60 to 65% of all gambling revenue, most Aussies don’t even play them. Nearly 75% of Aussies claim not to play a pokie machine in any given year, which is amazing considering that 75-80% of all problem gamblers use poker machines.
So, aside from all these negative things related to gambling, guys, as with many things in life, there’s always a tradeoff, there’s always two sides to the coin or two sides to every story, right? And while gambling is obviously very detrimental, potentially harmful, to problem gamblers, it’s also an industry that comes with many positives.
State tax revenue is between 4-13% of each state’s total revenue in Australia, which is funneled into statewide services like schools and hospitals and infrastructure.
Online wagering and sports betting employs thousands of people and pays hundreds of millions in fees and taxes as well.
And in 2009, hotels, clubs, and casinos employed more than 150,000 Australians.
So, there you go, guys. Whether you like gambling or you hate gambling, there are some facts for you. I hope you find them interesting. And if you do like gambling, I hope that you do it responsibly and don’t piss away too much of your hard-earned savings.
Anyway, with that, guys, I hope you enjoy this episode. As usual, I hope you’re having a ripper of a weekend and I would chat to you soon. All the best, guys. See you later.
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
Watch the video here:
AE 485: 1 Tip to Buy Cheap Books (in Australia)
What’s going on, guys?
So today, I was putting together a PDF download, and I’m trying to find a lot of different books that you can get to help you learn English, but also learn about Australian culture, among other things like documentaries, movies, anyway.
The basic idea here for this video is that I wanted to show you how to get cheap books in Australia. So, if you are a bit of a bookworm who likes to buy books online, this is the way that you can find the cheapest option for whatever book it is that you’re looking for. Anyway. Okay.
So, let’s check out the screen here. First thing’s first, I want you to type in Booko into Google, okay. You might need to make sure that Google is Google.com.au, but the website we’re looking for is Booko, BOOKO.com.au. Okay. So, you’ll see it open up here, and you can literally search any kind of book that you want to get, right.
So, one example that I was looking at was a famous book by an author called Tim Winton in Australia and that book is called ‘Cloudstreet’. So, we’ll do a search for that. You can see there’s a few different options here that have come up with Cloudstreet in them, but obviously the first one here is the one we’re looking for.
So, click on that, and then we’ll see that there’s a whole different bunch of editions, right? So, you can get paperback, you can get… what have you got here, ah, MP3 CD, you can get the Kindle edition, and the e-book, all these different options, right? So, you’ll obviously need to find the best option for you. The good thing is prices will be listed for ‘new’ down the side here and ‘used’ down the sign here as well. Okay. And when it was published.
So, if for example, we look at… let’s see if I can find… okay, Cloudstreet, here. Paperback English. Okay. Your standard paperback book. We’ll click on that and you will see, and this is the part that I really like about this Booko website, you will see all of these different stores online listed in order of cheapest, at the top here, to most expensive at the bottom. And the thing that I love about this, aside from obviously showing you the best option for you, from all the different websites online, whether it’s overseas websites, whether it’s in Australia, is that it also shows you delivery and whether or not there’s a fee, and it factors that fee in to the ultimate price. And on top of that, it shows you availability and then total price on the side. Right?
So, you can AbeBooks is selling Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet for only $14.10, 10 cents, and then it is a $1.31. But even with that delivery fee the total is still cheaper than the next best one, which is only $0.06 more from Angus and Robertson for $15.47.
So, this site is awesome. Okay. I really recommend using this site if you guys are looking for books. Once you found the book that you want, once you have found a really good price, sometimes too these prices are quite substantial. The top spot could be $5 or $10 cheaper than at the next point down.
So, you would click them on the website at the top there. It’ll send you directly to where on that website you can get this book. You would then just click add to basket and obviously, whichever website this is, you’ve got to fill out the information required, and then you can buy it.
So, just a short video today, guys, that I wanted to show you for anyone on here who loves buying books.
I might also quickly show you that you can find some pretty obscure things on here. Okay. So, I think, from memory, this website was the one that I got my Portuguese grammar book through. So, it’s not just common novels, right. You’re going to find a whole bunch of really obscure books. So, if you’re looking for things like English grammar. Maybe you will type in ‘English grammar book’ and see what comes up. What have we got here? Central Grammar in Use with Answers.
So, you’ll see a whole bunch of these things come up, English Grammar Workbooks for Dummies. That was actually written by my dad’s friend Geraldine Woods.
So, yeah. Anyway, great website site. I really recommend using this before you’re thinking about getting books, whether it’s from book stores in Australia that you walk into or other sites online, I would really recommend jumping on this website and doing a search just to compare those prices, because quite often you’ll save a little bit of money, especially, if you’re going to a book store in Australia, an actual bookstore, right, a physical bookstore. Quite often their prices will be a little bit above what you can get here and it gets delivered to your door, right, in the mail.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed this video, guys. Hope it was helpful for you. And I would love to know from you what was the last book that you bought online? Tell me about it in a comment below and I’ll tell you soon. See ya!
