Jeannie Adams talks about Indigenous literacy

Jeannie Adams of Black Ink Press discusses some reasons behind low rates of Indigenous childhood literacy in this radio interview broadcast on Radio National. Included in the  sometimes complex reasons she gives are the language books are written in, namely that standard Australian English is not always the most suitable language of choice for Indigenous youth to read in; books with content aimed at a certain age group will not necessarily correspond to the reading level of that age group if partial or full illiteracy is apparent in the reader; the content of books is very often city based and main characters are non-Indigenous, leaving Indigenous kids with very little that they can relate to on a personal basis.

As part of the solution to raising Indigenous literacy Jeannie asks that contemporary Indigenous artists, authors and publishers concentrate on producing interesting and relevant story books for Indigenous kids in a culturally appropriate way with involvement from relevant community members. Mainstream publishers need to support these efforts and accept that such books may be written in non-Standard varieties of English, Kriols and Indigenous languages.


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