TAFE course to provide more teachers for NSW PDF Print E-mail

ACCORDING to a recent report by Dr Jaky Troy and Dr Michael Walsh, from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) NSW Strategic Language Study, `Strong Language Strong Culture', there are "no dead languages in NSW. In many communities there are elders who speak their language and in all communities people have some knowledge of their language/s and use some vocabulary on a daily basis." This report was based on discussions with community members around NSW.

 

In November this year representatives from ATSIC, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the Office of the Board of Studies and Muurbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Cooperative joined Aboriginal community members and Aboriginal Programs Unit (APU), Department of Education and Training staff in a forum to discuss the development of a new TAFE NSW course.The proposed course name is Certificate III in Teaching Aboriginal Languages. The course aims to target Aboriginal community members with knowledge of their language, and provide them with skills and knowledge to support the teaching of their local language in school.

A number of ideas and issues were discussed at the forum. Aboriginal people from communities around Bowraville, Wentworth, Nambucca Heads, Stuarts Point,Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Goonellabah, Lismore and Bourke as well as Aboriginal Development Managers of TAFE NSW spoke about their feelings and needs in terms of the revival and maintenance of their languages.

Prominent in the discussion were:

• language and cultural protocols
• timeframe for the development of the new course
• acknowledgment of Elders in the curriculum development consultative process
• possible student entry requirements for example; community approval
• ownership of the resources that may be developed and
• the continuing commitment from APU, Department of Education and Training.

The new TAFE NSW course, to be developed in 2001 , will encourage ongoing partnerships established between schools and communities in which the contribution of Aboriginal Elders is respected and valued.

For further information or comments on the TAFE course contact Anne Sheridan on
(02) 9217 4839.