Yugambeh being taught at Waterford West State School in Logan

From NITV by David Liddle.

A Brisbane school has started teaching a local Aboriginal language, in a bid to engage Indigenous students and close the gap in education.

Waterford West State School in Logan, which recently won the Education category of the Premier’s Reconciliation Awards, has started teaching its students Yugambeh, a local Aboriginal language.

The school, which has 640 students of whom 80 are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, is hoping that including the language in its curriculum will help close the gap in education and encourage Aboriginal students and their families to speak their languages.

Warrgamay people developing mayay (language) story books

An ABC Open Blog post by Jedda Priman, as part of ABC Open’s Mother Tongue Project.

Throughout the last decade the Warrgamay people have worked hard to reclaim their traditional language. Today we are developing story books for children using the Warrgamaygan mayay.

We are currently working on two children’s story books written in both English and Warrgamay. These story books will have an audio recording that accompanies the book.

Read the full post and leave your comments.

Butchulla lullaby

From ABC Open Wide Bay, by Brad Marsellos and Joy Bonner

The importance of language.

Joy Bonner of Hervey Bay understands the importance of remembering. Joy is doing everything she can to make sure her traditional language, Butchulla, is not forgotten.

Greetings in Butchulla, sharing conversations with children and rediscovering songs from the past, are all helping to keep the language alive.

In this video Joy shares a lullaby her mother would sing to her as a child, Yunma-n Walabai, Walbai Yunma-n.

The full transcription is on the ABC Open blog.

Melissa Lucashenko’s Mullumbimby

From ABC books and arts daily, by Daniel Browning.

In Bundjalung, you might greet another blackfella by asking: ‘Jingawahlu?’ Literally, ‘Where do you walk?’ but there is a deeper meaning: ‘Where are you from, where have you been, where are you going?’ Living and walking on your own country confers a sense of belonging. Unfortunately for Twoboy, his fight is a bit more complicated. In the absence of songs, language and an intact dreaming—although he knows his totem or ‘meat’ is the mibun or wedgetail eagle—Twoboy has to prove his Bundjalung identity the whitefella way: suited up, in the tribunal.

Daniel Browning

See Melissa’s website for Mullumbimby.

Warrgamay people developing mayay (language) story books

By Jedda Priman on ABC Open Wide Bay.

Throughout the last decade the Warrgamay people have worked hard to reclaim their traditional language. Today we are developing story books for children using the Warrgamaygan mayay.

We are currently working on two children’s story books written in both English and Warrgamay. These story books will have the facility of an audio recording along with the book.

Today we were in the ABC studio learning how to use technology to record the audio to go along with the story books.

Read the full story and leave your comments.

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.

Bilingual education ideas welcomed

By Kiri Ten Dolle for The Satellite

INDIGENOUS members of the community have welcomed the Federal Government’s recommendations to introduce bilingual education in schools to boost Aboriginal student attendance.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, chaired by Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann, last week hand down its report Our Land Our Languages: Language Learning in Indigenous Communities.

The report found only 18 of an estimated 250 Aboriginal languages were still spoken and were in danger of being wiped out in the next decade.

It recommended the need to urgently ensure their survival by teaching students whose first language was indigenous in their mother tongue, and an alternative NAPLAN method of testing.

But Mr Neumann took it a step further, calling for an Indigenous Language Learning Centre at Ipswich.

He said he would also like to see an indigenous language degree on offer at universities or TAFE in addition to other foreign language degrees.

“There are 136,000 people in the Blair electorate and 5300 are indigenous, according to the latest census,” Mr Neumann said.

“At Riverview State School 25% of students are indigenous. Most Ipswich high schools have indigenous populations of 10 to 15%.

“This is a very significant report for at least one in 10 people in our district. If adopted by the government it will make a huge difference.

Read the full article

Bilingual education for Indigenous Australians

By Lachlan Mackintosh for ABC Brisbane

There’s a lot to a language, it’s more than just a tool for communication, it’s a social identity.

So when a language disappears, how does it affect the culture attached to it?

The ‘Our Land, Our Languages’ report was released this week, it looked at the role of Indigenous languages in Australia and how they could help strengthen the Aboriginal identify and culture.

Dr Felicity Meakins, a Research Fellow in Linguistics at the University of Queensland, joined the program to talk about the topic.

Listen to the discussion.

Weekend to focus on the future of Aboriginal language

By Ross Kay for ABC Wide Bay.

The study of a language can lead to a new understanding of the world as you immerse yourself in a different culture. But what if you could do that in your own backyard?

That’s the invitation extended to the traditional owners in the Port Curtis and Coral coast region at the 2012 Immersion weekend.

The event will be held over three days at the Wyper Park Scout Camp in Bundaberg, and Phillip Brown, Central Queensland Language Centre co-ordinator says the weekend is designed to provoke discussion about local language groups, and to continue to build a framework for future education.

Read the full article.
Read the full article.

School sees pitfalls in Indigenous language studies

By Frances Adcock and Marlina Whop for ABC News

The principal of Cherbourg State School, south-west of Bundaberg in southern Queensland, says it will be difficult to teach Indigenous languages in some schools.

A new report is calling on the Federal Government to introduce Indigenous language education into schools with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Principal Peter Sansby says it is a good initiative but it may not be practical in some schools with a diverse range of students.