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CALL language lessons at Parrtjima


Batchelor Institute’s Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) put on two language lessons as part of the extensive 9-day Parrtjima (Festival of Lights) program for the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

The first lesson was delivered by Christobel Swan, her daughter Auriel Swan and grand-daughter, Vanessa Farrelly, who is employed through CALL to work with the Southern Arrernte community on their language, Pertame. The Parrtjima session demonstrated a body part lesson, showing how they teach children in the Pertame On-Country School. In addition to learning some body parts in Pertame, participants learned to sing ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ in Pertame.

The following night Fiona Gibson, with the help of Angela Harrison, introduced the audience to Warlpiri language through teaching a lovely song in Warlpiri. The song, ‘Marlu witalpa nyinaja’, is one of the many songs written and sung by the fabulous educators in the remote bilingual schools in Warlpiri communities.

Fiona Gibson and Angela Harrison are working together on a book based on an interview with Tiger Japaljarri Morris telling about the origins of Nyirrpi community.