Welcome to my blog,
Here in my blog, I have discussed several practical ways on dealing with issues related to Aboriginal English in Early Childhood Settings.
At our center, we use Early Intervention Programs, incorporate Aboriginal literacies & activities, family-based resources, and utilize strength based literacy practices in order to fulfill the aim of providing culturally inclusive program that helps each child remain connected to their identity and culture.
I have incorporated several resources and strategies on how you can contribute towards Aboriginal English as implemented in our Early Childhood Setting.
Feel free to stumble on the titles of your choice:
Q1. Why is it important for you to participate in a Early childhood setting?
Participation in Education a crucial factor, especially important for Aboriginal Australians who have lower levels of educational attainment then Non-Aboriginal Australians.
Q2. What is the benefit of attending an Early Childhood center?
Regular attendance is important for achieving core skills, such as literacy and numeracy, and achieving adequate levels of education is one of the key factors that is likely to reduce Aboriginal disadvantage.
Q3. What are the issues behind this idea?
At out center, we already understand that – home, schools and individual factors are involved in student’s absence from school.
It has been found that,
- Parents document school related factors e.g., poor teaching & failure to engage students.
- Educators report that it is the parental attitudes and home environments contributing to reduced attendance rates.
In order to resolve these issues, at our center:
- We give incentives and rewards out for attendance or sanctions for non-attendance.
- We recognize that Standard English is not a mother tongue of Aboriginal children.
- We assure parents that we respect Aboriginal English and value Aboriginal literacy practices.
- We ensure that we incorporate Aboriginal English literacy practices
Furthermore, we address attendance and retention issues by implementing programs that improve literacy and numeracy outcomes.
SURPRISING FACT !!!
Recent research indicate that combining both languages in early years lead to long term student success!!
There is evidence that Aboriginal children who commence school with a wider vocabulary and proficiency in their first language have better literacy development than students with less well developed early language skills. More over, there is a current understanding that early brain development is influenced by the kinds of simulation which children experience in their environments of child rearing.
Furthermore, combining two languages has cognitive, social and educational benefits in Early childhood.
Thus, commencement of second language earlier also has greater benefits.
Therefore, please do not hesitate to bring your child to our center as it is proven that the Aboriginal English skills your child learned at home can make an important contribution towards learning another language, specifically Standard English.
What you can do to help?
– Participate in contextually relevant and engaging activities and shared experiences
– Share big book activities to build vocabulary
– Use activities that are based on sight word recognition and conventions of print knowledge and sequencing.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? TAG ALONG TO OUR CENTER TO SHARE YOUR CHILD’S UNIQUE TALENT!!
‘Culture in many ways defines who we are, how we think, how we communicate, what
we value and what is important. Culture constantly evolves and adapts and is always
a significant and changing influence on us.’ – Salamone and Cadd.
It is very important that our children are respected, valued, and well understood in terms of identity.
“As strong cultural identity is fundamental to Indigenous health and well being, Australian Government initiatives that strengthen Indigenous culture and languages are essential for Closing the Gap.”
Our center’s objective is to empower our future generations with opportunities, knowledge, skills, self-esteem and confidence so that they build their capacity to reach opportunities that may not otherwise be available to them. In doing so, we can develop, strengthen and sustain Aboriginal children and youths so they can, in turn, strengthen their families and their local communities.
At our center, we sought to understand what success, resilience and well-being mean for urban Aboriginal people.This is important to consider because it examines the notion of well being and resilience from a unique perspective of Aboriginal people. In this way, we aim to uncover the aspects that contribute to and/or reduce the well being and resilience of Aboriginal children.
I have gathered some resources that you can use to educate yourself on how to reconnect your child to your culture identity in order to further increase the positive outcomes produced through our center:
Several times I have stumbled across conversations relating Aboriginal English to a “bad” or “Incorrect” English language. I would like to emphasis that, this is absolutely false.
ABORIGINAL ENGLISH IS ACTUALLY…
The first language, or home language, of many Aboriginal children throughout the whole of Australia. In subtle ways this language, a distinctively Aboriginal kind of English, is a powerful vehicle for the expression of Aboriginal identity..
In linguistic terms, the differences between Aboriginal English and other kinds of English are
dialectal differences. Aboriginal English is, strictly speaking,
ONLY A DIALECT OF ENGLISH!
Aboriginal language has a major literacy tradition behind it. Therefore,
IT IS SPOKEN BY EDUCATED PEOPLE LIKE YOU!!
In our center, we aim to include Aboriginal English in a way that promotes overall growth and acceptance of our Aboriginal children.
But, as a parent, you WILL need to cultivate the belief in your child that their language is valuable and highly regarded as it is.
You can further help your child’s educator in differentiating between Standard English and Aboriginal English which is a dialect of Standard English just like any other dialect!
Here are some tips to guide you:
- Contribute your language resources e.g., Storybooks
- Share your child’s favorite Aboriginal activity
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
― Lao Tzu
In my previous blog I discussed how building and improving partnerships between schools and Aboriginal communities has been highlighted in a positive way to improve education outcomes for Aboriginal children. Definitely, the first step towards improving outcomes for Aboriginal families and communities needs to begin with yourself first.
There is a great momentum to close the gap in outcomes between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal Australians. In order to accomplish this, as a parent, you will need to start focusing on Early Intervention programs conducted within your child’s preschool that recognizes the expertise you bring to the learning, and build on that expertise.
OUR CHILDREN ARE ENTITLED TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
A right to be heard
Not censored of word
A voice that is true
Not a momentary view
A word that is said
It remains in our heads
Of value that’s true
In both me and you
It signals the start
From deep in our hearts
A sentence recalls
From the big to the small
It flows like a stream…
“I have a dream…”
By Zelda Quakawoot
Examples of Early Intervention Programs you might like to discuss with your Early Childhood Educator:
Here is, what else you can do to provide strength based literacy experiences prior to the commencement of school:
- Actively participate in your child’s school activities.
- Discuss with the teacher on how you can use appropriate ways to assist your child at home.
- High quality, well-resourced integrated family support programs have a holistic focus, combining education, health and well being initiative which addresses local needs and values existing strength.
- Provide strength based literacy experiences at home. E.g., Storybook reading & writing.
(Click on the book to view).
Your contribution definitely matters towards the long-term school success!!!
You want your child to be successful, but when their performance stands in the way of them learning to read, what do you do?
As a parent, you can help your child progress to their full potential. However, raising a successful child requires your involvement in their literacy in early preschool years.
Parents are child’s first and most important teachers
Assisting your preschooler’s literacy development has great consequences. Here is why…
Recent research indicate that parents play an important role in children’s academic development. For example, a recent research found a positive relationship between children’s school success and parental involvement in their Education. Parental involvement is known to increase children’s cognitive and emotional development, and contribute to general school success.
I will be posting up more posts on how you can contribute to first few steps towards your child’s future success. So, stay tuned!!! 🙂