[RNLD] Fwd: Indigenous Australian Language Teacher Degree

Margaret Florey mflorey at RNLD.ORG
Fri Sep 6 09:05:01 UTC 2013

From: John Hobson <john.hobson at sydney.edu.au>
Date: 6 September 2013 10:59
Subject: Indigenous Australian Language Teacher Degree

Dear friends,

A rare opportunity exists to implement an initial teacher training degree
in (Indigenous) Australian languages for which we are seeking your support.

As part of the current review of the 'block mode' Bachelor of Education
(Aboriginal Studies/History) at the University of Sydney, a proposal will
be lodged by us seeking to add Australian languages as an alternative
teaching subject to this degree. Rather than attempting to build a new
degree from scratch and gain approval for it as a teaching qualification,
changing an accredited program in this way can be done quickly and
relatively simply, and begin producing qualified graduates much sooner.

The Faculty of Education and Social work has already indicated strong
interest in expanding its support for Australian language revival and
foreshadowed discussion with the NSW Institute of Teachers to seek more
flexible standards for accreditation in Australian languages, possibly
allowing the combination of studies in several languages and some revival
linguistics, rather than the currently demanded parity with foreign
languages. It is also strongly encouraging our submission.

The proposal we will be lodging will be for a program that is national in
scope, adaptable for students regardless of their language, and with
maximum flexibility in recognition of prior learning and external study.
While it may only be possible to implement Australian languages as a minor
subject initially, if successful, our longer term strategy will be that it
should grow to become a major subject in the degree. We will also be
seeking to provide for exit points with qualifications suitable for
classroom support and language centre roles in revival settings in the
longer term.

However, the outcome and precise form of such a program cannot be
determined in advance. The critical issue now is that the review recommends
this strategic direction as one that would be appropriate and viable for
the future of this degree. The precise form of any implementation would be
decided later.

We therefore invite you to make a submission to the review panel indicating
your support, in principle, for Indigenous Australian languages being
offered as an elective teaching method in the Bachelor of Education. It
would be useful if your submission gave the panel an indication of why you
see such an innovation as warranted and indicated your support for the
University taking this action. It would be particularly useful if you could
give indicative figures of likely candidates from your area of operation,
or numbers of language programs in need of trained teachers. Such
information will inform the panel's discussion of potential cost
effectiveness that has potential to be a major topic of concern.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, or to
discuss your submission, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The formal invitation to submit follows:

"The Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney is
conducting a review of the Faculty's Diploma in Education (Aboriginal)
/Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal Studies/History) 'block' program. The
Faculty invites submissions from external stakeholders to the review panel.

Submissions should be addressed to: Assoc Prof Alyson Simpson, Associate
Dean Undergraduate/Pre-service, Education Building A35, The University of
Sydney NSW 2006; alyson.simpson at sydney.edu.au

Submissions should be no longer than one A4 page and should clearly
indicate the relationship between the stakeholder and the block program.
Submissions should be received no later than 23 September 2013."

Please also feel free to distribute this invitation more widely.

 John Hobson & Susan Poetsch

  *JOHN HOBSON* | Lecturer
 Director, Graduate Indigenous Education Programs
 Faculty of Education & Social Work
Rm* 221, Old Teacher’s College A22
 The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006

*T* +61 2 9351 6994 | *F* +61 2 9351 6924
*E* *john.hobson at sydney.edu.au*
 *W* *http://fdp.edsw.usyd.edu.au/users/jhobson

 "When you lose a language, you lose a culture, intellectual wealth, a work
of art.
It's like dropping a bomb on a museum, the Louvre."
Comment by the late Kenneth Hale, cited in The Economist (November 3,

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