1. Home
  2. Aboriginal Languages
  3. Learning from each school's experience
  4. Lightning Ridge Central School
  5. Lessons learnt in 2005
Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size

Lessons learnt in 2005

The three main topics are:

  • Community Language Tutors taking a stage-specific teaching approach
  • Creating integrated cross-curriculum lessons for contemporary language use
  • Becoming an integrated part of the school curriculum.

Community Language Tutors taking a stage-specific teaching approach

Taking advice from the Community Language Tutors at St Joseph’s Walgett, Rhonda and Mark divided their classes so that they could focus attention on stage-specific teaching activities and methodology. Mark took Stage 1 and Rhonda took Stages 2–3 classes. The Yuwaalaraay Language Program has yet to be taught past Stage 3.

Examples from Mark’s Stage 1 classes and Rhonda's Stage 2 class are included in the section Teaching and Learning Samples. There are some noticeable differences between the two classes: Mark’s Stage 1 class only practises numbers from 1–10 but Rhonda’s classes do their sums using numbers up to 100; Mark uses teaching techniques specific to Stage 1, such as the use of ‘big books’ whereas Rhonda’s classes carry out independent work suitable to their age. Both teachers embed culture within each lesson. These teachers feel that concentrating on only one or two stages enables them to improve their teaching skills for that particular age group.

Creating integrated cross-curriculum lessons for contemporary language use

As noted by John Giacon, linguist at St Joseph’s Walgett, (link to Aboriginal Languages 2004 webpages), Aboriginal languages will need to expand to meet contemporary communication requirements. An example of adaptation and expansion in Yuwaalaraay is the creation of numbers from 1–100 so that numeracy can also be taught in Yuwaalaraay.

Becoming an integrated part of the school curriculum

An interview with Rhonda and Mark was not possible but these are some of the problems or issues encountered that made this a difficult objective to achieve in 2005:

  • team building is essential to build up commitment and trust
  • the team must include classroom teachers, AEAs and executive staff
  • AEAs could be involved in community consultations
  • programming teaching and learning units of work in order to prove that the Aboriginal Language Program is meeting the outcome requirements of the NSW Aboriginal Languages K–10 Syllabus, and hence is a course of high standard.
Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size