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Aboriginal Languages and Cultures Victoria

Resources and links

For Language Teams / Teachers

Publications on Victorian Languages


Language Revival / Reclamation

  • Our Languages Website – a place to share news and collaborate on activities surrounding Australia’s traditional Aboriginal Languages
    Funded by the Dept. Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

  • Sharing Culture: Connecting Kids with Culture, Education and Communities. It’s a system that allows communities and schools to collaborate in the recording of local Language, culture and history. It can be used to create educational tools, such as bilingual e-books, interactive dictionaries and more. It provides teachers with resources and culturally appropriate learning tools.

  • Miromaa – Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre – an easy to use software program, created by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people, to digitise traditional languages and create Language tools. Miromaa is currently supporting 50 Languages across Australia.

  • Same Kids – Same Goals - When Principals and Indigenous Education Workers (IEWs) work well together, the needs of the school’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are better met than when the Principal and IEW work separately.
    That is what leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education is all about!

  • Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages VACL - addresses issues of language loss. VACL is the state body responsible for coordinating Community Language Programs throughout Victoria. The Corporation is focused on retrieving, recording and researching Aboriginal languages and providing a central resource on Victorian Aboriginal Languages with programs now looking at educational tools to teach the Indigenous community about language.

  • Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Kaurna Warra Pintyandi – a website for the Kaurna Language of South Australia. Includes Welcome to Country templates, detailed description of the sound system used in Kaurna, Kaurna placenames, resources for Kaurna wordlists and Kaurna courses.

  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) – AIATSIS is the world’s premier institution for information and research about the cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, past and present. The Return of Materials to Indigenous Communities (ROMTIC) section of AIATSIS is a source of audio recordings of Aboriginal Languages. 

  • New South Wales Board of studies: Aboriginal Languages – This website showcases examples of school-developed context-based teaching and learning projects collaboratively developed by teachers, Aboriginal education workers and local community members. The Aboriginal Languages website gives examples of resources and activities developed for the teaching of Aboriginal Languages and some of the processes, including workshops for teachers and Community Language programs to share teaching methods and resources developed.

  • New South Wales Department of Education Support for Aboriginal Languages – more information and support regarding the teaching of Aboriginal Languages in schools in NSW.

  • NSW Education Standards Authority - All syllabuses. Look at the Aboriginal Languages Syllabus and support materials. Languages in Kindergarten to Year 10 http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/languages

  • Oral History Association of Australia - promotes the practice and methods of oral history. www.oralhistoryaustralia.org.au/

  • Ontario Ministry of Education: Curriculum in Native Languages. Contains curriculum, policies and support documentation for the teaching or Native Languages in Schools in Ontario, Canada.

  • New Zealand -Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools Community. Information and resources relevant to teaching and learning of te reo Maori in English-medium schools.

  • The Honey Ant Readers. The Honey Ant Readers is an exciting new ESL/EAL literacy program developed in collaboration with Aboriginal elders that Indigenous learners of all ages can relate to, succeed with, and feel proud of. The program teaches reading by incorporating aspects of Aboriginal English in the text and builds oral Standard Australian English through songs and rhymes.

  • Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity. RNLD aims to advance the sustainability of Indigenous Languages and to increase the participation of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of language documentation and revitalization through training, resource sharing, networking and advocacy. www.rnld.org/

  • Batchelor Press. Batchelor Press is the publishing arm of the Specialised Publications and Academic Resource Centre (SPARC) at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Northern Territory, Australia. The teaching and learning resources developed at Batchelor Institute are produced primarily for Indigenous Australian students living in remote communities, the majority of whom have English as a second or third language. The content of these resources has been developed by community elders, students and teaching staff with many years experience in distance learning and curriculum development. They can produce resources for you in your Language using generic material.

  • Make Beliefs Comix. At Make Beliefs Comix students can create their own comics in their Language. www.makebeliefscomix.com/

  • Cool Tools for Schools. This is an exemplary collection of web 2.0 online learning resources. http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/Home

  • E-Learning Tools and Resources for Schools and Education. A mindmap is used to categorise various e-learning tools. www.mindomo.com/mindmap/e-learning-tools-and-resources-for-schools-and-education-48511abbfb7e4145a33dbe6453d0f8af

  • Talking Namba. The role of this resource from the NT Department of Education and Training is to help teaching teams (teachers working alongside paraprofessionals) to work together in order to help students of all cultural backgrounds to achieve a deep and effective understanding of mathematics. It does this by providing a focus on what students already understand, what they need to learn next and how this learning can be achieved.

  • Our World: Bardi-Jaawi life at Ardiyooloon. This resource takes readers inside the lives of the children of a remote Indigenous community — lives very different to those experienced by most Australians. The children take readers camping and fishing, share traditional stories and dances, show them how to find a waterhole, track, cook and eat bush tucker and animals such as turtles, crabs, oysters and clams, and make spears, boomerangs, bough shelters and bush brooms. Created by the children themselves, it is full of colourful illustrations and amazing photographs of the students experiencing their world and keeping alive the age-old traditions of their people.

