With the "moribund" state of language learning in Australia in the spotlight, Ingrid Piller busts some myths, arguing that it does not have to be this way and that something can be done about it.
While the Minister for Immigration and "Border Protection" has been scrutinising refugees' literacy and numeracy, the Australian Government has had its sight set on another group's abilities: Australia's pre-service teachers. Elisabeth Griffiths asks if the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students is worth its salt.
Last month, a parent got hot under the collar over a school's teaching of Australia's National Anthem in an Indigenous language. Linguist Lauren Gawne responds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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.