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Anderson calls for schools to be made equal

Indigenous Advancement Minister Alison Anderson says Aboriginal languages should not be taught at remote Northern Territory schools.

She says Indigenous schools should have the same learning requirements as those in capital cities.

Ms Anderson has told told the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly that Indigenous languages should be taught by parents during holidays and on weekends. Read the full article.

Teachers to help keep Indigenous language alive

Two Western Australian wheatbelt towns will now have access to Aboriginal language classes as the newest crop of teachers enter the regions.

Mary Brogan was one of seven teachers to graduate on Friday and will now teach the Noongar language at Beverley District High School.

Northam will also benefit from a new Aboriginal language teacher, as part of the Department of Education's Aboriginal language training course. Read the full ABC article

Solar eclipse festival fever hits Ramingining

By ABC Open Producer Will Tinapple

They are right in the middle of the eclipse viewing zone in Ramingining and right in the middle of preparations for an exciting eclipse festival.

I've always been struck by the generous nature of Yolngu people out in Arnhemland. It never ceases to amaze me how keen so many people are to share their culture, welcome visitors and show them around.

Thornbury school to trial Aboriginal language program - Education - News - Northcote Leader

 

THORNBURY Primary School students are helping revive Aboriginal language in a program set to be rolled out across the state.

Thornbury is the first primary school in Victoria to put an Aboriginal language on the curriculum, with others expected to follow next year.

Principal Karen Mazurek said prep to grade 2 students were learning Woiwurrung, the language once spoken by the Wurundjeri people, Melbourne's traditional land owners.

Thornbury school to trial Aboriginal language program - Education - News - Northcote Leader.

Slip of the tongues: language and the unintended consequences of Indigenous policy

Nicholas Biddle for In Conversation.

Indigenous communities are devastated when languages are lost.

This was the conclusion of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs last month. The committee members also found that Indigenous language plays a crucial role in people’s relationships with family, country, kin and culture.

This fits with analysis I recently co-authored showing Indigenous Australians who were learning an Indigenous language were significantly more likely to report that they were happy all or most of the time in the previous four weeks compared to those who were not.

Read the full article.

Urgent funding needed to save our languages, warns Wyles-Whelan

The Chair of an Aboriginal language group in north Queensland has warned urgent funding is needed before 80 per cent of Indigenous languages spoken in the far north Queensland region are lost. The North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Language Corporation (NQRALC) Chair, Troy Wyles-Whelan issued the warning to the standing committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs…

Read the full National Indigenous Times article.

Congress welcomes recommendations as a way forward to save Indigenous languages

The recommendations from a Parliamentary Committee inquiry reinforce the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples' priority to address the crisis in protecting and maintaining Aboriginal languages, Co-Chair Jody Broun has said. Ms Broun congratulated the committee on their report, "Our Land Our Languages" saying almost every point in the Congress submission was addressed.

Read the full National Indigenous Times article.

SA teacher revives Kaurna language

A school teacher and a linguist in Adelaide have teamed up to resurrect an Aboriginal language once thought to be 'extinct'.

The last fluent speaker of Kaurna language died in the 1900s, but now there's more than 100 people, including non-Indigenous Australians, in the process of learning it.

Teacher Jack Buckskin and linguist Dr Robert Amery reintroduced Kaurna to the locals, and many are picking it up quite well.

Read the full article.

Aboriginal language returns from the dead

By Nicola Gage for ABC Indigenous
An extinct Aboriginal language has been brought back from the dead, thanks to a handful of dedicated people in Adelaide.

Twenty years ago, not one person spoke the native Kaurna language of the Adelaide Plains, with the last known fluent speaker dying in the late 1900s.

But Jack Buckskin, 25, teaches people his native language at the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre where a group is gaining TAFE qualifications in the once-extinct language.

Read the full article.

A shift in the monolingual mood

An article by Lisa Watts for Inside Story.

THE first school in Australia to teach in an Indigenous language was set up by German missionaries in Adelaide in 1838 with the support of the governor, George Gawler. More schools teaching in the local Kaurna language opened in and around Adelaide during the 1840s, but this innovative education program was short-lived. Gawler’s successor, George Grey, who was much less sympathetic to the missionaries’ approach, closed some of the schools and directed the others to teach in English instead. Since those early experiments, First Australians’ right to educate their children in their own languages has depended on the political mood and the goodwill of those in power, rather than on recognition in law, as is the case in New Zealand.

A new federal parliamentary report, Our Land, Our Languages, proposes a major shift in the way the nation understands and recognises Indigenous languages. “I say to all Australians, take pride in the Indigenous languages of our nation,” said Labor MP Shayne Neumann, who chaired the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs committee’s inquiry, when he released its report last week. “Indigenous languages bring with them rich cultural heritage, knowledge and a spiritual connection to the land.” The committee’s recommendations signal an encouraging shift in attitudes, but history and contemporary politics suggest that transforming them into statutory recognition and policy action will be a challenge.

Read the full article.

Academics urge government to heed indigenous language report

A group of indigenous language researchers from the University of Melbourne is calling on the Federal Government to implement a proposal to introduce bilingual teaching programs in some schools.

The proposal was one of 30 recommendations made last week by a Federal Parliamentary inquiry into language learning in indigenous communities. Professor Gillian Wigglesworth, the Director of the University's Indigenous Language Research Unit, said bilingual education was vital to the development of young children in communities where languages other than English were spoken at home. "Without a bilingual program, children are being taught in a language they are not familiar with. This means they often don't understand what is going on, and then don't engage," she said.

Read more at PhysOrg.

Bilingual education for Indigenous Australians

By Michael Gordon, National Affairs Editor, The Age

THE Gillard government has embraced a new strategy to recognise the ''unique and special place'' of indigenous Australians after conceding that a referendum proposing constitutional change could fail if it is put at or before next year's election. It now plans to legislate an ''act of recognition'' before Parliament rises this year in the hope that it will build momentum for constitutional recognition of indigenous language and culture in the next two years.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/pm-plan-for-indigenous-recognition-20120919-2672z.html#ixzz27Tgy2jBl

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