Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Down Under

The traditional idea of Christmas is that of a cold, snowy day in which families get together around a fireplace, but, although Christmas is celebrated all over the world, not everywhere is it winter at this time of year. While in most countries in the north it's freezing cold, in the southern hemisphere it's summer, and instead of warming up near the fire, people are getting a tan under the sun.
Christmas Day on Bondi Beach, Australia
One of these countries in which people bask in the sun at Christmas is Australia, or Down Under, as it is widely known. Due to the weather, their Christmas is a bit different from that of northern countries, but not that different, as they still have Santa, Christmas trees and stockings. However, you will much more easily see Santa on a surf board rather than a sleigh!
Santa surfing
 Let's have a look at this presentation to see how similar or different Christmas in Australia is.

In the following video, Brian Sutton sings about a typical Christmas Day in Australia. But before watching it, let's see the meaning of a few words you may not know, as they are Australian slang words:
  • Billabong: a water hole in a dried up river.
  • Coolabah: a eucalyptus tree and a brand of wine.
  • Esky: a cooler, a portable, insulated container for keeping food and drinks cold. It's a shortened version of the trade name "Eskimo Box".
  • Barbie: barbecue (or BBQ).
  • Aussie: Australian.
  • Stubbie: a small short necked bottle of beer.
You can look up more Austalian slang in

Can you answer a few questions on Christmas Down Under now?

Whether in Australia or anywhere else in the world, I wish you a very happy Christmas!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

A British culture quiz

I usually tell my students that in order to learn a language, not only grammar and vocabulary are needed, but also a good knowledge of the culture of the people that speak that language. But what is culture?
Culture is...
The term culture comprises not only the arts but also the language, the religion, the social habits, the cuisine, the history and the traditions of a particular people. As you can see, language is only a piece of the puzzle and to understand it better, you need to take a wider look and try to comprehend the other parts.

As a learner of English, how much do you know about British Culture? Find out by doing this quiz. Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down your answers. Finally, find out how many answers you got right in the answer key. But don't cheat!

British Culture Quiz09 from eoi.soraya

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