(No. 5)







Rosalind Berry
PO Box 144
Kununurra, WA 6743

“Since 1991 I have been working with Joyce Hudson and other TESOL Resource Teachers from the Catholic Education Office in the Kimberley on preparing and delivering the Professional Development course Fostering English Language in Kimberley Schools (FELIKS) to teachers in Catholic schools in the region.

“In conjunction with the course, I’ve trialed games and activities in primary classrooms aimed at enabling the children to understand that two languages (SAE and Kriol/Aboriginal English) are involved in their social and school interactions and to be able to differentiate between them. A number of the games involve consciously switching between the languages.”

[FELIKS is mentioned under Publications below.]



Jan Branson
National Institute for Deaf Studies and Sign Language Research
La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3083

“Interests include pidgins and creoles used by the deaf community.”



Peter Mühlhäusler
University of Adelaide
Adelaide, SA 5005

“Working on a book on linguistic imperialism in the Pacific Area, which contains a chapter on this topic [pidgins and creoles in education].”



Toni Familari
PO Box 100
Broome, WA 6725

“In my work as the Aboriginal Studies Curriculum Adviser for Kimberley Catholic schools, the use of pidgins and/or creoles is part of the knowledge teachers must have to be effective in working with Aboriginal children who employ this type of language for communication. I work with a language team that offers people who can in-service staff to identify the language type employed by Aboriginal students so they can be aware of this in their roles as teachers.”



Lindsay Parkhill
PMB 138
Katherine, NT 0853

“I work as a lecturer for Batchelor College in a Kriol-speaking community, Ngukurr, and am interested in literacy, particularly visual literacy as in writing.

“Ngukurr is an interesting educational environment in that Kriol is the language of instruction in a school with an all-Aboriginal staff and no bilingual program.”



Lee Hammond
Kimberley District Education Office
PO Box 304
Kununurra, WA 6743

The following is taken from a description of the “Critical Steps Program” in English as a Second Language (ESL):

The ESL program is designed to facilitate the learning of Standard Australian English (SAE) by Aboriginal students who have an Aboriginal language or Kriol or Aboriginal English as their first language. Aboriginal students should acquire both oral and written competency in SAE and develop a positive attitude towards learning SAE.

“Program description:
This is a new program to the Aboriginal Education Operational Plan. It is a response to recent research indicating the extent of the problem, and the Ministry’s commitment to social justice though catering for the linguistic needs of non-English speaking background (NESB) students.

The program will extend and develop projects already operating in the Kimberley and Kalgoorlie Districts. Schools will be grouped into cells and receive support from visiting support teachers. Students in a transitional phase of schooling (ie K-Yr 1, Yr 4-5, Yr 7-8, Yr 10-11, Yr 12) will be targeted in particular to receive support. The support teachers will utilise First Steps and Stepping Out strategies and developmental continua in implementing programs in each involved school. The emphasis of each school-based program will be in providing direct classroom support for teachers and students.

A research component will be included in this program and the findings of the research will be disseminated to all schools with Aboriginal ESL students.”




Heather Lotherington-Woloszyn
School of Humanities
University of the South Pacific
PO Box 1168
Suva, FIJI

“I am interested in the provision of basic literacy skills in a community language to children in the Pacific. In the complicated linguistic demography of Melanesia, vernacular literacy is not always feasible. I would like to see Melanesian Pidgin [MP] being promoted as a vehicle for literacy (as well as oral communication).

“Presently Melanesian children in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are expected to become literate in English (or French in Vanuatu). However, teachers are often found to be using MP as the de facto medium of communication in the classroom. It would be far more beneficial to children already conversant in MP to use the language for the acquisition of literacy, too. This would confirm and build on community learning, decrease the dislocation between community and school learning and reaffirm cultural identity.”



The Editor

A pilot project in under way to evaluate the teaching of initial literacy in Bislama (Melanesian Pidgin) in a Vanuatu preschool. Two teachers at Lawa Preschool (Southwest Bay, Malakula) attended Literacy Training workshops run in Port Vila by Nick Faraclas of UPNG in 1993. They have been using some of the methods they learned back in their school. The children’s progress will be monitored when they begin primary school next year.

The project is being overseen in Vanuatu by Enikelen Netine, of World Vision, who already has wide experience in the Melanesian Literacy Project’s work on adult Bislama literacy in Vanuatu.

