Australian state to introduce long-ignored Indigenous language learning into schools

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A group of Australian students Photo: VCG

Aboriginal pupils in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) will soon be able to learn their own language in schools as part of the state’s curriculum reforms.

The plan, announced by the state Department of Education on Monday, will see a new Indigenous languages ​​curriculum available for teachers to plan for in 2023, and be available to teach in NSW schools from 2024.

“The new program provides students with valuable opportunities to learn their local language and develop an understanding of Indigenous languages,” said Education and Early Learning Minister Sarah Mitchell.

“For the first time, students who speak an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language at home will be able to progress in the study of that language at school.”

The content of the new syllabus is available in two routes, one for students without prior learning and another for those who already speak their language at home.

The curriculum, developed with the support of indigenous community members, will also offer guidelines for schools on how to involve local indigenous communities in language teaching.

NSW is home to over 35 indigenous language groups and 100 dialect variants.

In 2016, the estimated resident population of Indigenous people in the state was 265,685, representing 3.4% of the total population of New South Wales, while less than 1% of Indigenous people in New South Wales South Wales spoke an indigenous language at home, compared to 15% for the rest of New South Wales. Australia.

“Creating more opportunities for Indigenous students to communicate in an Indigenous language not only strengthens their connection to country, culture and identity, but promotes the importance of language revitalization and continued learning. “said Ben Franklin, NSW Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Arts, Regional Youth and Tourism.

“Empowering Indigenous youth to maintain a strong sense of identity, belonging and culture and to learn more about Indigenous languages ​​is also extremely beneficial to their overall academic and social outcomes.

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