Posts in Category: Reading

Will include reading methods and tips, reading files and other resources.

Some Features of Australian Society

As with language, society is constantly changing. Also, it goes without saying, no country’s people are all identical in personality and behaviour. So, please note, the outline here is just a brief snapshot of Australian society.
Australian society used to be much more egalitarian, easy-going and casual. Traditionally, Australian society had probably 60% of people in the same class (working/ middle class). Increasing economic inequality over the past 50 years has shown itself by people more concerned about such things as high-earning occupations; large houses; fashionable clothes and fancy cars. However, most Australians still cling to “the idea” that we are all equal.

Business clothes (dress)
in general, although some people wear suits, many Australian people dress more casually for work than Japanese. Denim jeans is not so common, but other casual (but neat) pants and shirt (or skirt and blouse for women) is OK. At interviews, suits are most common.

Business meetings (visits)
We don`t have quite as many meetings and out of work dinners and parties as Japan. At a business lunch or dinner, business comes before the meal or drinking and socialising. Business cards are not normally exchanged upon first meeting. If you need a colleague’s contact information, it is ok to ask them for their card. It is also ok to offer someone your card. But there is not an elaborate ritual of exchanging cards

Australians (in general) are more assertive than English people and less assertive than Americans. Australians are certainly a bit more assertive and quicker to speak their opinions and disagree than Japanese. We also touch much more than Japanese and make eye contact more.

Dining (eating)
BYO  (bring your own) alcohol and often food is still fairly common. At restaurants bill splitting (friends, couples, bigger groups)is also common.

Forms of Address
We don´t often call people Mr Smith, but rather Robert. We almost never call another adult “Sir” except in business letters. Some service people may address customers as “Sir or Madam”.

Gestures and body language
Australians use typical Western gestures for things such as “Come here, go away, stop, pointing, shaking hands”. Many of these are quite different to Japanese versions.

Giving Gifts
We only usually give presents on Xmas, weddings and birthdays. Most people try to give fairly modest, inexpensive gifts. We seldom give gifts to people we have just met.

Most workers get 4 weeks paid holiday. There is also a few days leave for sickness or special events. School teachers get 8 weeks holiday. (but they deserve it!)

Australians will accept much more noise from neighbours than do Japanese.

Personal Space See Demeanour

In the past, Australian society has been very secular (like Japan) and certainly not as fundamental as many American religious people. For example, although most Australians say they are Christians, not so many go to church regularly. Recent conservative Australian governments show more leanings towards religious fundamentalism. For example, although the majority of Australian people are tolerant towards gay persons, the government refuses to consider legalizing same-sex marriages.

This has become very socially unacceptable in the past 10 years. There are very few public places where you can smoke now.

Social visits
Much more than Japanese, we meet our friends at each others houses. In Japan, I got very few invitations to visit Japanese people at their home. Japanese seem to meet more at restaurants and Izakaya.

Australians are friendly, easy going and not very formal. We regard workers as equal in status to bosses and address them equally.

Telephone Etiquette
similar to Japan I think.

It´s not common practice to tip (taxis, waiters, etc.) in Australia.

We say toilets, rather than bathrooms or rest-rooms.
We “have” a shower (or bath), we don`t “take” a shower. (unlike Americans)

Australian English

Australian English  (a short introduction)

Some explanation of Australian English

Please keep in your mind that Australian language is changing (as language does in other countries). This is a result of great changes in society. As the society changes, so does the language. So, older Australian idioms and slang are not used so much by all Australians anymore. Also American slang such as “dude”, “cool”, “chill out” and “bling”  have become common.  

  1. Common old Australian slang words  

mate                            friend

ta                                 thank you

ta-ta                            bye bye, or see you

sanger                         a sandwich

banger                        a sausage

barbie                         barbecue

bewdy!                        great!   [beauty]

footy                          Australian football


  1. A few common Australian words and phrases  

The big smoke –  This is what country people call the big cities.

The sticks – This is what city people call places in the country. (it means far away from the convenience of the city).

Don’t worry about it   – it’s ok OR don’t take too much trouble.

Good on you               – I like what you said or did.

Hang on                      – wait a minute.



A. Did you bring an umbrella?

B. No, I forgot.

A. Don`t worry about it, I have 2 umbrellas.

B. Good on you.

A.Can you help me?

B. Hang on, I`ll just answer my phone first.

A. Ok, I`ll wait.

“Don´t worry about it” (This is casual speech)

You say it if somebody apologises about something, e.g.
A. I´m sorry I´m late
B. Don´t worry about it.

If somebody thanks you e.g.
A. Thank´s for the lift.
B. Don´t worry about it.

(if you spill a drink, or bump into somebody)

“a lift” – a ride in somebody else´s car.

“do you mind?” e.g.
A. Do you mind giving me a lift into the city?
B. Sure, no worries.

