Effective Education

Dharaŋanawuy – deep mutual respect and understanding
This is a short video exploring the confusion between the knowledge systems and worldview of Yolŋu culture and the dominant culture of mainstream Australia, and the devastating impacts this confusion has on Yolŋu people. Dharaŋanawuy – a Yolŋu word meaning…
I Am The Learner: A Reflection on Listening
              I have a passion for teaching people stuff. I get a buzz from helping people learn what I know, and then watching a person become empowered with that new knowledge. Working as an…
Our Land Our Languages Inquiry
Response to the federal Government’s Our Land Our Languages inquiry into Indigenous languages.             Why Warriors has always advocated that working with Yolŋu people in their own languages is the most efficient way for Yolŋu people to receive effective education, training and information…
How do Indigenous Languages help Learning outcomes?
To some we may be beginning to sound like a broken record, always talking about the importance of using Indigneous languages. But the reason I continue to talk about this is because many Australia personnel and agencies have so much trouble really absorbing the importance of starting with local languages. So lets say it as simply as possible. If a hearer does not understand well the language being used then ZERO meaning or information may be being conveyed. How can this be? Let's break it down...
Four hours in English – An Indigenous bilingual teacher’s experience.
A growing group called ‘Friends of Bilingual Learning’ (FOBL) sprang up a few months ago and its members are actively involved in the debate over Marion Scrymgour’s decision to relegate the use of local Indigenous languages to only 1hour a…
Four hours in English – The NT Government’s Indigenous ed. plan built on misinformation.
The NT Minister for education argues that Indigenous languages have no place in teaching literacy and numeracy in remote indigenous schools and has announced that the first 4 hour of every school day must be in English. Support for the Government's position seems to be based on a few misunderstanding about way learning actually operates on remote indigenous communities. Let's briefly explore the reality in the bilingual community schools this will effect.
Punishing Parents – forcing attendence using welfare
The latest issue before us is a policy presented by Kevin Rudd and Jenny Macklin to suspend the welfare payments of parents whose children do not attend school. Even if this policy is implemented nationally it hugely discriminates against Indigenous parents, because many Indigenous people in Australia live in situation that are wholly different to other Australian. Yet indigenous parents in North East Arnhem have adopted a wide range of strategies to try to improve their children's prospects. We look at some examples...
English only Education Part 2 – Transfering meaning
For an Indigenous person on a community where English a second or even sixth language all their peers will difficulties in understanding and learning certain English words. When a person in such a community does hear a new English word they can not easily learn the meaning. Because their parents and peers do not use it, do not know it or they may use a local assumed meaning, which can be very wrong.
English only Education, Part 1- Vocabulary & Word deafness
An English only classroom can mask the problems of not utilising first language knowledge and concepts to teach English. It is important to understand how education or training can be going wrong, as a result of neglecting language use, without an English only speaker even knowing it. I will discuss these problems over a series of posts, starting with something I call word deafness that prevents individual ESL students easily acquiring new vocabulary.
Local Languages and Effective education
Australia values indigenous languages as shown in our public art, but in practice it is easy to have excuses. There are a number of concerns about learning Aboriginal languages, and using local languages in education, that become blockages that prevent personnel individually or corporately from putting time into learning to use Aboriginal languages. I will briefly respond to these common concerns.