In July 2018, Annalee Pope and Carolyn Barker from First Languages Australia, together with Steven Bird from Charles Darwin University, visited the Mobile Language Team in Adelaide to look at the various tools they are using in their work with language groups across South Australia. The Mobile Language Team have many innovative activities underway, primarily focused on creating environments where community members can talk with each other in language. Of particular interest, were their processes of collaboratively creating learning materials to support weekly community classes held at great distances from each other.
In October 2018, Annalee and Steven were invited to visit the Literature Production Centre at Wadeye. Literature Production Centres are attached to bilingual schools in the Northern Territory and are responsible for creating the wealth of local language resources required for each curriculum area (maths, English, science etc.). This work involves the development of efficiently updatable printed materials as well as interactive digital resources.
They also participated in the National Langauge Collections Management Meeting to learn about the tools that are being used by language centres to help manage their collections. And while in the Top End, Carolyn was able to visit Jill Nganjmirra and Andy Peart from the Bininj Kunwok Language Program to learn about the activities and priorities across Kakadu and West Arnhem Land.
The visits are part of a national activity titled Yaale – Tools for language work, which is a collaboration between First Languages Australia, language centres, Charles Darwin University and the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. The project is collecting information about the tools being used to support language use.
The information collated will be published so that language workers can find out about the tools others are using, and identify those that would be most useful in their language activities.