Aboriginal English and Responsive Pedagogy in Australian Education

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21153/tesol2020vol29no1art1422

Keywords:

Aboriginal English, Aboriginal EALD, responsive pedagogy and authenticity

Abstract

Aboriginal English1, the language many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students bring to the classroom, represents the introduction of significant change into the English language. It is the argument of this paper that the linguistic, social and cultural facts associated with the distinctiveness of Aboriginal English need to be taken into account in the English language education of both Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous students in Australia.

The paper illustrates seven significant changes of expression which Aboriginal English has made possible in English. It then proposes a “responsive pedagogy” to represent a realistic and respectful pedagogical
response to the linguistic, social and cultural change which underlies Aboriginal English, drawing on current literature on second language and dialect acquisition and making frequent reference to materials which
have been developed to support such pedagogy.

It is implied that only with a pedagogy responding to Aboriginal English as it is, and to its speakers, will a viable English medium education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people be enabled.

1Aboriginal English” is the term used to denote “a range of varieties of English spoken by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and some others in close contact with them which differ in systematic ways from Standard Australian English at all levels of linguistic structure and which are used for distinctive speech acts, speech events and genres” (Malcolm 1995, p 19).

Author Biographies

Ian G. Malcolm, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Ian Malcolm, Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. is widely recognized for his longstanding collaborative contributions to research into Aboriginal English as a linguistic, sociolinguistic and cultural phenomenon. He has been influential in bringing Aboriginal English research to international attention and, in association with Patricia Konigsberg and Glenys Collard, in developing policies and resources for two-way bidialectal education.

Patricia Königsberg, Western Australian Department of Education, Australia

Patricia Königsberg is a teacher and a linguist with extensive experience teaching multilingual and bidialectal learners of all ages in a range of settings, including regional and remote areas of Australia. Patricia has actively coordinated Education-based research on Aboriginal English and two-way learning with Ian Malcolm and Glenys Collard. Patricia has a passion for empowering both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Patricia is currently Principal Consultant, English as an Additional Language/Dialect, at the Western
Australian Department of Education.

Glenys Collard, University of Western Australia, Australia

Glenys Collard is a South West Nyungar woman and matriarch within her nuclear family of over 300 people. Glenys is an experienced teacher of all aspects relating to Aboriginal English and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. She has co-authored numerous educational publications and academic papers, including three books written in Nyungar and Aboriginal English: “Kura”, “Kwobba Keip Boya”and “A Day in the Park”. Glenys’ wide range of research experience in Nyungar language, Aboriginal English, culture and education has enabled her to contribute significantly to developments related to public sector policy and planning.

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Published

2020-12-30

How to Cite

Malcolm, I. G. ., Königsberg, P. ., & Collard, G. . (2020). Aboriginal English and Responsive Pedagogy in Australian Education. TESOL in Context, 29(1), 61–93. https://doi.org/10.21153/tesol2020vol29no1art1422