State versus community approaches to language revival

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This paper reports on local community-based approaches to the revival of the Wirangu language on the Far West Coast of South Australia that have occurred during the past five years. It examines the development of strategies and practices for the revival of the language outside of the realm of state educational institutions. These strategies and practices demonstrate a high degree of local agency and autonomy in the face of otherwise ad hoc and even obstructive practices operating within local schools. Indeed, this local response to language and cultural survival through education focuses squarely on the need to operate outside of the formal state system and doing it according to Aboriginal cultural principles.


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