Essay Language is Power, the case of Australian indegenous languages
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Essay Language is Power, the case of Australian indegenous languages


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Assignment task

Assignment 4 builds on your previous assignment (Assignment 3) in which you developed an essay portfolio. In this assignment, you will conduct further research and write the essay you have planned.

In writing this essay you have a number of resources that you can use. These include:

  • Your essay portfolio from Assignment 3
  • The feedback on your essay portfolio. You are expected to use that feedback when you plan and write this assignment
  • Additional research and planning you have done since submitting Assignment 3
  • Chapter 9 of Grellier and Goerke (2014) on essay writing
  • Relevant Quick Guides from Academic Skills. Find them at

This assignment is to be submitted online using Turnitin. If there are specific circumstances preventing you from doing this, please ensure you contact your tutor to explain your situation. Go to the 'Assignments' link on MySCU, and go to the Assignment 4 folder for details of how to submit this assignment online.

Note that this assignment is submitted via Turnitin, unlike the other assignments in Written Communication.

Marking criteria


  • The breadth and depth of your research (this indicates a sound engagement with the question);
  • Your ability to apply critical thinking to the question;
  • The quality and coherence of your argument;
  • Your ability to define and apply concepts relevant to your argument;
  • The selection and use of relevant evidence, including your ability to integrate references with a discussion.


  • Your ability to structure your essay, including writing a succinct, relevant introduction and conclusion, and your ability to write well-constructed paragraphs in a logical sequence;
  • Your ability to write in a clear and coherent style with attention to spelling, punctuation, and grammar, competent use of language appropriate to an academic essay, word count, timely submission and a correctly completed assignment cover sheet;
  • Your ability to write an essay with strong academic integrity, including correct referencing in-text and in the reference list.


In everyday life, people encounter words and images as a part of communication and interpret them.  Apart from the conventional spoken and written genres, several new ones such as text messages, tweets and post have gained prominence due to technology and globalization. However, the underlying phenomenon is the use of language in the communicative function (Wodak 2012). Apart from communication, language is significant to maintain the identity of the speakers and their groups for a peaceful coexistence. This becomes a strategic aspect for sustainable development to maintain a good relationship in both global and local contexts (Matsuura 2008). Language is a powerful influencer of an individual's thought process and actions. Words used have an impact on oneself and others, especially their thinking and performance. In this essay, the importance of preserving indigenous Aboriginal languages in Australia through school education similar to English language and the impact of mono-linguistic policies on its existence are discussed.


In his article, 'Language is power; let us have ours', Aden Ridgeway (2009)emphasizes the importance of significance of language as it is interconnected with one's roots defining personal identity, interconnectedness with family, society and country. However, the monolingual policies to impart English-only education threaten the future of aboriginal communities due to the increased risk of language extinction arising from the lack of usage. This has become a political debate in the country which requires policy changes to accommodate Aboriginal languages as part of the curriculum. English is predominantly accepted due to its consideration as a tool for enhancing access to life’s opportunities especially employment.  Ridgeway (2009) recommends that school have a broader role in implementing the first language of children without considering Aboriginal languages as inhibitors for future growth.

Language is important as it represents the country outside its boundaries (Wodak 2012). The choice of language and the language itself provide both individual and collective identity to the people. However, the issue of power struggle arises when questions arise related to determinants of speakers, the language to be spoken, enforcers of norms for its use, acceptance of languages and its interconnection with linguistic behaviour and identities, which language is required for citizenship, the decision-makers of language use etc. It becomes necessary to use language to identify the differences and similarities between people and to define boundaries with each other.

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