More than 5000 picture books translated into Aboriginal languages will be distributed to children throughout the Northern Territory (NT) through a special program to promote bilingual literacy.
The NT Government’s Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program has partnered with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) to deliver three popular children’s books, as well as a suite of original storybooks developed with members of remote communities. ]
ILF has translated three books into Aboriginal languages – The Very Hungry Caterpillar into Yolngu Matha and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and Who’s Hiding? into Kriol – as part of its Book Buzz program.
Women from the Ngukurr community, located on the banks of the Roper River in southern Arnhem Land, were instrumental in the Kriol translations.
Book Buzz is an early literacy program designed to engage young children and their families in reading through a daily dedicated story time session, according to Indigenous Literacy Foundation Executive Director Karen Williams.
‘We are delighted to work in partnership with Families as First Teachers to support the development of early literacy skills,’ Karen said.
‘The Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s Book Buzz program aims to support families with reading and sharing books to their babies and toddlers in their first language.’
As English is not the first language for about 40 per cent of NT students, there has been a specific focus on first languages during the 2019 International Year of Indigenous languages.