Teacher resources: Indigenous language materials - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-04-26
"The promotion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures as a cross-curriculum priority in the Australian Curriculum provides both a challenge and an opportunity for teachers.
Many teachers struggle to identify and use appropriate resources, and to create contexts in which such knowledge can be embedded. Educators with limited connections to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures may require support to incorporate Indigenous knowledge respectfully and appropriately in the classroom.
Rather than just an add-on, the histories and cultures of Indigenous people can be integrated into each learning area to bring new perspectives to existing knowledge and practice, and to encourage interesting and innovative ways to incorporate this knowledge.
The Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages contains authentic language materials which can assist in resourcing and supporting teachers to meet this challenge across all areas of the curriculum. The open access archive contains thousands of authentic texts in Indigenous languages of the Northern Territory, many with English translations and rich illustrations. The materials cover a vast array of topics, from traditional stories, ethnobiology, history, bush food and medicine, tales of contemporary life, and translations of English stories. Many of the resources were produced during the era of bilingual education in the Northern Territory, beginning in the 1970s, and were mostly created by Indigenous people for Indigenous children who spoke an Indigenous language at home, and were learning to read and write in their own language before transitioning to English literacy. The Living Archive project came out of concern for the materials which were no longer in active use in schools due to policy shifts away from bilingual education (Simpson, Caffery & McConvell, 2009). The project team visited many of these remote schools and collected books for scanning, as well as gathering materials from libraries and private collections. In many of these locations, the materials were highly vulnerable, scattered around hot sheds and dusty storerooms, with no catalogues available to identify what books had been created. A second round of government funding enabled the inclusion of materials from other NT communities which didn’t have bilingual programs, but were still creating language resources...."