ERIC Number: ED475372
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jul-6
Reference Count: N/A
Englishes and Literacies: Indigenous Australian Contexts.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are not achieving the levels of English literacy required for satisfactory completion of Australia's school system. A national strategy has been launched to help Indigenous students achieve English literacy. However, there continues to be little recognition of the language and cultural needs of the many Indigenous Aboriginal students who speak "Aboriginal English." A survey of 110 Australian teachers found that 8 felt they were competent to teach Aboriginal students. Five major principles are involved in teaching Standard Australian English to Indigenous students. First, a child's mother tongue embodies all his or her early life experiences and ingrained language habits. It allows the child to communicate and function comfortably and channels his or her thought processes prior to starting school. Second, school should be an extension of early childhood experience: there should not be a sharp break between early childhood language experiences and language experiences at school. Third, teaching is most effective when there is no conflict between home and school. Conflict can be avoided if schools respect every child's mother tongue. No language should be branded as inferior. Fourth, schooling can be effective only when the teacher and child listen to and understand one another. Finally every Aboriginal child, as well as every other Australian child, needs to be given optimal opportunities for developing competence in Standard Australian English, which is the medium of higher education and official communication in Australia. (TD)
Descriptors: Aboriginal Australians, Cultural Awareness, Educational Needs, English for Academic Purposes, English Instruction, English (Second Language), Equal Education, Foreign Countries, High Stakes Tests, Limited English Speaking, Nonstandard Dialects, Teacher Education, Teacher Expectations of Students
For full text: http://www.qiecb.qld.edu.au/html/PPL2.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia