ALNF has been working in the South Australian Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands since 2014, delivering our flagship Early Language & Literacy (EL&L) Program in the Mimili and Indulkana communities.
Last week, we celebrated the graduation of seven participants from the rigorous program, who received their Certificate IV in Early Language and Literacy.
Working closely and collaboratively with enthusiastic Aboriginal Education Workers (AEW), the EL&L program builds long-term capacity within the communities and works towards closing the gap in education disadvantage by enabling community members to deliver literacy programs and improve the educational of their own children. This is through an Australian Skills Quality Authority accredited Certificate IV course, skill-building workshops, resource provision and ongoing mentoring.
Furthermore the EL&L program is offered in both English and the local First Languages of Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, contributing to strong local engagement, and literacy growth in English, and aligns with international best practice in building strong oral language skills in the early years as a precursor for literacy and language development in the later years.
Recent graduate, Maria Campbell, AEW from Mimili, reflected on her achievements, “The course helped me learn more about strategies I can use in the classroom. Playing language games, reading together, helping kids listen and learn. [In the course] we would practice and plan together as a group. And we can go and help young people…”
Maria describes the value of working in the early years, stating “they need to learn when they are young” and hopes that she is inspiring young people to “become teachers like me, and graduate too!”.
Ngila Mungkuri, AEW from Indulkana also completed the Early language and Literacy Certificate IV course, and feels that the program is an important step to empowering the local Anangu community to participate in the education of their youth, stating that when children see Anangu teachers they “understand more, learn more and concentrate more. They are much more focused and engaged in lessons.” She believes that this focus on English and First Language will allow the children to “grow strong and ninti [clever]… I want the children to be strong in Pitjantjatjara and to be strong in English.”
A huge congratulations to all of the graduates and many thanks to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for supporting ALNF’s Early Language & Literacy APY Lands Project.
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