Family Story Time in the Ngaanyatjarra Early Years Program

  • Anne ShinkfieldEmail author
  • Beryl Jennings
Part of the Language Policy book series (LAPO, volume 19)


In this chapter, I tell the story of the evolution of an Early Years program that aimed to get children in the Ngaanyatjarra communities in Western Australia ready for school. In particular, I focus on the story time routines in this program. Very young children learn best through experiences in their home language and within their family, and their experiences around books and stories during their first few years of life provide a foundation for them to learn literacy successfully at school. Using a narrative inquiry approach and personal journals, I describe significant milestones of the development of this program over two decades. Analysis of the data suggests there were four important foundations that were pivotal to the success of this program: first, learning together within family groups; second, activities that are valued require an agreed place, time and purpose within family and community life; third, importance of acknowledging the role of parents and families as the first teachers of children; and finally, using storybooks written in the child’s first language.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Warburton Community via KalgoorlieWAAustralia

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