In 2020, students in Year 3 – 6 learn Yawuru for one hour a week with specialist teacher, Miss Isobel Varney. The school is excited to be able to offer this cultural learning opportunity that fosters respect and understanding for the language and culture of the Yawuru people, the traditional owners of the land on which we work and learn together.
The Yawuru language was on the verge of extinction until the last two decades when a collaborative effort by the Broome community to save it. Nyamba Buru Yawuru now have a language centre, where specialists have developed resources and innovative solutions – including the Yawuru language teaching program – that are helping revitalise the language. Four of the five Broome primary schools currently have Yawuru language program and the language is becoming more familiar in the broader community of Broome.
Learning a second language has many benefits for students. It enhances literacy skills; improves memory and brain function; helps develop critical thinking and problem solving skills; fosters respect and understanding of other cultures, and; can improve overall performance at school. During language classes students are explicitly taught the skills required for second language acquisition, and also participate in a range of activities such as oral language practice, songs, games, role play, cultural art activities, incursions and reading short sentences.