South America


Maria Carlota Amaral Paixão Rosa
Universidade Federal do
Rio de Janeiro
R. Esmeraldino Bandeira, 29-A casa 1
Riachuelo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ
20.961-080 BRAZIL

“I am involved in research on linguistic contact in Brazil from the 16th to 18th centuries. I am interested in the way lingua geral was transmitted by the missionaries. Recently I found an 18th century ‘specimen’ written in Latin by a German Jesuit priest to teach lingua geral. It is interesting because he was following the Janua Linguarum model of teaching almost 150 years later.”



Caribbean and Central America


Kennedy Samuel
Folk Research Centre
PO Box 514
Castries, ST LUCIA

“Our centre has LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT as one of its main program areas. This focuses specifically on the development of the St Lucian French Creole: Kwéyòl. It is the first language of a majority of St Lucians and one of our primary objectives is to ensure that it assumes its rightful place as a foundation language and a language of instruction within the education system. We already use it quite extensively in popular and community education processes. In addition, we have succeeded in developing an orthography that is standardized with the systems in other kwéyòl-speaking countries.”



Ken Decker
PO Box 2286
Belize City, BELIZE

“We have recently begun a project here in Belize Creole to assist in the development of a written form of the language. As in most Creole situations, there are people here that have favourable attitudes towards the promotion of Creole, and other people who won’t even admit that they speak it. Generally, the attitudes are positive.

“Belize Creole is an English-lexicon creole spoken as a first language by about 60,000 people and is the second language for at least another 60,000 people in the country. A number of Belizeans have made attempts over the last 30 years at writing Creole but there is no accepted standardization for the orthography at this time. We are planning an orthography workshop for June 1994 to begin the process of standardizing the orthography.

“Up to this time there has been no coordination of activities to promote the use of the language or to promote Creole culture. Several attempts have been made in recent years to begin Creole promotional societies. SIL is now in the process of developing a formal relationship with the University College of Belize to coordinate efforts for the development of Belize Creole as a written language.

“There is growing interest in the promotion of the use of the Creole language. There have been Creole radio talk programs for several years and now the first Creole television talk show has begun. There are people in the Department of Education that are interested in the possible use of Creole in education. There is occasional informal use of Creole for giving explanations. We’ve even heard unconfirmed reports of a few teachers that have encouraged students to try to write in Creole.

We have positive hopes for the possibilities for the development of Creole as a written language and for the use of Creole in Education.”


North America


Bambi Schieffelin
Anthropology, New York University
25 Waverly Pl
New York, NY 10003 USA

“I am interested in education in Tok Pisin and vernacular language socialization, discourse analysis, language ideology and code-switching between Tok Pisin/vernacular as part of language acquisition.”



Cindy Ballenger
2067 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140 USA

“I worked for a number of years as a teacher in a bilingual pre-school program for Haitian Creole-speaking children. In that context I began to explore various issues related to language and literacy. I am presently part of a project looking at science-learning in bilingual classrooms. I am working in a Haitian-speaking classroom (5th-8th grades) where the children are studying ants. They develop investigations, do observations, analyse their data and theorise all in Haitian Creole.”



Mary Holbrook
University of Illinois
4080 Foreign Languages Building
707 S Matthews
Urbana, IL 61801 USA

“My interest in this area began with an interest in the use (or the lack of use) of native American languages for literacy education – specifically Mayan languages for elementary schooling and adult literacy. From there I learned more about languages in contact and began to examine contact between the Mayan and Spanish languages. I would like to put this all together and the topic of pidgins and creoles in education seems to be an appropriate direction to follow.”





Morgan Dalphinis
Hackney Education Directorate
Edith Cavell Building
Enfield Rd, London N1 5AZ UK

“I am at present carrying out a research project into the language needs of bilingual pupils, including Creole speakers, for the Hackney Education Directorate.

“I have also initiated Creole Studies at a Black Supplementary School in London and meet with a group of Afro-Caribbean linguists on a regular basis to discuss the current issues in Creole and Education in Britain.”
[See the special report on the UK below.]



Rebekka Ehret
Institute of Cultural Anthropology
University of Basle
19, Münsterplatz

“[I am undertaking] sociolinguistic/
anthropological fieldwork in Freetown (Sierra Leone) on Krio in the educational system (questions of varieties, standardization, orthography, etc.) among primary and secondary school children.”


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