Importance of traditional language

Some Queensland early childhood education and care services in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are able to incorporate local and traditional languages into programs, with the help of the community.

The language children hear at home and in their community is the first way they learn to understand their world and communicate. In many cases, this is not Standard Australian English.

Language is a tool for expression and communication. Words allow children to give meaning to their world, with specific words for what is important and unique to a certain culture. This is important for building cultural identity and communication skills.

Quality services in Queensland aim to create an inclusive environment for all children, including children with English as a second language and children using sign language. Some quality early childhood education and care services in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities incorporate local and traditional language into their programs, working with community members and Elders to do so.

Little ones are still developing their first language when they start attending kindy, so it is important that they are able to continue to learn their first language as well as Standard Australian English and the differences between these languages.

Video originally sourced from the DET Foundations For Success website, providing additional guidance to the Early Years Learning Framework for the delivery quality early learning programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The year 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019). Find out more on the IY2019 website.

Published — 01 October 2016 Last updated — 06 December 2018

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