Leading the way with Tok Pisin

15th June 2018

ANU has taken another step toward driving Australia’s engagement and understanding of its neighbours by developing an online language course for Tok Pisin, one of Papua New Guinea’s official languages.

The online course will launch in Semester 1 2019 and marks another milestone for the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific (CAP) in offering languages not widely taught at Australian universities.

Tok Pisin teacher Jenny Homerang, a PhD candidate at the School of Culture, History & Language, said its inception is a “ground-breaking achievement” for all indigenous language speakers.

“ANU is a pioneer in online language education and Tok Pisin is an important language in Papua New Guinea, because it brings the country’s diverse population together. As the first institution in Australia to offer a course in this language, ANU is leading the way in teaching and valuing less commonly taught languages,” she said.

Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s most linguistically diverse nations with more than 800 living languages. Tok Pisin, an official language in the country along with English and Hiri Motu, is its most spoken language with around four million speakers.

Development of the Tok Pisin course has been led by the CAP Digital Education Service team, which last month was recognised at the College Forum for its outstanding efforts implementing six online language courses – Hindi, Sanskrit, Tetum, Thai, Tibetan and Vietnamese – in partnership with Open Universities Australia.

The Digital Education Service team is led by Grazia Scotellaro, who has developed language teaching in blended and online formats at ANU for more than 10 years. A former ICT lecturer at the University of Canberra, Grazia has broad experience working with languages and information technology in teaching.

Jenny and Grazia recently demonstrated progress thus far in the Tok Pisin course to CAP Deputy Director of Languages, Associate Professor Shunichi Ishihara.

More information about how to enrol in Tok Pisin at ANU can be accessed at our languages homepage once available.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster