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Alice Springs migrant teen teaches himself English via BMX videos on YouTube

Miguel Braga and Daniel McCormack stand in a rocky gorge
Now he's learned English, Miguel Braga (L) wants to become a park ranger like Daniel McCormack.

ABC News: Nick Hose

Miguel Braga rides his BMX down an empty suburban street in Alice Springs on a heat-soaked afternoon.

"I just got a part-time job," he said.

It might seem like a small achievement, but less than a year ago the 16-year-old was struggling to learn English.

The Braga family moved from Portugal to Alice Springs on a 457 skilled migration visa so their son could have a better life.

"We came here so he could go to university, and seeing him adapting to Aussie life so easily makes me very happy," his father Ricardo Braga said.

But that adaptation took time.

Most people learn a language by taking a course; Miguel taught himself English by watching YouTube.

He now speaks English with a slight American accent.

Frustrated it was taking so long, he turned on the subtitles feature and started learning.

"It was definitely a fun way to learn," Miguel said.

Miguel Braga with his father Ricardo in a sunny yard in Alice Springs
Ricardo Braga (L) migrated to Australia so his son Miguel could have a better life.

ABC News: Nick Hose

Struggles with Aussie slang

The one downside the teenager found was he had a complete lack of understanding of Australian slang.

"If you search the internet you will never find the meaning of a slang word that comes from a remote part in the middle of Australia."

But now he's got the slang down pat, his focus has shifted to looking after the land where he's made a new life.

"I love the outback," Miguel said.

"I would love to become a park ranger, because since I was a kid I always loved to be outside, and since I've been here I've fallen in love with this place.