Australian People and Animals
Australian people and animals hold great fascination for many people from all around the world. Some common examples of Australian animals include kangaroos, kookaburras, magpies, platypuses, opossums, emus and galahs.
Australia was inhabited by Aboriginal people at least 40,000 years ago. It has only been in the last 200 or so years that white people have lived in Australia. In recent years there has been an effort made by some writers and publishers to tell and preserve the stories of Aboriginal Australia through Aboriginal storybooks and traditional tales that were often told from one generation to the next, but were never written down.
“Australian people and animals" is a great theme to use in an English language classroom with learners who want to find out more about this exciting part of the world. It is important that teaching English language learners about Australia does not simply involve a 21st century view. Australia has a long and extensive Aboriginal history so learning about Australian people and animals should involve some content related to Aboriginal culture as well as other topics.
Learning about Australian people and animals in the context of aboriginal storybooks is a useful way for teachers of English to show learners some of the words, phrases and customs that are important to the traditional owners of Australia as well as the more recently arrived white population.
The Bawoo Stories Book by May L O'Brien combines the rare art of storytelling with a well-researched set of stories and information about Aboriginal culture and language and an extensive word and phrase listing.