Love of languages

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21 December 2023

Reward and recognition

Five graduates of the Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training program will head to schools across the state to inspire the next generation to learn their local Aboriginal language.

An initiative of the Department since 1998, the Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training program recently celebrates its 21st intake of graduates and marks the end of a nearly three-year journey for its participants.

Not having an opportunity to learn the local language of her area, graduate Lana Hall, from Coodanup College, wanted to give others the opportunity she did not have.

“I was motivated to join the Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training (ALTT) program to get my language out in the community and get students learning my language,” she said.

“It is something I wasn’t able to grow up with learning and if I could go back in time, it’d be something I would’ve loved to learn.

“I feel it’s very empowering for Aboriginal people to learn the language of their area.”

Graduate Kylie Taylor, from Pinjarra Senior High School, was inspired to join the ALTT program in an effort to improve her own language capabilities.

“I thought, what better way to improve my language than to actually be teaching it,” she said.

“The strategies I’ve learned give me more confidence going forward to be able to share my knowledge with students.

“If you’re interested in embedding culture and language into your school, this is a really good place to start.”

Lola Jones, a principal consultant in the Department’s Quality Teaching area and a coordinator of the ALTT program, says that it is crucial students learn Aboriginal languages as part of the curriculum.

“I think learning Aboriginal languages in school is important because it gives students that capacity to learn about the country where they’re living,” she said.

“Learning the language helps you connect to Country and connect to people and families.

“The learning of local Aboriginal languages has been a big part of reconciliation in some schools because it’s not just the students, it’s the staff, and it’s the parents becoming informed.”

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