Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Teaching Adult Academic Literacy to Aboriginal Students at the Koori Centre, University of Sydney, Australia

Arthur Smith, John Hobson, Leah Lui-Chivizhe, Anthony McKnight.

This paper describes a ‘scaffolding’ methodology for teaching academic literacy that has achieved outstanding success with Indigenous adults returning to formal study at the Koori Centre, University of Sydney. The paper begins by outlining the background to the Koori Centre program and the literacy needs and interests of Indigenous students in a modern university environment. It then describes the methodology, including the approach to teaching academic reading, making notes from reading, and writing new texts using these notes. These are key skills required for academic study, which Koori Centre students have recognised that they need to learn. The paper concludes by describing some of the results for students’ literacy development, and changing approaches to teaching and learning in the Koori Centre.


Arthur Smith  (Australia)
Acting Deputy Director
Koori Centre
The University of Sydney

Arthur Smith has been a primary and secondary teacher in New South Wales schools who, for the past 29 years, has worked in the tertiary sector, mainly in preservice teacher education. Since 1982 he has been active in Indigenous education and, in particular, preparation of more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers for the schools. He is also committed to the more effective education of all teachers in the fields of Professional Studies and Aboriginal Studies. He is currently Acting Deputy Director at the Koori Centre, University of Sydney.

John Hobson  (Australia)

University of Sydney

Leah Lui-Chivizhe  (Australia)
Lecturer in Indigenous Australian History and Cultural Studies
Koori Centre
University of Sydney

Leah has worked in the area of adult education and training for the last fifteen years and currently lectures in Indigenous Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research interests include migration and identity construction, responding to racism and intercultural communication and Indigenous research methodologies

Anthony McKnight  (Australia)

University of Sydney

  • scaffolding
  • adult
  • academic literacy
  • Aboriginal
  • Australia

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)