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.