Thursday, July 30, 2015

Australian Education, Speeches and Issues

VU21472: Investigate Features of the Education System

Let's take a look at some samples from the Victorian Education and Training website.

In class we will learn to interpret the graphs and look at some common classroom-related vocabulary to help understand a typical report.

Here is the Primary School Report Card for a student from Year 3.

Learning Points:

*What subjects is the student learning?

*How do you read the graph? What does it show? What does the blank dot represent? What does the blue dot represent? What does the broken line between the two dots show?

*What is this student's best subjects?

*What are "work habits"?

*Explain the "ratings"

Discuss the other sections in the report.

What happens to the report when the student brings it home?

Is the reporting system the same in 2015 as it was in 2013? Is it different at your child's school?

Listening: A Parent / Teacher InterviewA mother speaks to a teacher about her son's progress and behavior. (

Listening exercise

Listen to the conversation - mp3 file

Assignment 1 : Australia's School Education System - Some Issues

Just how good are our schools? Or are we slipping behind the rest of the world?

Dale has handed out Assignment 1 in class. You can download it here.

Watch the video as many times as you like and answer the questions.

VU21466 Give a Short Talk on a Straightforward Topic
Preparing a Speech

Are you afraid of speaking in public? Many people are - even Kings!
Watch this trailer of the film, "The King's Speech"

You can complete a whole lesson on The Kings Speech (from Film

L. gave a great thank you speech in class last week. The occasion: her daughter's birthday.

We also read some delightful Graduation Speeches by ESL students from Edmonds Community College in the USA

This week we are using the same structure, similar vocabulary and expressions to prepare a short speech for the Duke Street Annual General Meeting in September.

The theme: My Experience as an EAL student at Duke St

Download: Here are our practice notes (16 kb - Word)

Modify these notes we created as a class to write your first draft. Bring the draft to class for me to look at. You will write as many drafts as is necessary to create a perfect speech for the AGM ;-)

VU21468; Read and write a straightforward instructional and informational texts

Issues : Family / Sexism / Racism / Ageism

We will be completing this unit in the coming Semester. We are focusing on informational texts related to ...

Family / Sexism / Racism / Ageism

Week 1 -3 What is a "normal" family? 

Listen to this dialogue about Types of Families (ESL. Podcast #917)

What are the issues raised in this dialogue?

What is a ...

Nuclear family?
Same Sex family?
Step family?
Blended family

Listening 2 : Six News Stories (

Click here to start ...


Dale Pobega's Free ESL Club ...On Facebook!

Exploring some self-study sites at the BBC ... try this one to practice Pronunciation

VU21323 Develop and document a learning plan

You might be interested in considering one of the BBC courses to follow in Term 4. I noticed many of you chose reading and grammar projects for your self paced learning projects in Term 2 and 3. Maybe something to do with pronunciation (link above) might be useful? Or else something more general? It is, of course, up to you what you chose to do - as long as it fits with your own needs in the learning plan.

Have a look at these:

Lower Intermediate Course (30 units) --- harder than you think.

Intermediate Course (17 Units) --- for more advanced students

Words in the News --- 48 units based on interesting news stories - reading, listening and grammar (intermediate)

6 Minute English ---48 listening units (intermediate)

Drama --- Alice in Wonderland, The Importance of Being Earnest, Jamaica Inn (intermediate)

News Report ---(Intermediate) ...Current Affairs (quite hard)


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Australia and the Law

VU213471 Investigate Features of the Australian Legal System

Assignment 1 : Civil/Criminal Law, Court Structure, Notetaking

Assignment 2: What's the Law? Issues for discussion

Assignment 3 : (Part A) The Police and Punishment
                       : (Part B) Crime, Justice and Punishment

Assignment 4: Accessing Legal Representation

The above Assignments are only available to EAL Access 3 students from Duke Street

Here are the links for Assignment 4:

PART A - Getting Advice

PART B - Legal Advice Services

PART C - About Costs and Fees

PART D - Locating Legal Resources in Your Community

Assignment 2

The 10 videos for Assignment 2 are online here.

These accompany the excellent kit, "What's the Law?" produced by Victoria LegalAid and AMES which is free to order. Visit this site for more information.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Goals? Plans? Learning? Journeys ...and the Law

VU21323 Develop and document a learning plan


Setting goals? Making plans? Learning to learn? Self study? These ideas can be very confusing. We will take a new approach this year to "developing, documenting and reviewing" a learning plan.

Let's use some time in your EAL Class (Dale) and EAL Digital Literacy class (Margaret) to research a project that will assist you in meeting goals, improving skills and making sense of where your learning is going?

Download,print and work through PARTS A - F this term to establish your goals, think about your language strengths and weaknesses and to plan a self-paced learning project for yourself. You will not be on your own, your teachers will support you in this. This project will form part of your Learning Portfolio. We will Review your documents in Week 8 as part of your assessment.

My Individual Learning Plan 2015 Cover (Public)

Part A : Learning Goals (Public)

Part B: Factors Impacting Learning (Duke St Students only)

Part C: Making Changes (Duke St Students only)

Part D: Starting a Self Study Project (Duke St Students only)

Part E: Self Study English Project-including links for research (Duke St Students only)

Part F: Self Study Project Planner (Public)

VU21471 Investigate features of the Australian legal system


This week we also start our first Elective of the year. We will cover these areas:

1 Describe the main features of the Australian legal system
2 Examine the process of accessing legal representation
3 Take notes of features of the Australian Legal System
4 Discuss issues raised

Watch the video we viewed in class:

What do the boys say about "politicians", "judges", "the police", "lawyers"?

Vocabulary Activity: Create a mind map. Write "LAW" at the centre of the page. Write as many words you associate with the law around it.

We will discuss the following 10 issues about law based on the kit, "What's the Law?" (Victorian Legal Aid, 2012).

You can view all of the videos from the kit on the What's the Law You Tube Channel.


Assignment 1 : Introduction to the Australian Legal System

1) What is COMMON LAW? What is CRIMINAL LAW? What is CIVIL LAW?

2) What are the three main courts in Australia and how are they different?

In the first assignment for the year you need to watch the video below ...

Download ASSIGNMENT 1  (Access: Duke St students only)

Complete the assignment and submit to your classroom teacher for assessment.

Grammar : 

Can you list ... Subject or Personal Pronouns / Object Pronouns / Possessive Pronouns / Reflexive Pronouns? Do you know how and when we use them?

Here are some lists and worksheets about pronouns you can browse and/or print.

This week we focussed on Reflexive Pronouns. Try this exercise (PDF)

VU21466 Give and respond to a range of straightforward information and instructions / VU21468 Read and write straight forward informational and instructional texts

Journeys - Instructions / Directions / Processes / Procedures

Writing :

Write directions for a friend who wants to walk from Duke Street Community House to Brimbank Library

1) Use the Google map link.
2) Use sequence markers, imperatives, landmarks, time markers in your text.

Practice your prepositions and reading a simple map (American City)

Listening; Direction Game (Find Your Way to My House) (

Listening: What to Pack? (Instructions/Advice) (

Make Your Own Windowsill Garden

Make Your Own Balcony Garden


We will be getting our fingers dirty at Duke Street this term!