Opinion: Why more Indigenous history in the school curriculum isn’t necessarily better

I’ve written a piece for the Sydney Morning Herald on the announcement by the NSW Board of Studies to include more Indigenous history in the curriculum. But is that necessarily a good thing?

“I can’t tell you how many history lessons I’ve had studying the unjust treatment of Aboriginal people when the first explorers from Europe came. But I also can’t tell you much about the Dreamtime, their social organisation or ceremonies. Which – you’d expect – is an important part of the Government’s curriculum looking at issues through Indigenous, Asian and sustainability perspectives.”

You can read my piece here, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

Being bilingual

Okay, so the title may be a little misleading: I’m not bilingual – yet. I got back from my trip to see family in France just last night, and while I was on the plane I had a lot of thinking time (I mean a lot – there’s not free wifi on Thai!). I’d been learning French for quite a while, since my mum’s side of the family lives in France. However, before this trip, I had not realised just how beneficial it actually is to be able to speak two or more languages.

There seem to be so many advantages: being able to live in other places – in this case, many areas of Europe, Canada and other French colonies, which also greatly widens job prospects, especially in the field of journalism, as well as speaking the official diplomatic language and sounding generally awesome when you add a few french words for extra ‘pizz-azz‘ to a sentence.

I started seriously learning French when I was in year 8. I had on and off lessons, while in primary school I had to learn Chinese… that didn’t end very well. I feel now I am on the cusp of the beautiful language suddenly ‘clicking’ for me. But I’m not quite there yet. I’m finally learning my verb tables inside out and understanding the grammar side to it (but thank goodness we don’t speak French, learning English – it’s such a complicated language).

I really want to keep up learning and improving how I learn French. I believe this trip did me the world of good in recognising what I actually know, while being able to put it in to practice (deux baguette, s’il vous plaît!) as well as learning new words and better understanding the general culture.

I’m committed to learning French and it excites me about where it can lead me!

Do you study another language, or are you fluent? Do you see any benefits to it? Comment below or tweet me @anthonysegaert.