• Class Number 4713
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Carmel O'Shannessy
    • Dusanka Kolundzija
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 01/07/2021
  • Class End Date 23/07/2021
  • Census Date 09/07/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/07/2021
SELT Survey Results

Around 300 languages have been used in traditional and modern Australian Indigenous societies, linking land, people and all aspects of life. What are these languages like? What roles do the languages play? In this course we explore some of the richness and complexity of ways of interacting in Australian languages, learn about their sounds, words and grammatical patterns, and gain an understanding of how languages reflect social, cultural and physical environments.  Through learning a little of an Indigenous language, you will learn about features characteristic of Australian indigenous languages including ways of talking about kin and family relationships, specialised ways of talking to show respect, and interesting grammatical patterns. English has encroached massively on Australian indigenous languages. We’ll discuss the effect this has, including how new ways of speaking are created, how languages are lost and the ways in which Indigenous speakers are teaching and reviving their traditional languages today. This course is a must for anyone interested in exploring the richness of Australian Indigenous languages in their social context.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. describe, compare and contrast the distinctive structural features of Australian Indigenous languages;
  2. explain in detail the linguistic, cultural and interactional use and significance of Australian Indigenous languages;
  3. apply principles of linguistic analysis and description to selected data from Australian languages;
  4. critically discuss the issues involved in one sub-area of a topic in Australian Indigenous languages;
  5. demonstrate the ability to gain detailed, specific linguistic information from a grammar of an Australian Indigenous language; and
  6. undertake guided research in a topic in Australian Indigenous languages.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course overview: Australian languages and their ecologies; language, land, law; Warlpiri language learning Assessment tasks 2, 3, 4, 5
2 Sound systems Orthographies Word structure Warlpiri language learning Assessment tasks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
3 Focus on traditional language speaking ecology: Indigenous guest lecturer: Baressa Fraser, Wik Mungkan in Aurukun Warlpiri learning Assessment tasks 2, 3, 4, 5
4 Focus on traditional language revival ecology: Indigenous guest lecturers: Corina Norman & Jasmine Seymour, Dharug in Sydney Warlpiri learning Assessment tasks 2, 3, 4, 5
5 Morphosyntactic structure Kinship Warlpiri learning Assessment tasks 2, 3, 4, 5
6 Morphosyntactic structure Registers Warlpiri learning Assessment tasks 2, 3, 4
7 Languages in contact : New languages: creoles, mixed languages; Englishes Kriol learning Assessment tasks 3, 4, 5
8 Focus on contact language ecology: Indigenous guest lecturer: Josie Lardy Kriol, Mangarrayi & English in Jilkminggan Kriol learning Assessment tasks 3, 4, 5
9 Language revival, maintenance and recognition and well-being a day in a life in different ecologies Wakka Wakka learning Assessment task 4, 5
10 Indigenous languages & education: language as subject, mother tongue, bilingual, EAL/D; Sign languages Wakka Wakka learning Assessment task 4, 5
11 Indigenous languages and the environment Wakka Wakka learning Assessment task 4, 5
12 Indigenous language ecologies, policy and law Language awareness Assessment task 4, 5

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Sounds of Indigenous Australian languages 20 % 1,3
Assignment on an Indigenous language learned - Warlpiri 15 % 1,2,3,5
Structure of Indigenous Australian languages 20 % 1,3
Participation and discussion in classes 5 % 1,2,3,4,5
Essay on an Indigenous Australian language 40 % 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation and discussion - oral discussion of written responses to discussion course board

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Sounds of Indigenous Australian languages

Assignment on sounds (500 words) (20%) - on an Indigenous language selected by student: a description of the sounds and orthography

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Assignment on an Indigenous language learned - Warlpiri

Assignment on language learned (500 words) (15%)- a problem set based on Warlpiri language learned in course

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Structure of Indigenous Australian languages

Assignment on structure (750 words) (20%) - on an Indigenous language selected by student: a question set on morphosyntactic properties

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Participation and discussion in classes

Participation and discussion - oral discussion of written responses posted to discussion course board (5%)

Assessment Task 5

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Essay on an Indigenous Australian language

Essay (2500 words: LING 2016/3500 words (LING6016) & oral proposal (in class) - on an Indigenous language selected by student: learners grammar and preamble for a selected target audience. Written component 35%, oral component 5%.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Carmel O'Shannessy

Research Interests

Australian Indigenous languages, language contact, child language acquisition, sociolinguistics

Dr Carmel O'Shannessy

By Appointment
Dusanka Kolundzija

Research Interests

Dusanka Kolundzija

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions