History of Bilingual Education in the Northern Territory

People, Programs and Policies

  • Brian Clive Devlin
  • Samantha Disbray
  • Nancy Regine Friedman Devlin

Part of the Language Policy book series (LAPO, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Brian Devlin, Samantha Disbray, Nancy Devlin
    Pages 1-10
  3. Brian Devlin
    Pages 11-25
  4. Beth Graham
    Pages 27-33
  5. Kathryn Gale
    Pages 49-60
  6. Trevor Stockley, Banbapuy Ganambarr, Dhuŋgala Munuŋgurr, M. Munuŋgurr, Greg Wearne, W. W. Wunuŋmurra et al.
    Pages 141-148
  7. Therese Carr, Melanie Wilkinson, Philippa Stansell
    Pages 149-163
  8. Tobias Ngardinithi Nganbe
    Pages 179-184
  9. Leonard Freeman, Neil Bell, Tarna Andrews, Peggy Gallagher
    Pages 219-236
  10. Samantha Disbray
    Pages 237-246
  11. Deminhimpuk Francella Bunduck, Teresa Ward
    Pages 285-292
  12. Nancy R. F. Devlin, Dorothy Gapany
    Pages 325-330
  13. Catherine Bow, Michael Christie, Brian Devlin
    Pages 347-353
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 355-375

About this book


This book provides the first detailed history of the Bilingual Education Program in the Northern Territory of Australia. This ambitious and innovative program began in 1973 and at different times it operated in English and 19 Aboriginal languages in 29 very remote schools. The book draws together the grassroots perspectives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous practitioners and researchers.  Each chapter is based on rich practitioner experience, capturing bottom-up aspirations, achievements and reflections on this innovative, yet largely undocumented language and education program. The volume also makes use of a significant collection of ‘grey literature’ documents to trace the history of the program.  An ethnographic approach has been used to integrate practitioner accounts into the contexts of broader social and political forces, education policy decisions and on-the-ground actions. Language in education policy is viewed at multiple, intersecting levels: from the interactions of individuals, communities of practice and bureaucracy, to national and global forces. The book offers valuable insights as it examines in detail the policy settings that helped and hindered bilingual education in the context of minority language rights in Australia and elsewhere. 


Aboriginal Indigenous language Bilingual education Northern Territory Bilingual Program Northern Territory education bicultural education ethnography of language policy

Editors and affiliations

  • Brian Clive Devlin
    • 1
  • Samantha Disbray
    • 2
  • Nancy Regine Friedman Devlin
    • 3
  1. 1.Charles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia
  2. 2.Charles Darwin UniversityAlice SpringsAustralia
  3. 3.Charles Darwin UniversityDarwinAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Education
  • Print ISBN 978-981-10-2076-6
  • Online ISBN 978-981-10-2078-0
  • Series Print ISSN 1571-5361
  • Series Online ISSN 2452-1027
  • Buy this book on publisher's site