  • The Young Ancestors. This is a film that follows a small group of Native American students who under the guidance of a mentor are learning their native language. The teenagers are motivated and enthusiastic about learning because they understand that one cannot survive for too long without the other. In a broader context the documentary explores the burgeoning movement by Native Americans to revitalize their native languages in tribes throughout America. The tribes invested in language classes and digital media as ways of sustaining their language. Many elders are the last of their tribe to be fluent speakers, and when these elders die, so too does the vast knowledge and repository of their language and culture.

  • Aboriginal Languages Virtual Library. This is a comprehensive database of information on Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages.

  • Interactive Whiteboard Pedagogy. This Edublog site explores the use of IWBs in LOTE classrooms.

  • LMERC. The Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC), a DET specialist resource centre for teachers and educators across a range of areas including over 60 languages, whole school curriculum development for global and multicultural citizenship, intercultural understanding and values. LMERC staff loan resources to teachers in Victoria, and research and review online materials which can be accessed through this site. http://lmerc.softlinkhosting.com.au/oliver/home/news

  • 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning. This Aboriginal pedagogy framework is expressed as eight interconnected pedagogies involving narrative-driven learning, visualised learning processes, hands-on/reflective techniques, use of symbols/metaphors, land-based learning, indirect/synergistic logic, modelled/scaffolded genre mastery, and connectedness to community.

  • Our Languages. This website has been produced as a place where people can share and collaborate on activities surrounding Australia's traditional Aboriginal languages. http://ourlanguages.org.au/

  • Languages Online. This DEECD site provides free resources for language teachers and students. www.education.vic.gov.au/languagesonline/

  • Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC). The SNAICC Resource Service (SRS) seeks to fill resource gaps identified across the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family and children’s services sector and provide a central information sharing clearinghouse. www.snaicc.org.au/

  • Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project. Today, there are about 6,500 human languages. Half of them are under threat of extinction within 50 to 100 years. The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project at SOAS, University of London, supports research, training, and archiving for endangered languages throughout the world.

  • Indigenous Languages Videos. This site has a variety of videos focussing on endangered languages around the world.


Cultural Awareness / Reconciliation

  • Reconciliation Australia – Promotes and facilitates respect, trust and positive relationships www.reconciliation.org.au

  • Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. VAEAI - VAEAI is a statewide organisation with a regional structure, divided on the basis of family ties. A number of Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups (LAECGs) comprise each of VAEAI's eight regions.

  • Teaching Diversity – developed for use by teachers, this website is a practical teaching and learning resource in the area of multiculturalism. While not specific to teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, the website supports a more informed understanding of Australia’s culturally diverse nation.

  • Monash Countrylines Archive - The Monash Countrylines Archive assists Indigenous Australian communities in the animation of stories that combine their history, knowledge, poetry, songs, performance and language to provide material for Elders and younger generations to sit together and share knowledge. You can watch the animations on this site.

  • Aboriginal Perspectives Across the Curriculum (APAC) - The WA Department of Education’s Aboriginal Education Directorate provides resources for introducing Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum.

  • Indigenous Weather - This Bureau of Meteorology site describes Aboriginal seasons, which are based on the local sequence of natural events.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Virtual Books - This site at the State Library of Queensland provides access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander virtual books for the early years. www.slq.qld.gov.au/search/search-site?collection=qld-gov&form=simple&profile=slq&query=Virtual+books+ATSI

  • Sharing Stories. Sharing Stories is a digital online project in which young people in remote indigenous communities are being taught how to produce and upload their own online content.

  • Black Screen - Black Screen is a National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) screening program designed to provide Indigenous communities and the broader Australian public with access to Indigenous films, which the NFSA makes available to individuals and organisations for community screening events.   Copies are distributed throughout community not for profit agencies and schools. These agencies have to sign a screening agreement that obliges the responsible organisation to return all materials once the screening date has occurred.

  • Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gering Seasonal Calendar - The work of MDWg was initiated by the traditional Miriwoong people of Kununurra WA in the late 1960s in order to document, record, stabilise and develop the Miriwoong language and culture. Their vision is that recording and documenting the traditional language will help their children to grow up with the knowledge and understanding that has been transferred by earlier generations over centuries. The Seasonal Calendar site includes a movie of community members talking about the seasons and the food available at various times of the year. www.mirima.org.au/calendar/


Teaching Tools

  • Marrin Gamu – An initiative of First Languages Australia, this site aims to gather recordings of the same simple song in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages from across Australia. Detailed instructions are provided. http://marringamu.com.au/school-language-programs/
  • 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning – 8 ways to start the learning process... Tell a story. Make a plan. Think and do. Draw it. Take it outside. Try a new way. Watch first, then do. Share it with others. http://8ways.wikispaces.com/home
  • Teacher Training Videos – This is a series of 20 minute videos by British language teacher Russell Stannard who utilizes online tools in his language teaching. http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/
  • Scootle - Education Services Australia is a not-for-profit ministerial company owned by all Australian education ministers. ESA has developed free education services and tools for Australian educators. http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/tools_and_resources  
  • Introducing Skype in the Classroom – Skype can be an excellent way of connecting your students to important people who can’t be present in the classroom. Skype is used by millions of people to see and talk to their family and friends, whether they are around the corner or on the other side of the world. https://vimeo.com/44867804