By Frances Adcock and Marlina Whop for ABC News
The principal of Cherbourg State School, south-west of Bundaberg in southern Queensland, says it will be difficult to teach Indigenous languages in some schools.
A new report is calling on the Federal Government to introduce Indigenous language education into schools with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Principal Peter Sansby says it is a good initiative but it may not be practical in some schools with a diverse range of students.
“In Cherbourg, for example, where the history of Cherbourg is lots of different cultures, Indigenous cultures and tribes relocating to Cherbourg, so we could be potentially teaching up to 40 different languages, so that could pose a difficult conundrum,” he said.
Mr Sansby says the Wakka Wakka language was the first language spoken in Cherbourg and it is concerning that very few Indigenous people can speak it.
“I’m not aware of anybody’s that’s young that can actually speak the Wakka Wakka language,” he said.
“I guess the first thing they’d have to do is employ some people to do some language reclamation.
“They need to start talking to the elders.
“The retirement home at Cherbourg has a number of people that do have the Wakka Wakka language but we are losing those people unfortunately too quickly.”
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