Free for educational use
A Land of Milk and Honey and English Lessons
Year of production - 1951
Duration - 1min 54sec
Tags - Australian History, assimilation, audiences, documentary genre, historical representations, immigration, language, media, media text, migrants, multiculturalism, representations, see all tags
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How to Download the Video Clip
To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.
Premium MP4 migrantslearn_pr.mp4 (14.0MB).
Broadband MP4 migrantslearn_bb.mp4 (6.6MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.
You can buy this clip on a compilation DVD.
About the Video Cliptop
A Land of Milk and Honey and English Lessons is an excerpt from the film Migrants Learn to Be Australian Citizens (3 mins), a segment from the series Australian Diary, produced in 1951.
Migrants Learn to Be Australian Citizens: A short film designed to tell Australians how new migrants are adapting to life in Australia, with a particular emphasis on English language education and the importance of migrant labour to the ongoing development of the nation.
Australian Diary: Filmed between 1947 and 1970, the Australian Diary series records how Australians have lived, worked and played over the years. Each of these short black-and-white films provides a snapshot of Australian life at the time, from rural areas and small towns to capital cities. Informative, entertaining and often amusing, the subjects range from serious to quirky and cover everything from innovations in agriculture, industry and science to sport, art, education, fashion, flora and fauna. There are a total of 136 diaries with 440 individual stories, providing a picture of a proud, diverse, idiosyncratic and constantly changing nation.
Australian Diary is a National Film Board Production. Produced by the Department of the Interior.
Students will learn:
- to analyse the representations of migrants in the clip
- to write a factual summary and creative writing techniques
- the production codes and conventions of documentary film
- to plan and produce a short documentary film.
National: The Statements of Learning for English – Year 7
Reading, viewing and interpreting texts
Students read, view and interpret information texts, texts in books, films, and on television programs, CD-ROMs and websites.
Students understand that:
- texts can entertain and evoke emotion
- subject matter is selected to appeal to different audiences
- readers’ and viewers’ interpretations of texts are influenced by the knowledge and values of the groups to which they belong, and by their own experiences.
- texts can be constructed for more than one purpose (eg to report, to present a point of view, to create a market for more readers and viewers)
- creators of texts use their assumptions about readers and viewers to engage their interest and attention
- aspects of subject matter are selected to appeal to, and to influence, different groups of readers and viewers.
Students write texts to entertain, inform and persuade in print and electronic mediums for unknown or specified audiences.
Students understand that writers:
- select subject matter within a chosen topic according to purpose and audience
- can draw on their own knowledge, experiences, thoughts and feelings
- can draw on the subject matter and forms of texts they have heard, read and viewed.
Speaking and listening
Students speak and listen through discussions, conversations and oral presentations including prepared and spontaneous discussions, meetings, debates and group discussions. Students examine ideas and information and present arguments that are drawn from topics of interest to them and that may need to be researched.
This resource is also relevant to Media Studies: Audiences, the Documentary form, Media in society, Representation and Codes and Conventions of film.
Teachers and students should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.
Go to The National Curriculum Statements for English
After World War 2 the Australian Government brought a number of Europeans displaced by the war, knowns as DPs (Displaced Persons) to Australia. This was followed by a massive migration scheme which brought more southern, eastern and western Europeans to Australia. Most of the European migrants could not speak English.
This influx of migrants was almost a social revolution in Australia, as most previous mass migration had been focused on British people. This migration would have a major impact on the migrants’ lives, but also on Australia. Australian cultural life changed dramatically over time.
These 'new Australians’ rose to the challenge of starting life again in a new land. They raised their families here. Their children are first generation Australian Europeans with mixed cultural values.
- Discuss and write answers to the following questions.
- Define the terms, ‘migrant’ , ‘immigrant’, ‘assimilation’, ‘integration’ and ‘multiculturalism’.
- Why would learning the English language be so important to a migrant?
- Who (that is what audience) do you think should be shown the video clip? Give two reasons why.
- Why do you think the filmmaker would need to make a film about migrants learning English in the 1950s?
- Write a 50-word summary of the video clip that includes what the video clip is trying to persuade the audience to do.
- After World War 2 the Australian Government introduced a massive immigration scheme involving British and, as a new major source of immigrants, displaced European war refugees. Most of the European migrants could not speak English.
- List the benefits for migrants shown in this video clip.
- Identify and list the problems for migrants shown in this video clip.
- Write a brief explanation of what you think the title of the video clip means.
- Suggest another title for the video clip.
- Imagine that you have migrated to a new country and you cannot speak the new language.
- Describe the sort of problems might you face. For example, what happens at school? In a shop? With television? On the train?
- Describe the differences, what you miss and what’s better in your new country.
- Write a 300-word letter home, using all the information from your answers to 3a) and b) in which you talk about a day in your life in the new country.
- What production codes and conventions identify this clip as being from an earlier era. Consider camera shots, music, voice over, editing and locations and clothing.
- In a group plan a short documentary film depicting an aspect of the life of a newcomer to Australia. It could take the form of an interview or capturing an important aspect of the person’s life.
Repetitious Work Affects Migrant Women, Teno, Film Australia, 1984
Go to: Immigration Museum
Go to Screen Education and Metro Magazine for excellent articles and study guides for using Australian documentaries.
For complete script to screen tutorials on the production of TV go to The Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Live Action Kit
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image has practical resources for teachers covering all areas of Australian media.
Contact your local chapter of The Australian Teachers of Media for advice, workshops and teaching units on all areas of media topics and production in the classroom.