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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Special Events

2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

Revitalising community languages

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 2, 15 March 2019, page no. 14

In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, noting that 40 per cent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing.  

Queensland has more than 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, many of which are now considered endangered, and the Queensland Government is working with representatives of the Queensland Indigenous Languages Committee to progress a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander language policy.  The policy is to be in place in the first half of this year.  

Many of our schools work with language teachers and community members to energise and revitalise community languages.  The Department of Education indicates that in 2018 approximately 22 Indigenous languages were being taught in more than 50 Queensland state schools.  Schools from Cape York to Western Queensland and into Logan City are teaching languages that are endangered.

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