Going to School in a Different World

  • Gillian Wigglesworth
  • Jane Simpson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities book series (PSMLC)


School is a turning point for most children—a time when they leave their preschool years and embark on several years of schooling. While this challenges most children, the challenge is greater for children who enter the school system without previous access to the language of education. This is particularly the case for a proportion of Indigenous children across the world. This chapter explores and contextualises the complex range of challenges these children face, discusses solutions and relates them to the chapters which follow.


Indigenous children Language ecology Multilingual repertoire Literacy Australia 


  1. Cummins, J. (2000). Language, power, and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the crossfire (Vol. 23). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  2. García, O., & Wei, L. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Haden, C. A., Reese, E., & Fivush, R. (1996). Mothers’ extratextual comments during storybook reading: Stylistic differences over time and across texts. Discourse Processes, 21(2), 135–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Harrison, K. D. (2008). When languages die: The extinction of the world’s languages and the erosion of human knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life and work in communities and classrooms. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. McSwan, J. (2017). A multilingual perspective on translanguaging. American Educational Research Journal, 54(1), 167–201.Google Scholar
  7. Meakins, F. (2011). Spaced out: Intergenerational changes in the expression of spatial relations by Gurindji people. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 31(1), 43–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Meakins, F. (2013). Gurindji Kriol. In S. Michaelis, P. Maurer, M. Haspelmath, & M. Huber (Eds.), The survey of pidgin and creole languages (Vol. 3, pp. 131–139). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Moses, K., & Yallop, C. (2008). Questions about questions. In J. H. Simpson & G. Wigglesworth (Eds.), Children’s language and multilingualism: Indigenous language use at home and school. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  10. O’Shannessy, C. (2012). The role of code-switched input to children in the origin of a new mixed language. Linguistics, 50(2), 305–340.Google Scholar
  11. O’Shannessy, C. (2013). The role of multiple sources in the formation of an innovative auxiliary category in Light Warlpiri, a new Australian mixed language. Language, 89(2), 328–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pueblo of Jemez Walatowa. (2017). History of the Pueblo of Jemez. Accessed 5 Apr 2017.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gillian Wigglesworth
    • 2
  • Jane Simpson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations