November 04, 2008

Friends of Bilingual Learning

Earlier this eyar, an informal network sprung up in the Top End called 'Friends of Bilingual Learning'. This was thanks people who work for the excellent ARDS (Aboriginal Resource Development Services). Also related is Tim Trudgen's blog, found here. I like that the 'Friends of Bilingual Learning' group is about bilingual learning, not just bilingual education. In all my years at Ngukurr, I used the local lingua franca, Kriol, as much as possible while delivering on-the-job training to the language mob there. What better way to describe what orthography or transcription means than to give a Kriol definition!

So with the NT Govt's recent implicit attack on Bilingual Education, budding networks like Friends of Bilingual Learning have become rather relevant and important. They've started a Google group which I encourage anyone in the NT (or elsewhere) who is an active supporter of Bilingual education to join. If you join the group, you'll find a bunch of informative documents and letters to Marion Scrymgour that have sprung up as a result of her recent bright idea of having only English as the medium of instruction for the first four hours every day in all NT School. Check out Friends of Bilingual Learning on Google groups here.

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