Yolŋu Languages in the Academy: Reflecting on Twenty Years of Tertiary Teaching

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This paper describes and reflects on the history of the Yolŋu Languages and Culture Program at Charles Darwin University (CDU), focussing on the language teaching aspects, particularly on curriculum and pedagogy. Features of this program are: a commitment to teach Yolŋu culture through Yolŋu languages; to cover all Yolŋu languages; to have those languages taught by proper authorities; and to avoid sacred knowledge of language and culture. Taught through intellectual collaboration of Yolŋu lecturers and non-Yolŋu coordinators, those pedagogical protocols have been practised by succeeding generations of teachers in the program. Student learning experiences shared in this paper indicate that as well as gaining some competence in using these languages, students came to profoundly respect, and even love a particular group of Australian languages and culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntersections in Language Planning and Policy
Subtitle of host publicationEstablishing Connections in Languages and Cultures
EditorsJean Fornasiero, Sarah M. A. Reed, Rob Amery, Eric Bouvet, Kayoko Enomoto, Hui Ling Xu
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-50925-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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