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EST202-Introduction To Science Technology And Society Studies

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  • Course Code: EST202
  • University: Stony Brook University
  • Country: United States


Examine the literature surrounding the current and historical debate around either bilingual education or both ways education in the Northern Territory and in the context of Indigenous learners.
Identify and describe the policy and the history of its implementation.
Critically analyse the role of the policy and its implementation in a local context in the Northern Territory:
1.What is the status of Indigenous languages in Australia in the 21st Century?
2.What does it mean to employ bilingual educational practices or both ways educational practices and how do they align with current theoretical understandings?
3.How has government policy acted(or not acted) to support or hinder the application of bilingual or both ways education?
4.What is the status quo and how might things move forward given the stated understandings in the literature and Indigenous leaders and educational experts? Write your response in a standard essay format that provides useful background and historical information and an argument supported by the literature and where possible by Indigenous leaders and educators.


Essay Plan


  • Background: This essay debates on the current and the historical state of bilingual languages on the whole but particularly talks about the aboriginal languages which are becoming extinct in Australia now days.
  • Purpose and thesis statement: The purpose of this essay is to know about these languages, the state of the languages in Australia and the ways to retain them for the upcoming generations.

Main Body

  • The body of the essay involves the policies which existed in history about the aboriginal languages and also displays the current state of the same.
  • The status of indigenous languages in the 21stcentury is discussed.
  • The government policies that acted in the support of retaining these languages with the bilingual practices are discussed.


  • The conclusion of the whole discussion of this essay is that the indigenous languages are like heritages and before they completely extinct, they should be retained so that people get to know the history of such beautiful languages and also can have the information about them. 

There are people who are known as indigenous and they live in many countries across the world. These people include the Indians who live in US, the Aborigines who live in Australia, Maori in New Zealand and other people who also are spread all over the world. There are in total 5000 different indigenous and other people who belong to the tribes and in all they make a total of 300 million people together. It is known that approximately 4000 to 5000 languages are still spoken across the world which is spoken by the indigenous people. Indigenous people live in different environments in rural areas and mostly every one of them have their own identity, customs, economy and their own language and beliefs (Hanafi, 2009). The indigenous people’s education is diverse due to the cultures and the societies in which these people live. This report discusses about the education of the northern territory people who are also indigenous and the policies and the history of these people in terms of the bilingual languages (Government, 2015).

Indigenous people have always believed that they have got their own languages from their creators i.e. ancestors. It’s their belief that their ancestors have actually brought them to their homeland, gave those languages to speak and also the rules to abide and for looking after their land on which they live. There is often a term “lost” is given to such type of languages because they have extinct due to the policies of the government. This occurred due to the Government labeling done for the indigenous people and refers to as half caste or real aborigines. The plan was for full blood people. For going reverse they could eventually die and their children could be integrated into the White Australia.

The number of the Aboriginal languages is not certain but before colonization existed, the estimate gad gone over 150 – 650. There are many people who refer to the fact that there are many dialects. Soon when the colonization started, the languages for indigenous people stared declining and till today, these languages are declining very soon. Since English came into picture, these languages were taken as inferior language as it had no future in Australia. In the colonization process, the western education was considered to be very important (Freeman, 2017). 


Though, the curriculum in Australia provides the three different pathways when the children who are from English speaking backdrop study the languages which differ from English. At the same time, it is also revealed that this twofold standard where the present educational policies have priority with the languages of trade like Chinese & accommodates the orators of such languages. While at the same time Aboriginal languages speaking, students are never given with the similar spaces.

The policies in Australian language went via three different stages of evolution altogether with the cultural policies. Those three stages are as follows:

The very first stage is known as the assimilation stage which happens to be in the time of 1901-1960’s. In this period, the Government of Australia always believed the immigrants and people who are indigenous too did harm to the identity and security of the nation(Zhou, 2017). That is the reason why the Government adopted the assimilation for the Non-English languages with this objective that they will be able to force Indigenous people and other nonnative people to give up on their native languages and learn the civilization of Australia. White Australia policy had prevailed in that era. These were the circumstances when actually English language failed and it did not get any respect(Cardenas, 1993).

Then comes the second stage which is known as Integration in 1960 – 1972’s. In the inception of this era, colonial and semi colonial nations did become independent. There were criticisms in the world on the White Australia policy and that is why this policy become hard to continue. Hence, the policy was given up. 


The third stage which is known as Multiculturalism came after 1970’s. During this era, multiculturalism was introduced. Then Australian people actually learned the significance of the diverse culture and languages. Then things changed and the Government started to accept new policies for encouraging different languages. Finally, till 1987, the Commonwealth Department of Education issued the first official language policy in Australia and NPL. NPL consists of three policies: All Australian have equal rights for enjoying the Australian English. Then all Australians will enjoy bilingualism and third is that all Australians migrant languages and also aboriginal languages would be accepted as only one of its kind inheritances of Australia which is exceptional and worth (McConvell, 2001).

