ERIC Number: EJ1075333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
Between Duty Statement and Reality--The "Linguist/Coordinator" at an Australian Indigenous Language Centre
Olawsky, Knut J.
Language Documentation & Conservation, v8 p361-383 2014
The size of Australian Indigenous language centres varies from small programs with a single employment position up to large organisations which may involve several linguists, a manager and a range of support staff. This article is based on the linguist's work at an organisation at the smaller end of the scale--"Mirima Dawang Woorlabgerring" Language and Culture Centre (MDWg), which operates out of Kununurra in the remote East Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Following a brief introduction to the context and history of language work at MDWg, the author sheds light on typical community expectations, which cover an array of different language-related and nonlinguistic tasks. In a scenario where the linguist and coordinator roles are assigned to a single person it becomes clear that the range of duties can be overwhelmingly diverse and go beyond anything a linguist is exposed to during his/her academic studies. The article proceeds by identifying a range of challenges for a linguist/coordinator, addressing issues such as efficiency, balance, burnout and career planning. For each challenge, possible solutions are offered, with the vision of turning challenge into opportunity. The article concludes with a set of recommendations directed at various stakeholders in the work of Indigenous language centres.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Indigenous Populations, Languages, Coordinators, Linguistics, Responsibility, Efficiency, Burnout, Career Planning
National Foreign Language Resources Center at University of Hawaii. Department of Linguistics, UHM Moore Hall 569, 1890 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. Fax: 808-956-9166; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia