Australians Shake Up Internet With Indigenous #MotherLanguage Tweets

#Motherlanguagetweets

According to McConvell and Thieberger (2001) less than half of the 200- 300 indigenous languages spoken in Australia at the time of the European colonisation are still spoken and many more are currently endangered. They argue that language is a key connector to tradition and heritage connecting people to culture and environment. The NATSISS survey found that only 24.7% of Indigenous adults could understand or speak an Indigenous language.  Hallaet et al state that this loss of indigenous language “spells the end of another way of looking at the world, of explaining the unknown and of making sense of life” (Hallett et al (2007 p393).  Maintenance of Indigenous languages among young people is key to keeping the languages alive for future generations. Being able to converse in one’s own language has been proven to produce a strong sense of self, and has been found to reduce rates of suicide among indigenous youth (Hallet et al 2004). This kind of online learning through tweets may be a key way in which the internet can be used as a means of culture preservation for indigenous people.

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