A Yolŋu 'Bothways' approach to English and Warramiri literacy at Gäwa

Ben Van Gelderen, Kathy Guthadjaka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In the famous Djuranydjura story from North-East Arnhem Land, when the visiting 'Macassan' offers the Yolŋu ancestral dog rice, shoes and blankets, he rejects them all, in favour of his own land and resources. At Gäwa homeland on Elcho Island, this powerful story is reinterpreted to include the arrival of balanda (white) teachers, and their focus on English literacy. However, it is not that English literacy is devalued, but that it must maintain its proper place; negotiated to sit alongside the foundational literacy of the land, and Warramiri language itself. An approach of applying such a 'Bothways' pedagogy through utilising the 'Accelerated Literacy' methodology for both languages and cultures is outlined to demonstrate that strengthened identity is attainable when the community moves together.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)252-279
    Number of pages28
    JournalAustralian Review of Applied Linguistics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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