Dis, That and Da Other: Variation in Aboriginal Children’s Article and Demonstrative Use at School

  • Henry Fraser
  • Ilana Mushin
  • Felicity Meakins
  • Rod Gardner
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities book series (PSMLC)


This chapter is the first longitudinal, quantitative study of the acquisition of Standard Australian English (SAE) as an additional dialect by Australian Aboriginal students in a classroom context in Queensland. The first language of the students has been described as a kind of creole or as a variety of Aboriginal English. Variation in six students’ use of SAE articles and demonstratives and related home language forms is examined in the classroom across different social and educational contexts over their first three years of schooling. There is no evidence that the students increased their rate of use of the SAE forms during the period of the study. The authors therefore argue that the mainstream, English literacy focused teaching method at that time and place did not support the SAE language learning needs of the students.


Creole School language English as an Additional Language or Dialect Second Dialect Acquisition (SDA) Aboriginal English Australia 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Fraser
    • 1
  • Ilana Mushin
    • 1
  • Felicity Meakins
    • 1
  • Rod Gardner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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