Gold Coast schools have launched a free course for their students to learn the local language.
Gold Coast Schools are offering the course, which is based on the language spoken by the indigenous people of the area, at their Gold Coast campus, on the Gold Coast, in a bid to boost their English skills and increase retention among their pupils.
GoldCoast Schools chief executive Michelle O’Connor said the new course would help students develop their confidence in a new environment.
“We’re keen to introduce this new language into the school system and it’s very exciting for students to be able to learn it as part of their learning experience,” Ms O’Connor said.
“It’s a language they know, it’s something they’ve learnt and they’re really looking forward to learning it.”
The course will include six different audio and video lessons.
It will be available to Gold Coast students between September and October and will be paid for by the State Government.
Ms O’Connors also said there was a “great opportunity” for Gold Coast to become the next national centre for indigenous languages.
“Gold Coast is one of the first places in Australia where indigenous people are actually spoken,” she said.
“So we’re really interested in having this opportunity for the next generation of young people in the Gold Coast.”
Gold Coast students in the new class will also be able access a local version of the new National Language and the Australian Indigenous Language Learning Course.
Ms McArthur said there were more than 20 Indigenous languages spoken in the region, and that the language in the course would be an opportunity for students “to hear and hear what they know”.
“The language is one that’s been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years and it just so happens that the Indigenous language in Gold Coast is spoken by indigenous people in this area,” she told the ABC.
“They speak the language and it sounds very different to English, so it’s really exciting.”