Tuesday, 30 June 1998
Dr Marika

In her 1998 Wentworth Lecture, Dr Marika reviews the evolution of bilingual education for Yolngu children in the Northern Territory, and discusses key tasks for moving forward: developing assessment and evaluation methods that take into account Yolngu garma curriculum or Yolngu ‘both ways’ pedagogy and curriculum.

"We believe that our children have a right to know and understand their own cultural beliefs within the model bilingual program. Learning literacy in the children’s first language takes precedence in the first primary schooling years from Transition to Level 3. The focus of the English learning during this period is very much an oral one, helping the children to become a confident speaker of English before they have to grapple with English literacy and concepts. Once children have mastered literacy skills in their first language they can then transfer them to English literacy."

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