Welcome to Patyegarang, the Indigenous Australian languages education website!


   Teaching Language   |   Developing Teachers   |   Learning Language   |   Speaking Language   |   Reviving Language   |   Filling Gaps   |   Technology & Teaching    |   Further reading


Who was Patyegarang?

Patyegarang was a young speaker of the Sydney Language, credited with being the main teacher of Lieutenant William Dawes, whose notebooks form the major documentary source for the revival of that language. We have named this site after Patyegarang in honour of her role as possibly the first Australian languages educator. You can find out more about Patyegarang, the Sydney Language, Lieutenant Dawes, and access his notebooks at the Notebooks of William Dawes website.

What is this site about?

Patyegarang has been designed to answer questions about the teaching of Australian languages, with a particular focus on language revival. These are modelled on the kinds of questions we are regularly asked by Australian languages educators and revivers.

It is planned that Patyegarang will offer both original material and links to existing resources that will assist educators to improve their teaching as part of their language revival process. However, we also expect much of the material eventually published will also be useful to those engaged in language maintenance or second language teaching. Patyegarang is very much a work-in-progress that will grow over time, and is open to suggestions and contributions from users and others working in the field. We hope you find it useful!

Who is responsible for this site?

The original developers of Patyegarang were John Hobson and Susan Poetsch, two lecturers from the Indigenous Languages Education Program at the University of Sydney with many decades experience in Australian languages, language revival, linguistics and languages education between them. Since 2021 the site has been operated by First Languages Australia.

What is on this site?

Our first pages included a guide to filling gaps in reviving languages, answers to questions about language learning, developing language skills for teachers, the use of technology in language teaching, and a guide to further reading. We have recently added several pages on language teaching and others on reviving and speaking language. Keep visiting to check on our progress!

Where can I find out more about Australian languages?

Patyegarang does not attempt to educate people about any specific language or Australian languages generally. To find out more about Australian languages we recommend you consult David Nathan's Aboriginal Languages of Australia virtual library, David Nash's Australian Languages page, the AIATSIS Languages Resources page, or First Languages Australia. To find out about what is happening with the revival of Australian languages, we suggest you download the book Re-awakening Languages. To find out more about languages revival more broadly, we suggest you download some of the titles from Jon Reyhner's Teaching Indigenous Languages site. To find more detailed information about language revival, acquisition and teaching, visit our further reading page.

Why 'Australian languages'?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are the only languages that originate from this country. Linguists have long referred to them as Australian languages in contrast to more recent arrivals, such as English, which is an Indo-European language and definitely not Australian. We use 'Australian languages' throughout this site in recognition of this fact.

This page was first published on August 13, 2013 and was last updated on July 27, 2021. All material is copyright to the individual authors unless indicated otherwise.