Training & Language Courses

There are various institutions that offer training in Aboriginal languages in South Australia, including schools, TAFE and universities.
There are 8 Aboriginal languages taught to students in DECS schools in SA, ranging from kindergartens to year 12 level. For a complete list of where these language are taught you can go to Links on the menu bar. There are also a number of courses offered in the evenings for adults through the South Australian Secondary School of Languages. These classes can be taken as accredited courses that are assessed as year 11 and year 12 subjects through the SACE Board, or they can be studied on a more casual basis not for credit. The cost of these weekly classes in 2011 was $130 for the whole year.

Pitjantjatjara is offered at the School of Languages site on Torrens Road every Wednesday night from 5.30 to 8.30pm, with a beginner and an advanced class on offer. The teachers are Karina Lester and Paul Eckert, and occasionally Guy Tunstill and Greg Wilson.

Kaurna is offered as evening classes to adults at two sites each week: at Warriparinga (in Bedford Park, for those in the southern suburbs of Adelaide) on Tuesday nights, and at LeFevre High School (in the Port Adelaide region) on Thursday nights. The teacher is the young Kaurna man, Jack Buckskin. These classes are also offered through the School of Languages.

At TAFE SA two new courses have just been accredited specifically for adult Aboriginal students who want to learn their own language. The first course: Certificate III in Learning an endangered Aboriginal language, came on scope as a TAFE course for the first time in term 4 2011. This course has been trialled for two languages in 2011 - for Ngarrindjeri at Murray Bridge and for Wirangu at Ceduna. In 2012 the second course will be offered: Certificate IV in Teaching an endangered Aboriginal language, which is designed to train people to teach their own language to others. Those interested in undertaking either of these courses should contact Marg Mibus, the director of the Aboriginal Access Centre for TAFE SA. The courses at this stage are not offered externally or on-line.

Those who are interested in undertaking more theoretical studies in linguistics, and learning how languages are structures and work, there are linguistics courses offered at the University of Adelaide. One of the courses on offer is called “Reclaiming languages: a Kaurna case study”. The head of the Linguistics discipline is Rob Amery, and he can be contacted through the university. See the Information section of the Menu bar and access the Register of Resource People in the drop down menu.


What: Certificate III in Learning an Endangered Aboriginal Language

Where: Murray Bridge TAFE and Ceduna TAFE

When: Term 4 2011

How Much: FREE

About: Murray Bridge offers Ngarrindjeri, while Ceduna offer Wirangu

School of Languages

What: Year 11 & 12

Where: School of Languages, Adelaide High, Kaurna Plains School

How Much: $130 per year

About: Wednesday evening classes are offered in Pitjantjatjara and Kaurna