Program designed to revive languages

LANGUAGE PROGRAM: Group participants during the course at Ceduna last week. Pictured are Joylene Haynes, Shanelle Scott, Onatta Miller, Denise Scott, Lynette Ackland, Ebony Joachim and front, Amy Parncutt, Estelle Miller, Darlene Newchurch and Susan Betts.

LANGUAGE PROGRAM: Group participants during the course at Ceduna last week. Pictured are Joylene Haynes, Shanelle Scott, Onatta Miller, Denise Scott, Lynette Ackland, Ebony Joachim and front, Amy Parncutt, Estelle Miller, Darlene Newchurch and Susan Betts.

PORT Lincoln woman Susan Betts is among participants taking part in a national program designed to revitalise and preserve Indigenous languages.

The Master Apprentice Language Learning Program started at Ceduna last month and will continue over the next six months, with three blocks of teaching sessions in Ceduna and other interim activities and projects taking place.

The first block of week-long teaching involved the 10 participants taking part in the program facilitated by the Far West Language Centre, through the Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation.

The course offers participants a Certificate II in Master Apprentice, with the aim of passing on their skills.

Far West Language Centre coordinator Lynette Ackland said the program was about reviving and strengthening endangered languages.

“Participants who know some of a language are building confidence to learn more, then they can teach others.” Ms Ackland said.

“It also helps participants in learning different languages - there are five in this region.”

The course is based on a Native American program offered in the United States and is the first nationally accredited course in Australia.

The course participants said they found the first block of learning valuable.

Ms Betts said the course was beneficial.

“We can pass it on to the next generation and can encourage young people to engage in these languages.”

Trainer Ebony Joachim said participants would complete 100 hours in “immersion sessions” where no English was to be spoken.

“It is about supporting communities in learning languages and aiding endangered languages,” she said.

“Participants learn methods of teaching and pass on that knowledge.”

Ms Ackland said there were a lot of Indigenous language speakers in the area but a course such as this ensured they could reach a teaching level to be able to pass on that knowledge.

The next Ceduna block is in May, followed by another block in August.

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