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531Call to save bilingual education (Australia)

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  • Don Osborn
    Jul 3, 2009
      FYI, another case where multilingual realities are overlooked in monolingual approaches to education and literacy. (Fwd from ILAT)...

      -----Original Message-----

      Call to save bilingual education

      Stuart Rintoul | July 02, 2009
      Article from: The Australian

      AUSTRALIAN governments suffer from a "deep monolingualism" that has discriminated against teaching in Aboriginal languages, according to a new report criticising the dismantling of bilingual education in the Northern Territory.

      In an assault on the territory's decision last year to teach the first four hours of the school day in English, the report's authors say the decision "could spell the death of the remaining endangered indigenous languages in Australia" and marked a return to the "English-only" approach of the assimilationist era of the1950s.

      The authors, Jane Simpson, Jo Caffery and Patrick McConvell, all of whom have long experience in Aboriginal linguistics, say bilingualism in remote NT schools was ditched "without apparent regard for the evidence from research on how monolingual children learn a second language, or on the positive value of bilingual education, or the language rights of indigenous peoples, or the evidence from schools which had abandoned bilingual education".

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