First Nations Master Apprentice Workshop Training – Alice Springs

The Batchelor Institute along with the Pertame (Southern Arrernte) Language School will host Indigenous language experts from the USA in Alice Springs to run a language revival training aimed at creating new fluent speakers of endangered Indigenous languages. This training will facilitate international cultural connections and knowledge sharing between Native American and Indigenous Australian communities seeking to keep their languages strong. 

Register to attend this international First Nations Language training here

This workshop will provide hands-on training on how to implement a language learning model designed specifically for communities with small numbers of speakers and limited resources.  The Master-Apprentice method was developed by small language communities in California and has proven to be the most effective method for endangered language communities with the least resources.  This training will focus on best practices for growing new speakers of Indigenous languages using the Master-Apprentice model.  

The workshop will provide a brief overview of the genocidal background that has resulted in the present global crisis for Indigenous languages.  Experienced trainers will teach the background for the method including the importance of immersion learning, explain the Master-Apprentice process and give participants direct practice in using the method.  There will be focused sessions for Elder speakers and for new Apprentice learners. Workshop participants will be given guided practice through the various phases of implementation. The workshop will also provide direct training in using technology for documentation in video and audio and as an appropriate learning aid.

The Global Indigenous Languages Caucus is providing training within this workshop and supports grassroots language revitalization projects that show the promise of growing new young language speakers through breath-to-breath immersion methodology with Elder speakers.

The Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival works on the main goal of developing new speakers and believes that our spoken languages have a profound healing effect on the individual, the family and community.


Indigenous Language Revival Experts running the training: 

  • Richard A. Grounds, Ph.D. (Yuchi/Seminole), Chairperson GILC
  • Julian Lang (Karuk), Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS)
  • Halay Turning Heart (Yuchi Seminole), Yuchi Language Project, Oklahoma, USA
  • Jiles Turning Heart (Lakota), Videography/Audio/Internet resources
  • Bobbie Chew Bigby (Cherokee), Second Language Acquisition

This training is open to any Indigenous Australian language groups who are seeking to create new fluent speakers in their language. We are looking for a master-apprentice team to attend the workshop – that is one or more language speaker/s and one or more apprentices who are committed to becoming speakers.  

This workshop will have a limit of 35 attendees. We will prioritise endangered language groups that have few fluent speakers left and strong elder-learner teams. Register here ASAP to secure your language teams place in this training. 


This training will take place from Tuesday the 28th of April to Friday the 1st of May. The training will start at 9am and finish at 4pm over the 4 days. 


Alice Springs, Northern Territory. 

Hosted by the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education at the Desert Peoples Centre Campus. The training will take place in the function room, next to the Irrarnte cafe. 


We are offering this training free of charge for Indigenous language groups. We will provide catering during the workshop. However, we are operating on a small budget and are asking that language groups find their own funds for any required travel, accomodation or wages. We are happy to help with preparing funding applications to your local organisations to assist you to find money to attend this workshop if needed.


Put in your expression of interest here, and we will advise the successful applicants by the 20th of March.

If you prefer to register over the phone, give Vanessa a call on 0421 478 262 and we will get your details through a conversation. It is ok if you don’t have all the answers to the following questions. Just answer what you can.

More information:

The flyer for the training can be downloaded here

If you have any questions about the training, please feel free to call Vanessa on 0421 478 262 or email at If you have questions in regards to the content of the training, contact Richard Grounds on

This training was organised through the connection the Pertame School made with the Global Indigenous Languages Caucus (GILC) in New York at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2019. See Pertame representatives Kathleen Bradshaw and Vanessa Farrelly with Yuchi Project representatives from the GILC.