RNLD aims to advance the sustainability of Indigenous languages and to increase the participation of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of language documentation and revitalisation through training, resource sharing, networking, and advocacy. Through our activities, we contribute to the holistic health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by providing direct relief from the suffering and distress that arises from the loss of Indigenous languages and the consequent alienation from cultural heritage and Indigenous identity.

Our goals

Training— we partner with Indigenous communities and organisations to develop capacity in language documentation and revitalisation through the Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages program. Our flexible training materials and practices ensure that the skills which people gain are used, retained and shared more widely within a community.

Resources— we disseminate information about conferences, funding opportunities, education and training programs, policies, publications, film, theatre, radio and television, news, and the methods and technologies needed to document, archive, revitalise and maintain indigenous languages.

Networking— we facilitate international networking through our active email discussion list, Facebook group, and Twitter profile, support for the Endangered Languages and Cultures blog, and links to other blogs and networks. Archived RNLD discussions are publicly accessible and searchable through the Linguist List.

Advocacy— we advocate on issues such as bilingual education, Indigenous literacy, language policies and recognition for Indigenous peoples, raise awareness through public events on occasions such as International Mother Language Day, and organize informal gatherings for linguists and community language activists.


Celebrating 10 Years of RNLD

We are celebrating 10 years of the RNLD! To commemorate our ten year milestone we put together a webpage highlighting our achievements over the years, and we also talked to people about their experiences with RNLD. Click here to see the webpage.


DRIL workshop highlights

This month, we're highlighting workshops that were held in July 2014 in Shepparton and Swan Hill, Victoria, and Geraldton, Western Australia.

DRIL trainer Margaret Florey and Training Support Officer Paola Fischer went for the second time to Shepparton and Swan Hill.

First they joined the Yorta Yorta language group in Shepparton. The participants put a lot of Master-Apprentice Language Learning methods into practice involving non-verbal activities like “Alien drawings” and “Get-someone-to-do-something” cards. The group learned to mark location and direction which led to very physical language activities throughout the two-day workshop. The second day marked the start of linguistic analysis to support language hunting and forming words when using the Yorta Yorta dictionary.

TPR session Stages of language learning Stages of language learning 2 stages of language learning 3

From Shepparton, Margaret and Paola went to Swan Hill where they were received with a Welcome to Country prepared in Wadi Wadi by Jason Kirby. The workshop started with the group exploring a huge set of resources that Stephen Morey (linguist and member of RNLD Executive committee) had sent back to the community.

The workshop was a combination of linguistics and revising and extending Master-Apprentice Language Learning methods. Both were put into practice on Day 1 by drawing on the natural environment of the Riverside Park at the Murray River. On day two, the Wadi Wadi workshop went further down the river, where the team planned and used language about the various activities that took place throughout the day, including fire-making, fishing, boiling the billy, and cutting bark to make a shield. During the linguistic sessions, the team dived in to learning about direction and location and how to mark tense.

language hunting 1 language hunting 2 by the river in the park

DRIL trainer Emma Murphy ran a two-day workshop with language workers and learners at Irra Wangga Language Centre in Geraldton, WA. The workshop was a mixture of linguistics and Master-Apprentice Language Learning method, building on skills that the group had learnt in an earlier workshop with DRIL trainer Margaret Florey. Participants enjoyed looking at dictionaries and grammars from other languages to learn about the differences and similarities between languages, and to consider the information that may be included in a grammar. They also planned a series of immersion activities to use in upcoming language classes at the Centre. The team used a range of teaching resources including native animals, the Hokey Pokey song and the popular alien drawings.

hokey pokey
alien drawings
planning session puppet play

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