Ancestral Language Plan (ALP)

The Ancestral language Plan should reflect the most urgent needs and priorities of the Language Nation whilst ensuring the language rights of existing and future generations. As ancestral language circumstances differ it is expected that Ancestral Language Plans will reflect this.

ALPs should also be responsive to opportunities, such as the particular interests and talents of Language Champions, and build upon existing potential and previous language initiatives as far as possible.

The aim is that the ALP template should provide an opportunity for the Ancestral Language Nation to:

  1. Articulate a vision for the future of the Ancestral Language and of the Language Nation (long term goals)
  2. Consider the sorts of things that will need to happen in order for this vision to be realized (short term goals)
  3. develop a list of actions to be pursued based on planning priorities and project opportunities

Language planning can be done by the Ancestral Language Facilitator with individuals or groups of any size. Though it is ideal to have dialogue, engagement and consensus, we all have a right to plan for the future of our language, even if there is currently just one of us who is interested. Our descendants will benefit from our personal engagement and commitment, as well as from the coordinated actions of groups.

It is more important to start, even with just a few committed people than to fill a room. Sometimes filling the room takes a long time. Plans and important changes can begin with just one person and in some cases the remaining speech community is in fact just one person. In such instances Language Action Teams may be teams of one or two, or consist mainly of non-speakers.

In many parts of Australia people are now working to restore their languages from the fragments that are left. Every single recording, every word, every piece of information is a treasure for future generations who will remember you with gratitude for the effort you are making now.

In this spirit the Ancestral Language Plan Template provided should not be regarded as prescriptive or limiting, except to the extent required by our funding agreement (red text). It is intended that the template will change and develop with input from all involved.

Long-term Goals & Vision

Your vision for your Ancestral Language should be aspirational and not limited by current difficulties or apparent realities. We all have a right to our ancestral languages and our descendants also have that right. With determination, work and time your vision for your language will be achieved.

Your vision for your Ancestral Language should be aspirational and not limited by current difficulties or apparent realities. We all have a right to our ancestral languages and our descendants also have that right. With determination, work and time your vision for your language will be achieved.

The goal of your language plan could ( for example) be:

to fully record, revive and maintain our ancestral language so that our Language Nation may live long on this earth as a people with a vibrant living culture,

or, if your ancestral language has very few and elderly speakers you may feel that it would be realistic to have a longer term view:

to record our language and oral culture as fully as possible so that at any time in the future our descendants will be able to revive their language and culture from the detailed records we have left for them,

or:

to record every detail that remains of our ancestral language and our oral traditions so that in the future our descendants will be able to enrich their lives with the knowledge we have left them.

Medium-term Goals

What needs to happen in order for your Ancestral Language vision to be realised?

Would any of the following ideas be important for your language situation? Are there other ideas or changes that need to happen that you think are important or more important? If you put useful new ideas in your plan other language nations can learn from them in their own planning.

  • develop or complete your ancestral language foundations (grammar, word lists, other detailed information about the language ) to make it easy to teach your ancestral Language
  • record all your histories, stories, songs and culture in your Ancestral Language
  • develop new literature, film, songs, recordings etc in your Ancestral Language for children and others to engage with
  • expand the ways in which Ancestral Language can be used by developing the language and deciding on how language should be used in new domains. Do you want to be able to have a conversation about computers or travelling by plane to a business meeting in Cairns without using English language?
  • support community pride and interest in Ancestral Language
  • seek government recognition and support for Ancestral Language as a First Language of Australia
  • increase knowledge of the Ancestral Language and offer opportunities for those who have not learned to speak and write their Ancestral Language to do so
  • develop and promote literacy in Ancestral Language
  • establish an effective Ancestral language school and preschool course
  • encourage intergenerational transmission: promote to parents and to grandparents the importance of language transmission to infants and children and support initiatives to achieve this
  • generate a sense of personal and community responsibility for language transmission.
  • work toward a situation in which a high standard of ancestral language is consciously and consistently used within the family and community
  • work toward a situation in which ancestral language is used for public occasions, meetings, services, announcements, signage, newsletters…
  • work toward a situation in which children learn Ancestral Language as their mother tongue and Ancestral Language studies at school are at an advanced level.

> Getting Started