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas:
Watch the video here!
AE 484: How to Improve Your English with Reflective Practice
G’day, guys. What’s going on? So, this is where one day usually starts. In the kitchen here, I have my new lens and camera, which I’ve been practising with like crazy, got my computer here with photos on it, and that I’ve got this, which isn’t breakfast, but it’s what I’ve been putting outside to get birds to come closer for me to photograph. So, I put it on the ground here, put it on the roof over here, and it brings birds in close so I can use this camera right here to take photos.
So, today we’re going to talk about reflective practice and how you can use it to improve your English as fast as possible no matter what your level. Let’s go!
How’s it going, guys? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. Today, I’m going to chat about the fastest way to improve your English no matter what your level, guys. And I’m going to sort of draw an analogy to what I’ve been battling with recently and photography. Let’s go.
Alright, guys. So, the topic for today is Reflective Learning, Reflective Learning. I wonder if you guys have heard about Reflective Learning before. So, I’ve been researching this recently. My dad was the first one to sort of drill this into me quite a bit, and that’s because he was a high school teacher and a lecturer at university for quite a while so he had a background in teaching. But I’ve been applying this recently to photography, as well as a bunch of other things like Portuguese as well, and I’m learning Portuguese, but photography is what I want to talk about today.
So, Reflective Learning, I learnt about this from Donald Schon. Okay? So, he was an American from M.I.T., a social scientist, and he did a lot of research into Reflective Learning in the 80s and 90s.
So, there are three main kinds of reflective learning.
The very first one is Knowing-in-Action. So, this is when you do what you already know whilst you’re doing it, right? So, you imagine that you are speaking English with someone, you are using the English you already know, you are ‘Knowing-in-Action’, you’re using what you know in action.
The second type is Reflection-in-Action, and this is where you are doing that thing like speaking English, but you reflect, you think about what’s going on. So, maybe you make a mistake and you think, oh, was that the right word? Was that the right tense? Was that the right adjective that I should have used? You’re ‘Reflecting-in-Action’.
And the third kind and most important kind that I want to dig into a bit more today for you guys is Reflection-on-Action, Reflection-on-Action. And this is when you reflect on the action you’ve done, obviously, after the fact. So, for instance, if you were speaking English with someone, it’s a session where you’re practising your English, maybe you’re getting a lesson with someone, maybe you’re just having a conversation with someone, but when you reflect on that later, if you reflect on it later, that is a Reflection-on-Action. You’re analyzing what you did. Could you have done a better? What else could you have done? What were your mistakes? Okay?
So, let’s get into that a bit more, how it applies to photography for me, and how you guys can improve your English by reflecting on action. Let’s go.
So, recently, guys, I’ve been coming to Mulligan’s Flat quite a bit and you guys are probably seen this in my Instagram posts, on YouTube in the videos. The main reason is that I’m trying to constantly practice the same thing again and again and again, or I guess, variations of the same thing, right?
So, there are lots of animals here. There are lots of little birds, lots of kangaroos, wallabies, all kinds of critters and creatures, and I’m trying to really hone in my photography skills. So, instead of sort of jumping from one thing to the next all the time and not analysing what I’ve done, how I’ve done it, how well I’ve gone, I’ve kept coming to the same place, I’ve kept photographing the same things, in the same locations, and I’ve kept analysing what I’ve been doing after the fact, right?
So, these are my practice sessions. This is where I spend an hour or two walking around, getting a bit of exercise, looking at the environment, finding the animals, and honing my skills when I take shots of the animals doing the same things every time that I’m out here. You know, there’ll be a bird on a branch and I’ll be thinking about: What angle do I need? Where’s the sun? What are my settings on my camera? What is the shutter speed, the aperture, all of these technical things related to the camera that I really need to work on and improve?
And the trouble I was having at first was that a lot of my photos were out of focus. The animals were too fast. The settings weren’t correct on the camera. The photos were overexposed, they were blurred, they were horrible, but I improved a really, really rapidly because of Reflective Practice, guys. Okay? Let’s just focus on that for a sec.
Alright, so how have I been applying Reflective Practice to photography? Obviously, I’ve been doing number one: I have a certain set of skills in photography that I already know and when I come out and take photos here, I use those skills. Knowing-in-Action.
Number two. I’m reflecting in action. I’m taking photos, I’m looking at the photos as soon as I’ve taken them, I’m zooming in, I’m thinking, with the hell of a done wrong? Why don’t I like this? How could I improve this? Is there something wrong with it? I’m scrutinizing those images and I’m thinking in the moment, I’m reflecting in the moment, on what I’ve done and how I could improve that.
