(No. 8)




Interpreter Training in Aboriginal
Languages Newsletter (Feb 1997)
PO Box 5264
Cable Beach, WA 6726

“A Skills Maintenance Workshop was held 20-21 November 1996 at the KLRC [Kimberley Language Resource Centre] in Halls Creek. For some time now there has been concern about follow-up support for accredited interpreters so this workshop was organised for the six graduates from Fitzroy Crossing and the seven from Halls Creek and Balgo courses. [See PACE Newsletter 6.] … Margaret Sefton and Eirlys Richards led the sessions. The agenda included sharing interpreting experiences and a review of ethics issues arising from the discussion. The main focus was on medical situations, focussing on eyes and diabetes. Time was spent on reviewing information, terminology and equivalents in Kriol and Jaru followed by relevant role play…”


Diwurruwurru-jaru Nyusleta
(Aug 1997)
PO Box 89
Katherine, NT 0851
FAX: (08) 8971 0561

This is the newsletter of the Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre, which has recently been renamed the Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation. It contains a lot of news about the many recent developments in interpreting in Aboriginal languages, including Kriol. One development was the making of a video called “Nomo Humbug”, showing people and organizations how to use the interpreting service.

This issue of the newsletter also contains a report and an article by Barbara Raymond, a language worker and interpreter, which are both written in Kriol with an English translation.


FELIKS News (Sept 1997)
PO Box 1451
Broome, WA 6725
FAX: (08) 9192 2559

This issue starts off with a brief review of the FELIKS approach which is “NOT about teaching Kriol or Aboriginal English (AE) in schools but uses the home language as a jumping off point for teaching SAE [Standard Australian English] more effectively. It emphasizes the following (p.1):

• accepting and validating the students’ home languages whether they are Kriol, Aboriginal English or one of the traditional Aboriginal languages
• making explicit to students that their English-based home language (whether Kriol or AE) and Standard Australian English are different; discovering differences with them
• increasing the teachers’ knowledge of the differences between SAE and Kriol or AE so they can identify potential area of difficulty for their students
• providing specific strategies for teaching Standard English as a second dialect

There is also an emphasis on appropriate code choice and and the need for code-switching in real life.

An article headed “Growing interest in teaching standard English as a second dialect” reports on packages (video and text) produced by education departments in two states to provide teachers with useful information onAboriginal English: Deadly Eh, Cuz! in Victoria and A Place of Belonging: Working with Aboriginal English in New South Wales. A similar package will be released by the Queensland Education Department later this year. Also, reported (p.2):

A unit of the Department of Social Security in Canberra is planning a video called Talkin Our Way about Aboriginal English, aimed at increasing the awareness of staff in government departments working with Aboriginal clients.

The article also notes one reaction to the packages for teachers:

there was an article printed in the Brisbane Courier Mail headlined ‘How to pick a ninny’ which said the idea behind the package was ‘just a lazy way of perpetuating a second-rate pidgin language that will be about as useful as spear throwing in modern society’! OF course there were a number of indignant letters to the editor in rebuttal but we need to realise that attitudes to bidialectal education are not necessarily positive. And we need to counter such arguments, citing the work of linguists, educators and personal knowledge and experience.

The issue contains several articles on games and “awareness” and “separation” activities for use in the classroom and with parents.


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