Academic English at the Grainger

Meet the students who are using the Grainger Museum collection to enhance their academic English presentation skills.

With the continuing support from the museum curator, Dr Heather Gaunt, students from Academic English 1 visited the Grainger Museum to learn about Percy Grainger and make a short film about an object exhibited in the museum. To make the film, students worked in small groups and were assigned one of the objects on display (for example, a portrait of Ella Grainger or a musical instrument, such the Kangaroo-Pouch Tone Tool). Using their phones, they were asked to make a short video about the object, including a description of the object, its historic and/or cultural significance, and the emotional response it triggered.

Academic English 1 is a subject designed for speakers of English as second or an additional language, and mostly has international students representing a range of disciplines across sciences and arts. The primary focus of this subject is on developing students’ academic language skills, both written an oral, but the subject content is structured around the themes related to multiculturalism in Australia and the Australian society. The museum activity is an exciting opportunity for students to develop oral presentation and digital literacy skills outside a regular classroom. In addition, students find the whole experience quite memorable: this is their first real encounter with the cultural heritage of Australia.

Olga Maxwell, Unit Coordinator of ESLA10003: Acadmemic English 1, University of Melbourne