But then number three. I’m reflecting afterwards. So, I come out here, I do my one, two hours, however long it is, I take a few thousand photos, I go home, and I sit down, load all the photos onto my computer, and I start going through them. And I start looking at the ones that I like. I sort them out, delete the rest, and then I start scrutinizing the ones that I like and I think, how could I have improved them? Or, what I like about them? What have I done right and what could I do more of in the future?
And if I’m having specific problems like maybe the animal is too blurred, and I’ll show you some of these photos in a second and how I’ve hopefully improved. If the animals too blurred, I get on YouTube, I get on Google, and I start searching ‘how to take sharper images’, ‘I take blurry images, what do I do?’. So, I start looking at how I can improve on the mistakes that I’ve been making.
So, once I identify those mistakes and I sort of think about it, I reflect on those errors, I then plan my next practice session. I then think about next time I go out into Mulligan’s Flat, next time I go out and take some photos of whatever it is, birds, kangaroos, what thing am I going to focus on and try and improve upon? What skills have I just researched? What skills have I just learnt about in order to implement the next time that I go out? And that’s what I’m doing today. I’m out here again after spending the morning looking at a whole bunch of photos that I liked some of, but didn’t like most of it, and I’m thinking about, how can I sit down, how can I practice those, and how can I improve on those mistakes today?
And I’ll tell you what, guys, this has really helped me improve at a lightning pace. You could definitely do this by just coming out here all the time and taking as many photos as possible, but I think that would take a lot longer. In fact, you might improve, but you may not ever get to the level that you want to get to if you’re not scrutinising your own work and thinking about how to improve it in depth, and having that real reflective approach to improvement. Okay?
So, now let’s talk about this in English and how you guys can apply this to improving your English no matter what level you currently have. Okay? We’ll go up the top of the mountain. Let’s head up.
I think that was a bad idea. This hill’s really steep, guys. I’m going to have to wait for like 10 minutes once I get to the top just so that I’m not out of breath and you guys zone give me a hard time about my cardio abilities. Beautiful day though. Beautiful day!
I’ve been walking for like 10 minutes looking for these bloody kangaroos. First time ever I’ve been in Mulligan’s Flat and I couldn’t see kangaroos. I’ve come up this hill, come all the way down, these guys are here, the moment I set the tripod up and move towards it and clicked go, there’s dust and they’re gone. Anyway.
I wanted to chat to you guys about applying the Reflective Practice principle, theory, whatever it is, to your English. How this is going to help you improve your English no matter what your level is as fast as possible.
And instead of just giving you a bit of my mind spewed out, I want to try and give you some actionable… *Rosellas calling*. I want to try… Are you done? Good. I want to try and give you some actionable tips that you guys can apply to your English learning… whatever the ways that you set it up, okay? So, you’ve got a routine, a schedule, maybe you don’t even have one of these, but if you have a routine or schedule, I want you to try and apply these several tips and tricks to that schedule in order to improve your English. Okay?
Alright. So, number one. You need to define a practice session. Whatever it is, however it is that you’re practicing, when you’re practicing your English, I think you need to create a half an hour or maybe a 1-hour period at least once a week where you are actively practicing your English.
Number two. During those sessions, you need feedback. Whether it’s internal and it’s coming from you when you can work out what it is that you’re doing wrong, or whether it’s external and it’s coming from someone else, a friend, a family member, a tutor, a teacher, whoever it is, you need to be getting some kind of feedback on which you can then practice, you can scrutinize, you can improve upon.
Number three. You need to go away and practice on the feedback that you’ve just been given. What is it that you got wrong and how can you do it correctly next time?
Finally, number four, guys. You need to take this in mind and use it to organize your next practice session, and it becomes a cyclical process. You need to apply this every time you do this practice session and you’re going to get results that just compound. You’re going to improve a lot faster than if you were just winging it, you were just improvising, every single time.
So, I guess, finishing up. This is something that I always… I always get asked when I meet people who’ve been in Australia for a very long time, and they say to me, I’ve been here for nine years and my English hasn’t improved. What am I doing wrong? And I’ll ask them, how are you practising? Usually, they’ll say, I’m not. Or they’ll say, oh, I speak, but I don’t study. Or they will be studying, but they won’t be practising the things that they’ve studied.
So, that’s it for me today, guys. Hopefully, you got something useful out of this. Don’t forget to hit subscribe, don’t forget to hit that bell notification button if you would like to stay up to date with all the future episodes, and if you have suggestions, if you have questions for things you would like videos on, put them in a comment below. And now, it’s my turn to put my money where my mouth is, get out there, start taking some photos, maybe some videos as well, and working on what I’ve been trying to improve during my Reflective Practice sessions.
So, with that, guys, let’s go have a look and see what’s around today in Mulligan’s Flat.
Target acquired. I found this little bunch of trees here and I can hear them squeaking. These are these small birds that I’m after and I’m trying to get really sharp nice shots of, that I’ve been having quite a bit of trouble with recently. Let’s see how we go.
Learn Australian English even faster in
Each course is a comprehensive
English lesson covering these areas: