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EDUCATION |

Who will teach our* languages?

More and more Australians are embracing the idea that our first languages should be taught in schools. Faced with high levels of language endangerment and loss, everyone’s hoping for a quick fix. John Hobson takes a look at what works and what doesn’t. The conclusion: it’s a complex matter. Language teaching requires not only time and hard work but, most of all, well-trained teachers.

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EDUCATION |

Graffiti in Kriol: what one Ngukurr resident thinks of Scullion’s attendance minions

In Ngukurr this week, Greg Dickson discovered that not everyone is impressed by Nigel Scullion’s $46 million Remote School Attendance Strategy. Either that or it’s just good fun to get out there and write some graffiti in Kriol.

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EDUCATION |

How cuts to the NT Education Department could widen the gap

First, they rejected Gonski because too much funding would go to remote community schools. Now, the NT Education department is cutting positions that are key in supporting Aboriginal students who don’t speak English at home. Greg Dickson demonstrates the benefit that such support positions can bring and argues that the NT Government’s handling of education could easily cause the much-discussed “gap” to widen rather than narrow.

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EDUCATION |

Deceit for a cause: the ALNF and its misguided marketing

The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) is a charity with impressive marketing and fundraises thousands of dollars for programs to improve literacy among Aboriginal children. So why does it matter that their marketing strategy misleads the public and reflects badly on the same children that they are trying to support? Greg Dickson explains.

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EDUCATION |

OzCLO 2013: A competition to unlock languages

I still remember those moments from my childhood when I realised that language was something with its own patterns and rules. Sitting in a local Italian restaurant and realising I could figure out what the Italian words were by comparing them to the English translations in different dishes. Or the time my mind was blown [...]

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EDUCATION |

Up-goer Five

Big words and jargon confound and conceal – it’s a common claim. James McElvenny looks at the recent Up-goer Five craze of explaining complex topics using only the 1,000 most common words.

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EDUCATION |

Maintaining Indigenous languages: revering a distant past or contributing to a better future?

Special guest Dr. Bill Fogarty argues that Indigenous language maintenance and education is not about reverence for some distant past for esoteric reasons. Rather it is an important asset that can play a role both in developing a future for Indigenous communities and in benefiting the socio-economic fabric of the Australian Nation.

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EDUCATION |

Australia’s Asian Literacy in the Asian Century

The Australia in the Asian Century whitepaper is, on the surface, a bold statement in several areas, including literacy in Asian languages and cultures. It targets all Australian students being exposed to Asian cultures throughout their schooling and having access to classes in Asian languages. Does it mean that your children will all be learning Chinese at school next year? William Steed looks more closely at the pathways outlined to achieve this goal.

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EDUCATION |

First language education is a matter of common sense

The Our Land Our Language report unequivocally calls for the reinstatement of bilingual education programs in remote areas, for compulsory English as an Additional Language training in teaching degrees, and for changes to be made to how NAPLAN testing is carried out. But what do these measures mean and how effective will they be in ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in remote areas get the best education we can provide?

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EDUCATION |

How not to report on Indigenous education

Greg Dickson writes… On Monday I got a phone call out of the blue from a journalist from The Australian. Initially, I felt a bit chuffed being cold-called by a big newspaper. I soon realised however that the journo was asking me about stuff that wasn’t really my area of expertise. She wanted to know [...]

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