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Type: Book chapter
Title: Teaching Aboriginal languages at University: To what end?
Author: Amery, R.
Citation: Intersections in Language Planning and Policy: Establishing Connections in Languages and Cultures, 2020 / Fornasiero, J., Reed, S., Amery, R., Bouvet, E., Enomoto, K., Xu, H.L. (ed./s), vol.23, Ch.29, pp.475-489
Publisher: Springer
Publisher Place: Cham, Switzerland
Issue Date: 2020
Series/Report no.: Language Policy; 23
ISBN: 3030509249
Editor: Fornasiero, J.
Reed, S.
Amery, R.
Bouvet, E.
Enomoto, K.
Xu, H.L.
Statement of
Rob Amery
Abstract: In 2017 the theme chosen by the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC), “Our Languages Matter”, drew attention to Australia’s national linguistic heritage, the 250 or more Indigenous languages from across the nation. A mere handful of these languages are taught in universities. Three of these, soon to be four, are “strong” languages spoken by all generations in their homelands and transmitted transgenerationally. The other three are “reclaimed” languages. Most are taught as a single unit within an Aboriginal Studies or Linguistics program and offer little opportunity to gain advanced language proficiency or an in-depth knowledge of the language. The reasons for learning “strong” languages are somewhat different from the reasons for teaching and learning “reclaimed” languages. Furthermore, many of the reasons why Indigenous languages are taught are fundamentally different from the reasons why world languages, such as French or Japanese are taught. This chapter investigates the reasons why Indigenous languages are taught and learnt in Australian universities, with a view to increasing the number of these offerings and expanding the field.
Keywords: Indigenous languages; Aboriginal studies; Reclaimed languages; Tertiary sector; Yolŋu Matha; Pitjantjatjara; Kaurna; Wiradjuri; Gamilaraay
Rights: © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to 475 Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-50925-5_29
Appears in Collections:Linguistics publications

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