Title

Indigenous Imperatives in Navigating Language and Culture

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

School

School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications

RAS ID

1005

Comments

Malcolm, I. (2002). Indigenous imperatives in navigating language and culture. In Proceedings of the Ninth International Literacy & education research Network Conference on Learning. Beijing, China.

Abstract

Indigenous Australians at school have tended to respond to mainstream education with patterns of reluctant attendance, uneven attainment and early attrition. Despite a clearly expressed Indigenous aspiration for competent use of Standard English as an educational outcome, educational policies which have ignored Indigenous cultural and linguistic patterns have often met with a hostile or an indifferent response from Indigenous people. Bidialectal educational approaches developed in association with Indigenous consultants (Malcolm 1995; Malcolm et al 1999) use the home language (Aboriginal English) and its associated cultural and conceptual patterns as a means of developing bidialectal rather than only standard English competence. Some language-and-culture based principles which have emerged from this work are proposed here as “imperatives” which must be recognized if comprehensive literacy outcomes for Indigenous students are to be achieved.

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