November 10, 2017

In early November, MLT Aboriginal Language Worker Clayton Cruse visited the R-12 Encounter Lutheran College in Victor Harbour. Clayton chatted to 2 groups of primary school students about Aboriginal Languages and Aboriginal culture. Chatting to the students in and about the Adnyamathanha language Clayton also read from the ‘Tjitji Tjuta Inmaku Pakantjaka Book’, a joint project between Carclew, Anangu Education Services and the Pitjantjatjara Yunkunyjatjara Education Committee.

The children had some really thoughtful questions, both during and after the presentation, with many stating that this was the first time they had heard an Aboriginal language being spoken. Many students also said they had heard an Aboriginal language being spoken before. Clayton read the students the ‘Kanyala’ and ‘Papa Natji Natji’ stories in English, and the students were then able to watch the short animations, which are narrated in Pitjantjatjara.

The 5-6-year-old Reception students are studying an alternative to the schools LOTE Program (Japanese), which can seem a little out of context for such young students, so it is replaced with a ‘world tour’. In this ‘tour’ the students explore aspects of life in countries that the children have family connections with, and look at the ways in which everyday life may be similar or different from the students’ own lives. In Term 4, the focus is on Australia, and how children all over Australia have different backgrounds (families, languages, homes, foods, hobbies, chores, city/country living etc).

Earlier in the year, the school was lucky to hold a performance and smoking ceremony by Uncle Moogie Sumner and the Tal-kin-jeri Dance Group, which was well received. This visit by the MLT follows-up on the schools’ efforts to expose their students and community to local and state-wide Aboriginal languages, culture and of course – people.

If you would like to find out how the MLT can help support and discuss Aboriginal languages within your school or community, feel free to get in contact with us at (08) 8313 0707 or send through an email to info@mobilelanguageteam.com.au.