These modules have been developed for teachers in early childhood, primary and secondary school settings. They aim to promote awareness about Koorie English and associated teaching strategies to help strengthen literacy outcomes for Koorie English speakers. The modules have drawn heavily from the
Koorie English Teacher Guidance Package .
Koorie English is a recognised and valued dialect of English that is spoken by members of Koorie communities across Victoria. It embodies cultural values, concepts and mores of Aboriginal culture, some traditional words, and non-verbal communication.
It is important that teachers not only value and accept Koorie English as a dialect of English, but also regard it is a crucial link to cultural identity and wellbeing for Koorie English speakers. The
Australian Curriculum, the
Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026 all state the importance of creating a culturally inclusive learning environment for Koorie students to ensure successful educational outcomes.
Many teachers and even Koorie community members themselves have said they were not aware that Koorie English is a legitimate dialect, as opposed to a ‘bad’ form of English that needs to be corrected.
Therefore, teachers in early childhood settings and schools have an important role to play in:
- Reinforcing for Koorie English speakers in their classrooms a sense of pride in their community dialect
- Incorporating Koorie English in literacy learning programs
- Supporting Koorie English speakers to develop strategies to code-switch between Koorie English and Standard Australian English effectively and appropriately, depending on context and purpose.
These online modules include background information about the features of Koorie English, the correlation between language and wellbeing, and strategies to help build a solid literacy foundation for students to effectively code-switch between Koorie English and Standard Australian English.