Australia: New Report on Indigenous Language in Schools

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Dec 10 16:09:06 UTC 2008

New Report on Indigenous Language in Schools

I'm a little short on time (and head-space for proper critical
analysis and commentary) at the moment, but I'm still keen to post on
the many goings-on in the world of Australian Indigenous languages,
and policy relating to them. So with that as pre-cursory statement, I
present the following text copied from Julia Gillard's media release
(I haven't read the report yet, but you can download it here):
The Minister for Education, the Hon Julia Gillard, today released the
Indigenous Language Programs in Australian Schools — A Way Forward

The report was prepared by the Australian Council for Educational
Research (ACER), funded by the Australian Government's School
Languages Program. The report provides a snapshot of the current
situation of Indigenous language education in schools across
Australia.  Over 16 000 Indigenous students and 13 000 non-Indigenous
students located in 260 Australian schools are involved in an
Indigenous language program. The report reveals that over 80 different
Indigenous languages are taught in schools throughout Australia.

The report found that learning an Indigenous language can enhance a
range of social and academic outcomes for all students.
The Australian Government is committed to supporting languages
education in Australian schools. The School Languages Program provides
funding of $112 million from 2005 to 2008 to support the learning of
all languages, including Indigenous languages.

The Australian Government has also committed $540 million to improve
literacy and numeracy outcomes and close the gap in educational
attainment for Indigenous Australians. The Government firmly believes
that all Australian students need to be proficient in English to be
able to full participate in the world of work and further study.
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