Deadly Dialects P-2 Professional Learning

Deadly Dialects builds the capacity of P-2 staff in the quality teaching and learning of Aboriginal learners in areas of additional language and literacy.



Deadly Dialects is a professional learning program designed to build the capacity of teachers and staff P-2 in the quality teaching and learning of Aboriginal learners in areas of additional language and literacy. Topics include understanding of Aboriginal English, developing proficiency in Standard Australian English (SAE) and developing culturally responsive teaching and learning through oral language and reading in the early years of school. Advice for potential participants.

Advice for potential participants

This course is designed to be used by a school team. It is recommended that some members of the school executive be directly involved in the course, preferably as a participant.

  • Principals can use Deadly Dialects to underpin strategic direction around supporting Aboriginal students in their school plan. A principal can create a session in MyPL and invite their staff to complete this course. It is recommended that the Principal also attend some of the early sessions or alternatively have staff undertaking the course present on their learning at an executive meeting to ensure that the learning is shared by the wider school community.
  • Middle executive staff can use this professional learning to build the capacity of their stage or teaching team. This course will support all staff in understanding the EAL/D needs of Aboriginal students and ensure that staff are introducing reading and quality texts in a consistent and culturally responsive manner. It is recommended that all middle executive staff undertake this course with their team.
  • Teachers including rural and remote staff should if at all possible undertake this professional learning as a staff team or group. It is recommended that teachers seek the support and participation of middle executive and the principal to ensure that whole school change is a result of completing this course. Where it is not possible to engage in this content as a team teachers are encouraged to seek support from their local Aboriginal Education Advisors and P-2 Initiatives Officers to help them connect with other educators interested in completing the course as a group. The course is online and self-paced so teachers can collaborate and share ideas with colleagues across the state using the affordances of online technology. Additionally, any educator completing this course as an individual is encouraged to share their learning with the broader school community at staff meetings or development days.


The Deadly Dialects e-learning resource was developed to address the bidialectal needs of Aboriginal students and to support teachers in developing their knowledge and skills. The e-learning resource will deepen the capacity of departmental staff to understand Aboriginal English and the implications of bidialectal awareness and code-switching when working with Aboriginal children in the Early Years. Participation in the e-learning will strengthen staff capabilities to effectively engage children in quality early literacy learning, specifically the language of books.

The Deadly Dialects e learning resource provides for the flexible delivery of culturally relevant, self-paced, online professional learning that can be implemented within school settings to build the capacity of departmental staff in the areas of dialect awareness, code switching and early literacy learning. The resource promotes a culture of educational leadership where all staff are motivated to ask questions, discuss issues and contribute to each other’s ongoing learning and inquiry..


  • Pre-School
  • Primary Early Stage 1

Return to top of page Back to top