Creating Language Pathways at Risden Park

April 18, 2024

Last week, MLT project linguist Kieran Smith spent the day with students and staff at Risden Park Primary School, Port Pirie, as part of MLT’s Pathways Project and ongoing work to support the introduction of Nukunu language learning at the school. In the morning, he spent time with the school’s AET and ACEO, Renee and AJ (Principal Julie dropped in for a bit, too), and in the afternoon they were joined by 7 of the senior first-nations students and student leaders.

In the morning session, Kieran worked with AJ and Renee to learn a bit about speech sounds (phonetics), linguistic sound systems (phonology), and how these things relate to the spelling of Nukunu language (orthography). They also spent time talking about Nukunu vocabulary relating to weather and understanding the structure of this semantic field. They were especially interested to see how many different words there are for ‘cloud’ and how each one has a slightly different meaning! The students who joined in after lunch also had a chance to talk about these weather words, before doing some illustrations which will be used to create language learning resources for the school.

It was a very productive and fun day – staff at both the school and at MLT are all are very excited about what the future holds for Nukunu language at Risden Park PS!

For more information and resources about Nukunu language, including language lessons, visit our online portal: