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August 2005 in Dubbo

Day 3: Focus on language teaching methodology

The sharing workshop 'gave us a chance to share and showcase our resources, ie teaching strategies.'
Yuwaalaraay Language Program worker, 17/11/05

However, one language program worker commented: 'Some presentations make me feel ignorant'. So a lesson we learnt from this is that workshops need to have a positive environment where participants do not feel overwhelmed.

The presentation of a lesson based around ‘Making a Cuppa’ by Karen Flick from St Joseph’s Walgett in Yuwaalaraay was a very good example of teaching communicative language as well as embedding culture. ‘Having a cuppa’ is part of a more traditional Aboriginal society as well as life in contemporary Aboriginal families. Unfortunately no video was available, only the sketch lesson plan from Karen.

The presentation from Forbes North Public School on Wiradjuri allowed Juley Clarke to share some of her teaching strategies as a classroom teacher on a topic that we all know and love from the beginning stages of any Aboriginal language program: body parts.

Juley Clarke sharing some of her teaching strategies on Aboriginal Language: body parts
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Lightning Ridge Central school performed We are one, which is a good example of the effective use of song in teaching language. Please see Lightning Ridge introduction page for an example of this song being performed by Year 1/2 class of Lightning Ridge Central school.

Broulee Public School showed the Dhurga Video, which provided extracts of their teaching practice. While the video is too long to reproduce here in full, the following excerpts are excellent examples.

Michael Jarrett and Brother Steve Morelli from Muurrabay Language & Culture Co-op in Nambucca travelled all the way to show participants example immersion lessons in Gumbaynggirr, as well as using PowerPoint as a teaching tool.

'The workshop presentation by Michael Jarrett and Steve Morelli was totally inspirational.'

Wiradjuri Language Program worker, 11/11/05
Karen Flick, Community Language Tutor, St Joseph's Walgett
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'Brother Steve [and Michael], … he did a workshop with us in Dubbo. He had the PowerPoint stuff, like he was really flash old Brother. Everything was just language and just to hear somebody else’s language, like with no English at all, just language, language, language, I just thought was fantastic. And also he was at a level that we’re up to. Like, we’re not at a basic level. So we could sort of pick up some stuff from him. … That would’ve been one of my highlights, just listening to the language and the relevance of it for me. …'

Karen Flick, CLT, St Joseph’s Walgett, 18/11/05

Many thanks to Steve and Michael; their contribution was inspiring!

Dr. Mari Rhydwen working with participants

Dr Mari Rhydwen, Aboriginal Languages Consultant, K–12 Curriculum Directorate DET, delivered some sessions of the recently released workshop: 'Teaching Methodology for Aboriginal Languages' (AGQTP and DET 2005).

These are also two very useful websites that the Curriculum K–12 Directorate have produced:

AGQTP Literacy in Aboriginal Languages website
NSW DET Languages

'The language teaching methodology session was excellent.'

Dharawal/Dhurga Language Program member, 24/11/05

Many thanks to Mari for sharing this new resource with us!

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Day 3: Focus on Language Teaching Methodology