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Kriol & Contact Languages Workshop, Charles Darwin University, 6-10 June 2016

Date: 2 June 2016

When: 6-10 June

Where: Library, Charles Darwin University, Katherine Rural Campus


This workshop brings together researchers, research assistants, community members and other professionals living and working in areas of Northern Australia where Kriol and other contact languages like Light Warlpiri, Gurindji Kriol and Wumpurrarni English are spoken. The workshop is a combination of three areas:

  1. Sharing – where each group has the opportunity to share what they are working on and hear about what others are doing
  2. Helping – where each group gets to contributes to different projects
  3. Learning – where we provide skills and training to people working on different projects

Who is involved?

The workshop involves people from these places: Kununurra, Wave Hill, Lajamanu, Ngukurr, Barunga, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Elliott. We also have with us these people and organisations:

  • Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language Centre (Kununurra)
  • Ngukurr Language Centre
  • Aboriginal Interpreter Services
  • Felicity Meakins, Amanda Hamilton and Greg Dickson (University of Queensland)
  • Carmel O’Shannessy (University of Michigan)
  • Lee Rosas with Tiarnah Ah Fat and Delvean Ah Fat (Barunga/Western Sydney University)
  • Denise Angelo (Australian National University)
  • Samantha Disbray, Cathy Bow (Charles Darwin University)
  • Yasmin Smith and Elle Fredericksen (Dusty Projects – video producers)

The Program

  • Dialect Map Activity (GD) – An ice breaker activity to get participants listening, thinking and talking about how people speak differently across the region
  • Sharing – each day, different groups will give a short talk about what projects they are working on in their community or organisation
  • Contact Language Awareness (DA) – Helping us think more about the different ways we talk and about other places where they speak creole or contact languages. What names are given to these ways of talking? Where does English sit? And Language?
  • Sociolinguistic interviews (COS/GD) – learning how to keep each other talking when we’re recording
  • Helping – activity stations. Each day, groups will go to a different station for a different activity. The different stations include:
    • Felicity Meakins and Cassandra Algy – what little words do you use to talk about who is doing what and where?
    • Denise Angelo – elicitation activity
    • Carmel O’Shannessy – practicing talking to each and recording ourselves
    • Amanda Hamilton – practicing using recorders for language work
    • Greg Dickson – telling stories in your own way of talking and/or using computers to write down recordings (ELAN)
    • Yasmin and Elle – making videos
  • Role Play Planning – we want to show English speakers how Kriol and other contact languages are different to English, by making little stories and doing them on video
  • Excursion – a visit to Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Cultural Centre and to Mimi Arts and Craft in Katherine
  • Literacy training (GD/SD) – practice reading and writing Kriol and thinking about how you would write down things in your own way of talking
  • The Research Process (SD) – learning more about what Munanga/Gardiya do when they do “research” and work at a university
  • Public Program – in this session we invite people from Katherine to come and visit and share what we are doing with them. Here’s what we will do:
    • Give a talk on where Kriol comes from (FM)
    • Have a discussion on using Kriol for teaching or in the classroom (DA)
    • Do our role plays for everyone to see
    • Talk to the visitors in small groups and tell them about our projects and what the language situation is like in our community

This workshop is funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, coordinated by Greg Dickson:

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University