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Grammar rules, OK? What works when teaching a highly endangered Aboriginal language versus a stronger language?

CollectionsAustralian Linguistic Society Conference (2011)
Title: Grammar rules, OK? What works when teaching a highly endangered Aboriginal language versus a stronger language?
Author(s): Gale, Mary-Anne
Australian Linguistic Society
Keywords: language revival
grammar translation method
Ngarrindjeri
Pitjantjatjara
language teaching methodology
language pedagogy
Publisher: Australian Linguistic Society
Citation: Gale, M.-A. (2012). Grammar rules, OK? What works when teaching a highly endangered Aboriginal language versus a stronger language? In M. Ponsonnet, L. Dao & M. Bowler (Eds), Proceedings of the 42nd Australian Linguistic Society Conference – 2011, Australian National University, Canberra ACT, 2-4 December 2011 (pp. 75-96)
Series/Report no.: Australian Linguistic Society Conference: 42nd
Description: 
This paper examines the pedagogy of teaching an Aboriginal language under revival such as Ngarrindjeri, versus a stronger language, such as Pitjantjatjara—both languages of South Australia. It challenges the current recommended methodologies based on theory inspired by teaching European and Asian languages, which are invariably spoken fluently by language teachers. These communicative and/or functional approaches are often not possible for the revival situation, particularly if there are no fluent speakers or teachers, and the main source of language texts are written. For this reason, the use of the traditional Grammar Translation Method, once used successfully to teach text-based languages such as Latin and Classical Greek, is arguably a very useful approach for the revival situation. The paper explores the different approaches to teaching languages, and challenges teachers’ fears of criticism from advisers driven by theory that sees ‘eclectic’ as a dirty word.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/9397
ISBN: 978-0-9802815-4-5

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