Supporting language development projects in minority language communities. Language development includes activities such as translation, literature production, literacy, alphabet design, song-writing, dictionary making, multilingual education and other similar activities which enhance the status and functions of a language.
To see minority language communities worldwide enabled and encouraged in language development through research, translation and literacy. View PDF
SIL Australia exists to deliver effective training and consulting for language development in minority language communities.
Goal A: Effective training in language development is provided
Goal B: Specialised consulting in language development is provided
Goal C: Support for language development in minority language communities is provided
A major focus of SIL Australia is the provision of accredited courses through EQUIP Training. EQUIP offers both Diploma and Graduate Diploma level studies.
Through its consulting and funding activities, SIL Australia also supports local language communities through non-accredited training programs in various language development activities.
SIL Australia is affiliated with SIL International and adheres to the principles embodied in their Linguistic Creed which emphasises the value of all languages.
The ability to read and write in a language that you speak is often taken for granted in today's world. This ability means you can communicate with absent friends, understand messages and texts that others have written, read labels and dosages of medicines, understand written warnings and signs, participate in political and social action, and use literacy in work places and small businesses. Today there are about one billion adults who are not able to do these things. Ninety eight per cent of these people live in the least developed countries and two thirds of them are women. These are people who are trapped in a cycle of illiteracy.
SIL Australia wants to help break the cycle of illiteracy by assisting people to develop literacy programs for their communities. We believe that the best way to teach a person to read and write is to do so in their own language because this is the language they are most familiar with and that communicates best.
Literacy Projects we have funded
Solomon Islands - Literacy Project
Educational attainment in the Solomon Islands is generally low. According to the 1999 census, 33% of the population aged 5 and above have no education, and 48% have less than a grade 4 education. The goal of this project is to help develop capacity amongst Solomon Islands communities to improve their own literacy skills.
Nepal - Tharu and Limbu language literacy materials
Literacy is a crucial component of income generation projects for remote Nepalese communities, and the literacy levels in rural Nepal are recognised as low. The overall project seeks to integrate literacy with micro-enterprise projects.
Papua New Guinea - Agarabi Community Centre
The Agarabi community in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea has expressed and demonstrated a need for language research and development, literacy, support for the vernacular primary schools, community meetings and village-based health care.
Solomon Islands - Owa language literacy materials
Very few Owa people can read well. The low literacy rate has its roots in many causes, but certainly chief among them is the difficulty of trying to learn a foreign language (English) and acquire the skill of reading at the same time.
Papua New Guinea - Ama language literacy materials
Learning to read in their own language is valued and helps make the Ama people literate in Tok Pisin, one of the national languages of PNG. Many of the Ama men understand Tok Pisin, but few other Ama people have any literacy skills in it. This project helps Ama people participate more fully in the concerns of their province and country.