Community partnerships

Languagewise works to support language development within communities, with a particular focus on less well documented languages, languages without established writing systems and on communities aspiring to run language classes.

Languagewise recognises the vital role that language plays in the wellbeing of individuals and communities. This perspective values language diversity and multilingualism as assets for individuals and communities and provides a framework from which language development can be designed to facilitate greater expressive capacity in individuals and stronger communities.

Community partnerships

Dr. Tonya Stebbins, Director of Languagewise, has many years of experience working in partnership with community groups who represent speakers of minority languages. Her work in community development and community led partnerships includes:

  • Participation in the Meeting Point Project in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages. This project is designed to develop new understandings of the processes of language revival in Aboriginal communities in Australia, with a view to supporting language revival in the community and to facilitating better working relationships between language workers, communities and linguists.
  • The development of a range of materials, including a grammar, dictionary and scholarly text collection for the Mali Baining language, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea (published by Pacific Linguistics). In conjunction with these materials, a group associated with the project also developed a community oriented story collection and a range of smaller booklets for community use.
  • The development of a dictionary with members of the Tsimshian Nation in British Columbia, Canada. This work was undertaken in partnership with the Ts’msyeen Sm’algyax Authority. Since Tonya's involvement in the late 1990s, the dictionary has been developed further and is now available online as the Sm’algyax Living Legacy Talking Dictionary.