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Taking on language

Language is one of the most important parts of any culture. It is the way by which people communicate with one another, build relationships, and create a sense of community. There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today, and each is unique in several ways.

This year as part of our Quality Improvement Plan, we are exploring the purposeful use of languages other than English through multiple literacy resources and tools (6.1.2 - The expertise, culture, language, values and beliefs of families are respected and used in relevance to the Service and its program).

Our journey began with Reconciliation Week when the United Nations declared the period 2022-2023 as the Decade of Indigenous Language. By offering fun provocations, the children interact with text and symbols and share meaning and an emerging understanding of the Ngoonawal language. We've used symbols and words on wooden discs, almost like sound buttons, to introduce our youngest to the concepts of texts and phonetics. These discs are designed to be exciting and an open-ended resource. Children have enjoyed jumping on them like an obstacle course, transporting them in many ways, using them in play to share knowledge and understanding, or rearranging them in meaningful ways to them.

Ngoonawal Language has always been a part of Woden Valley ELC Acknowledgement of Country, and the children know the word Narragunnawali as a fun word to shout and hear in response, like announcing we are here. Its meaning, in Ngoonawal, is alive, well-being, coming together and peace.

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