Cultural diversity & Identity: Family languages
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Cultural diversity & Identity: Family languages
Resources for teaching and learning about family languages in early stage one HSIE
Curated by Debra Foyer
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Australian Indigenous Languages Database (AUSLANG)

Australian Indigenous Languages Database (AUSLANG) | Cultural diversity & Identity: Family languages | Scoop.it
Debra Foyer's insight:

AUSLANG provides information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) languages. Information includes: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AISTSIS) referenced name for language; Number of speakers (estimate from National Indigenous Languages Survey, 2005); and Geographical distribution across Australia powered by Google maps. This resource represents the diversity and complexity of ATSI languages, consistent with criteria established by the Government of South Australia Department for Education and Child Development for the evaluation of ATSI resources. The site makes reference to the inaccuracy and misleading nature of the umbrella term ‘Aboriginal language’ which fails to acknowledge the approximately 250 diverse Indigenous languages that existed at the time of European arrival (Government of South Australia Department for Education and Child Development, 2013). This resource is essential to learning and professional development and should encourage further teaching and learning embedded with ATSI perspective. For example, exploration of ATSI language groups location within the school area. The connection of learning and knowing to people and place are two central processes in the eight-way framework, a relational aboriginal pedagogy (Yunkaporta & Kirby, 2011). Teachers can both include and pay respects to ATSI perspectives through the exploration of ATSI resources using aboriginal pedagogies like the eight-way framework (Yunkaporta & Kirby, 2011). 

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Debra Foyer's comment, April 16, 2013 10:44 PM
The Aboriginal Australia map (edited by David Horton) displayed on the ATSI site is a useful visual representation of the geographical distribution of ATSI languages conveyed through the database. While the map is not definitive or exact, it indicates general groups (which may include clans, dialects or further languages) that illustrate the language diversity and complexity of ATSI groups which has been ignored in the past. Accessible via the following link;
http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/asp/map.html
Debra Foyer's comment, April 17, 2013 6:46 AM
Indigenous 'multiculturalism' and linguistic diversity is a noteworthy article which discusses factors contributing to linguistic diversity. These include grammatical intricacy, breadth of vocabulary, and context and occasion specific use of language.
Accessible via the following link;
http://www.ourlanguages.net.au/languages/background-information/item/28-indigenous-multiculturalism-and-linguistic-diversity.html
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Racism. No Way.

Racism. No Way. | Cultural diversity & Identity: Family languages | Scoop.it
This website aims to tackle racism in schools in Australia, through providing teachers, school students, parents and governors with games, research and lesson ideas that explore the causes and effects of racism for practical use in the classroom.
Debra Foyer's insight:

Racism No Way is an invaluable source of information for teachers addressing issues of cultural and linguistic diversity and identity in Australian classrooms. The site defines language as a quintessential expression of culture and contains pages dedicated to linguistic diversity in Australia. Information on the site accurately reflects the inherent cultural and linguistic diversity of ATSI societies, and acknowledges the diverse cultural and linguistic nature of multicultural Australia as a result of migration. Furthermore, this resource is particularly useful for its discussion of racism and prejudice towards ATSI students and students from language backgrounds other than English, found in Australian schools. Some examples of racism discussed include name calling, bullying, culturally biased nicknames, resentment and propagation of stereotypes towards these students.

This resource is essential to any teacher working in Australian classrooms as it establishes a coherent link between three ideas which teachers must be acutely aware of; 1) the inherent diversity of Australian classrooms, 2) the centrality of language to identity and culture, and 3) issues of racism in Australian schools. In light of the information on this site, teachers should be encouraged to include activities and lesson plans that foster and promote cultural understanding by framing linguistic diversity as a positive characteristic that contributes to the uniqueness and richness of Australian society.

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How do I say...?

How do I say...? | Cultural diversity & Identity: Family languages | Scoop.it
Debra Foyer's insight:

The language link (‘How Do I Say…?’ ) is an interactive tool that could be used in teaching and learning about family languages in early stage one. It provides audio output and translates words such as ‘hello’, ‘yes’, ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank you’ into the native languages of several countries. These countries include Brazil, China, Ecuador, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Vietnam and Yemen. This resource demonstrates that people from diverse cultural backgrounds use different languages to express words and concepts familiar to students in their own language. As a teaching idea, this resource could be used to compliment shared reading of the picture book Hello! Good-bye! by Aliki. The picture book powerfully illustrates that hello and goodbye are universal concepts expressed by different people, with different emotions, for different occasions and in different languages. Shared reading of this book should precede the use of the online resource to establish the centrality and universality of these concepts for all people around the world. The language link then gives students the opportunity to further explore how people might express these concepts in different languages. The teacher might also conduct a discussion with the class to touch on issues of identity and cultural diversity or ask students to represent the language they speak at home in a mode meaningful to them -perhaps orally or through drawing, spelling, art or dance.

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Long Journey : Young lives (2002)

Long Journey : Young lives (2002) | Cultural diversity & Identity: Family languages | Scoop.it
Debra Foyer's insight:

Long Journey Young Lives (2002) is an interactive documentary through which young refugees present an account of their experiences and young Australian school children express their opinions on issues surrounding asylum seekers. Broadly speaking, the documentary explores a plethora of characteristics people share (such as the need for shelter and peace) and also some of the differences (ethnic background and past experiences). Use of this documentary, with reference to the young refugees it features, might be one tool in a stage one teachers pedagogical repertoire aimed at framing refugees and forced migrants within a global perspective. Student understanding of family languages is developed through an appreciation that people from countries of war and conflict leave their lives and homes to undertake long, difficult journeys to live safer and more peaceful lives in places such as Australia. The teacher might introduce the cultural origins of the refugees explored in the documentary (Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Iraq); their national family languages (Sinhala and Tamil in Sri Lanka, Khmer in Cambodia, and Iraqi Arabic in Iraq); their bilingual language status (speaking both English and their national language); and encourage students to think about which language the refugees might speak in different situations and contexts (e.g. to peers at school, to shopkeepers, to friends at the park, or to family at home). The global perspective embedded in this resource positions students as global and empathetic citizens that can respect and value diversity (Curriculum Corporation, 2008) and promote inclusion.

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Harmony Day

Harmony Day | Cultural diversity & Identity: Family languages | Scoop.it
Debra Foyer's insight:

The Harmony day site contains useful educational resources for teachers teaching and learning about identity, cultural diversity and family languages. Teachers might plan activities that simultaneously develop student literacy and numeracy alongside understanding of family languages. For example, counting and constructing a graphical representation of the languages spoken by students in the class and the number of students that speak these languages. The class might explore whether their findings parallel the 2011 census data (which exclude persons under five years of age) that lists Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Hindi and Korean as the most commonly spoken languages in Australia other than English (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011). The class could work together on constructing a verbal and written word bank of common words in different languages, thereby developing student literacy alongside an understanding of family languages.

‘Find someone who…’ is another activity that could be used in teaching and learning about family languages in early stage one. Statements including ‘speaks a language other than English’, ‘speaks more than one language’ and ‘was born in another country’ aim at encouraging students to share their unique cultural experiences. The information students learn about one another might be consolidated using a discussion dice where the faces of the die repeat the ‘find someone who…’ statements and give children the opportunity to find or recall a diverse class member.  This might also be an opportunity for assessment.

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