As a primary educator, the topic of Aboriginal language in education was extremely interesting to me. Having being trained to teach using a Curriculum that incorporates Aboriginal perspectives and languages, the gesture is far from enough based on what the unit has shed light on.
Indigenous students have a cultural background far different to those of other students. They have a history that far outlives any other Australian. The requirement of the Australian Curriculum to deliver English education and meet language outcomes based on an English language is one that hinders the cultural history of Aboriginal people.
With only around 250 Indigenous languages still present in Australia, it is vital that these are not lost through further suppression of native tongue. Providing children with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the native Australian language, as well as develop their ability to speak is just one measure being taken to revive a dying tongue.
Wadu Matyidi – Language of Belonging
is an interactive site that is designed for primary students to use, which explores and develops the Aboriginal language, but also provides an overall context of cultural understanding – imperative to the survival of Indigenous Australia.
Schools are presented with the challenge of incorporating the language of Australia, with the English language, which with limited time constraints is hard. The interactive and vast learning options of the Wadu Matyidi site means that teachers are able to incorporate the language learning into their classrooms, without the need for extensive, expensive resources, and an engaging learning mode for students.
Utilising other resources, such as those featured on the site, along with dictionaries and the involvement of Indigenous community members this resource is extremely useful for educators to help revive the Aboriginal language with all students within schools, whilst still meeting syllabus outcomes.
-Tamsin Quirk, LING366