The state of the current indigenous languages is that it has decreased approximately 90% and these languages are not even spoken fluently and not even regularly by all ages since 1800. It from there continued to fall and it fell since 1986 to 1996. There were studies done that if the trend goes on like this, then by the year 2050 there will not be any kind of indigenous languages which will exist in Australia (Rmit, 2017). This prediction can easily be true since this trend is going to probably be last leaving strong languages which are still spoken for other generations or two but the scene is yet unwelcoming The revitalization of the languages has actually had a good impact in the increase of folks recognizing as the speakers of such indigenous language in at least one region. Out of the 20 language categories since 1990, 3 must be taken in danger of extinction. Age matters a lot as there would always be less young people who will be willing to speak these indigenous languages according to the trend. All this is because of the language shift. There has been a rise up in the quantity of recoding and the documents of the indigenous languages since past decade (Lattimore, 2017).

Employees and the bilingual skills are actually employed for reasons like linguistic ability or because of the generalist workers who skills in bilingual languages can be utilized by the firm for supporting the delivery of the services towards the people who have low English proficiency. When the agencies are acknowledging the benefits of having the bilingual staff, there is no standard that exists, training and nor the policies which can define such roles (Liddicoat, 2007). There have been improvements significantly for the standards of training and accreditation for the interpreters as the part of the national strategy surrounding the language services. This actually provided the boost of welcoming nature to the professionalism and also accountability of interpreting services and the skill levels of interpreter.

It is very significant that the workers of bilingual language are skilled in their job which they are capable of performing. There are many trained employees and professionals who actually can conduct their roles in LOTE just because they have the skills and at the same time have the connections in the community. It is really significant that the teachers of such languages should be familiar with both set of standards in their practice and also able to use them and respond to them as well. The AFMLTA standards as the standards which are aspirational (Fecca, 2017). They give the examples of the characteristics which languages and cultures the teachers must have in them in their careers. They have been developed for the language teachers and are certain to the language teaching in general. Their intention is to be used as a set of standards and a guide by an overarching standard incepting that accomplished languages and cultures teachers act in ethical way and also reflective way. They are committed for continuing as teachers for life long and are involved not it’s in teaching languages but also in teaching the values and respect themselves and others. 


The actions of the National Indigenous Languages Policy are as follows:

  1. The languages should get national attention in order to make them survive even a little bit. They should get national recognition too(Apref, 2012).
  2. With the increase of technology, these languages can be revived and survived. Languages which are in danger the most, they should be focused upon a lot and at first.
  3. The languages should be worked with for closing the gap it has in between. For reducing the gap, these languages should be scripted and also translated in various different known languages so that people can develop interest in them and learn them.
  4. The components and the national framework consists of the development and strengthening of the indigenous languages interpreting services, to establish the mentors and providing the basic salary to all the interpreters(Samantha'Disbray, 2012).
  5. The interpreters should be given the basic training too so that they can become fluent in their work which they do.
  6. With the help of the language revival, the pride can be strengthened in identity and culture. The indigenous language centers should be encouraged and their link should be done with the national, state and territorial cultural organizations for making sure the material of such languages is properly preserved and is also accessible to people.

Status quo is actually a Latin phrase which means that the state of affairs exists especially with respect to social and political matters. In sociological sense, they usually apply to manage the existing social structure and values.

It is explicit in the orientation dealing with the language issues as critical to a viable development strategy and is also aware of the potential for the in-depth empowerment via indigenous languages and in their offering of solution. Though it is really very contestable and critique is important for seeking the feasibility of the suggestions for the change and the growth via new language outlooks(King & Schielmann, 2004). 



Apref. (2012). Indigenous languages policy . Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

Cardenas, J. (1993). Current Problems in Bilingual Education: Part I. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

Fecca. (2017). Australia’s Bilingual and Bicultural Workforce. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

Freeman, L. A. (2017). The positioning of Aboriginal students and their languages within Australia’s education system: A human rights perspective. International Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 174-181.

Government, N. T. (2015). What Works: A discussion of languages Policy for Northern Territory Schools. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

Hanafi, A. (2009). Indigenous languages as ‘developmentals. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

King, L., & Schielmann, S. (2004). The challenge of indigenous education: practice and perspectives. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

Lattimore, S. (2017). A comparative analysis of indigenous bilingual education policy and practice in Australia and Peru. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

Liddicoat, A. J. (2007). An Investigation of the State and Nature of Languages in Australian Schools . Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

McConvell, P. (2001). State of Indigenous languages in Australia - 2001. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

Rmit. (2017). Rebooting Indigenous language for the 21st century. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from

Samantha'Disbray. (2012). At benchmark? Evaluating the Northern Territory bilingual education program. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from


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