Australian Council of TESOL Associations

Australian Council of TESOL Associations

2023 December- Indigenous EAL/D Consultancy Group Meeting: Closing the Gap

In their most recent meeting (14 November), the Indigenous EAL/D Consultancy Group met with Pauline Halchuk, Director of the Indigenous Language Policy Taskforce in the Australian Government Office of the Arts. Pauline spoke briefly on her role, particularly in relation to her work on Closing the Gap Outcome 16: “ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and languages are strong, supported and flourishing.”

The bulk of the meeting was devoted to members sharing their professional experiences and perspectives on this goal. The meeting concluded with Pauline summing up the key messages she took from members’ input:

  • the need for appropriate training pathways and support for Indigenous teachers
  • barriers to Indigenous language speakers teaching in schools and being appropriately recognized and remunerated
  • the interconnectedness of different Closing the Gap Outcomes and especially the crucial role of school education
  • the effectiveness of learning on country and teaching remote students in their languages
  • and the potential of independent schools to be highly responsive to their local Indigenous community.

Pauline drew attention to recently released resources and reports, and said she would welcome feedback. 

For further information, read Yalbilinya: National First Languages Education Project

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