While I was on my trip there, this odd item came up in the news. The government (at least the Department of Family and Community Service)....has decided to spend roughly $900 Aussie dollars ($750 American) each on 150 staff members.....to teach them how to speak English.
Now, when I was told this in the beginning.....I kinda thought we were talking about immigrant or migrant folks that they'd hired as employees....who didn't speak English. Well....no. They want to teach English-speaking people to speak English.
What this is mostly about is the fact that they've (in this department) gone and made a lot of jargon words to fit forms, requirements, family situations, and everyday activities.
What is said is that families now come back after some initial meetings and complain that the clerks and staff members are confusing and the customers can't grasp what is going on.
They gave a couple of examples:
"There are two issues here: the affordability of housing more broadly, and affordable housing." This was spoken by an actual state minister (Brad Hazzard).
"While we look to the future, it is advisable not to look backwards." This was given by the Premier Mike Baird.
This is a two-day course, and I'm guessing there will be some certificate given at the end of this. Sadly, it'll say that you graduated from an English-language course, and you will be somewhat shamed when you show back up in the office and this gets brought up. The co-worker will ask if you learned some English, and you fake them out with simplified phrases and 5th-grade wording.
Somehow, I would speculate that in three years....some other idiot political figure will come up and say that everyone in this department speaks at the 5th grade level, and there will be another course.....to help improve your English enough.....to speak at a very articulate and higher-educated level. Of course, it'll be much more expensive..