The Aboriginal Child Language Project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP 0877762) awarded to Gillian Wigglesworth and Jane Simpson.
Indigenous children have low success rates at school, low levels of literacy and consequently low employment rates. Mastery of the language of school (Standard Australian English) is essential for doing well at school. One factor in the children's experience at school is the difference between Standard Australian English and the children's home languages. We intend to determine the significance of this factor by carefully comparing the languages the children come to school with, and their language development (production and comprehension) over four years at school. The results will provide a sound linguistic basis for developing programs to improve the literacy and school participation of Indigenous children.