Impact, engagement, transformation

Thursday, 23 March 2017
Robyn Ober

Language, culture, identity and learning are intertwined, interwoven and embedded with each other. It is impossible for one to function without the other; with language comes, ‘Our Ways of Being, Doing and Knowing’. For many Aboriginal Australians their traditional heritage languages have been extinguished, destroyed and weakened because of horrific government policies and practices of the past. 

Today the majority of Aboriginal people speak English or varieties of Aboriginal English depending on their geographical and social location. Aboriginal English has become the First Language for many First Nations people of Australia. This new contemporary language has become an important part of their cultural identity. In this presentation, the role of Aboriginal English as an academic discourse in tertiary education will be explored to ascertain how Aboriginal students draw on their own knowledge systems, to make meaning of professional constructs, concepts and understandings in the teacher education teaching and learning space.

The use of a culturally appropriate way of engaging with Aboriginal participants showcases ways of doing research that transforms the research process.