(not a problem)

“Good on you” –

This is a sign of good feelings toward you.

Somebody may say this if you help them carry shopping groceries,

or if you open the door for them

or if you have been doing something good like hard study, or you have finished writing an essay.


  1. Common greetings 

A bit formal –
A.Good morning/afternoon
B. Good morning/afternoon

A.How are you?
B. Fine thank you, and yourself?
A I`m well, thank you

A bit  casual –
A.Good day, mate                      B. Good day.
A .How you going?                     B. Pretty good, and you?
A. I`m good.

Very casual –
A.Hi                                                    B. Hi
A. How are you?                                  B. Not bad
A. What`s new?                                   B. Nothing much.
A. Did you have a good weekend?         B. Pretty good.







Using English for Instructions

How do you do it? 
How do you make it?
How do you get there?
I’ll tell you how to get there.
I’ll show you how to do it.
These are examples of using instructions language in English.

Tour Guide English

English for JapaneseTour Guides

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported recently that an estimated 867,100 foreign tourists visited Japan in September 2013. This was an increase of 31.7 percent from a year earlier.As the 2020 Olympics approach, the number of overseas visitors to Japan is likely to boom. Whether you are a professional or a volunteer; working as a tour guide can be very interesting and rewarding.  A great deal of unique words phrases and expressions are used in the field of tourism. As a guide for domestic tourists; you already know most of these in your own language.  But knowing tourist language in English will be very useful for an international tour guide.

English in Sport

Most people like some form of sport. Sport is a great way to bring people together!
It’s certainly very useful when you have work colleagues or new friends from a different country that you want to talk with. We start by looking at tennis. But don’t worry I plan to add soccer and other sports eventually.

High School in Australia

[Please realise this outline is only a very brief “snap shot”. You can do a Google search or follow the web addresses below, if you want to find out more about Australian high schools.]

Omamori (charms, amulets and talisman)

Charms, amulets and talisman are various objects of luck. In all countries around the world many people use charms to bring them good luck, or to avoid bad luck. In Japan, for example, they are called omamori. Please realise, these are old traditions, and not everybody believes them completely.

The Emperor’s New Clothes




Many years ago, an Emperor lived in a faraway country. This Emperor liked new clothes very much. He spent all his time and money buying clothes.






In fact, the Emperor always wanted to show all his people new clothes.

He had a different suit for every day in the year.





One day two men arrived in the Emperor’s city. These men were swindlers – dishonest people. The swindlers said they could make the finest clothes in the world.
They told everybody in the town, “Our colours and patterns are truly beautiful.” The swindlers also said the clothes they made were very special. “If you wear these clothes”, they said, “You will have perfect judgement”.

The Emperor really wanted such clothes very much.He said, “If I wear these clothes, I’ll be able to judge my officers.”He said , “Which officers are honest and clever?” And he said, “Which people are unfit for their jobs?”The Emperor gave a large sum of money to the swindlers.




The Emperor ordered them to make a suit of clothes for him.

The Emperor gave them the finest silk and the most precious gold cloth.
The swindlers hid the silk and gold cloth away, instead of making suits with them.
For many days, the swindlers pretended to be very hard at work.
But they did not make any clothes at all.




Meantime, everybody in the whole town talked about the precious clothes.

Eventually the Emperor went with all his officers and attendants to see the swindlers. The swindlers pretended to work as hard as they could.
However, they were not using any material or any thread.





All the Emperor’s officers said. “Isn’t it magnificent? ” “Isn’t it beautiful?”

And the Attendants said “Your Majesty must admire the colors and the pattern.”
And then they pointed to the empty sewing machines.
They thought all the other officers and attendants could see the clothes.
The Emperor accepted what his officers said.
He thought, if I can’t see the clothes, I must be unfit to be Emperor.
So he looked at the empty machines.
And he told the swindlers their clothes were wonderful.




All the Emperor’s attendants agreed. They said the same things as the Emperor.

They advised him to wear the new magnificent clothes at a grand procession.





On the day of the procession, The Emperor first showed his new clothes to all his courtiers.  Then he turned once more to the mirror, admiring his new clothes. he loved his new clothes. He said,“Doesn’t my suit fit me marvellously?”He thought he looked very very good.All the courtiers said “Indeed, your clothes are magnificent!” But they could not see anything, of course. That’s because there was nothing to be seen.













The Grand Procession took place soon after that.




Now everybody was ready for the procession. “I am ready!” said the Emperor.
Everybody praised the Emperor’s new clothes.
Nobody wished to admit that he saw nothing.








A little boy said at last “But the Emperor is not wearing any clothes.”
The boy’s father said “Good heavens! Listen to the voice of an innocent child.”
Now people whispered to each other what the child had said.
“But he has nothing on at all,” people cried at last.








That made a deep impression upon the Emperor.
The Emperor was so embarrassed!