CROSSWORDS CROSS CULTURES PDF Print E-mail
Residents of Geraldton in Western Australia now have access to a newspaper written in both English and local languages. "The Yamaji News" produced from the Language Centre of the same name, is a regional newspaper which as well as informing and entertaining, has a major aim of raising awareness of language issues.

The paper uses as many of the local languages as possible in its articles and reports, and has taken the innovative step of including a "Kid's Page", complete with crosswords that use a mix of English and local language words. Also usually included on "Kid's Page" is a short story in language and English, with accompanying illustrations.

Reports from schools in which traditional languages are taught are always well promoted, as are the speakers who go into schools as part of the teaching team. Articles also appear onlanguage issues, such as writing systems or pronunciation guides.

Doreen Mackman who edits the "Yamaji News" says "The strength of the paper is that it doesn't aim to 'teach' or 'preach' but simply to supply an alternative to main-stream media, and a local responsiveness to community issues and local identities, whilst giving full weight to matters affecting language maintenance."

The response to the paper has been very encouraging, with requests for copies coming from all over the country.