Connecting to Country
We have introduced Aboriginal Languages of our region as the Language course for Belconnen High School. All Years 7 and 8 students will cycle through the semester language course called Connecting to Country. The students will learn Aboriginal language and culture from each Country. We start with the area where the students live and work, Ngunnawal Country. We then investigate and learn about our surrounding regional Countries of Ngarigo, Gundungurra, Yuin and Wiradjuri.
Through learning the original languages of Australia all students have the opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation of the nature and diversity of languages and cultures and acquire knowledge and skills necessary to learn and understand an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language, culture and Country. Students will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to:
- Communicate in the language
- Understand language and culture
Each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language is unique to the Country/Place on which it arose. It gives voice to the landscapes, thoughts and ways of seeing and interpreting the world. When the language of the land is spoken, it brings together all of the elements of the landscape and its people. It encompasses the relationships of these people with one another and with the landscape, past, present and future. The learning of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language incorporates the realities of its people and facilitates students’ deep engagement with knowledge, ways of being and ways of knowing. It develops in students an understanding of historical, current and ongoing connection to Country/Place and culture.
YR 9 & YR 10 Language Electives
In Year 9/10 electives we offer two electives.
The first is a general Language Course where students select the language they wish to learn with a trained language teacher, for example Spanish or Mandarin language teachers. The students will learn their chosen language in a ‘flipped’ learning style where they will do online learning as well as cultural activities with the teacher. The aim is for students to delve into a semester of learning language where they can find the joy of language and other world-wide cultures.
The second elective that is on offer is Aboriginal Studies. Students can be introduced and learn a number of Aboriginal languages for example they could complete a Curtin University Noongar course or learn Wiradjuri through Uncle Stan’s Wiradjuri language kit that is supported by the teacher completing the Charles Sturt University Graduate Certificate of Wiradjuri, Heritage and Culture Course.
The group of students will take the course in the direction of their interests. This could be art, history and cultural activities.
We try to have Elders into the course and work with the students.