Talking the Pacific: Melanesian pidgins and creoles…

PASI 1010, 2010, 6010: Talking the Pacific: Melanesian pidgins and creoles in social context

Photo: Pidgin language students in their final class for semester one with Lecturers Dr Ruth Saovana-Spriggs (far left) and Dr Bethwyn Evans (back row, third from left).

This course introduces students to Melanesian Pidgins and Creoles and the social and political contexts in which they are embedded. The three varieties, which are closely related, are – Tok Pisin (PNG), Pijin (Solomon Islands) and Bislama (Vanuatu) – each is the primary vehicle of communication in the relevant country [read more…].

Photo: Naghol (Land Diving), Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. This remarkable ritual was one of the themes in the final Tok Pisin presentations of students in the course (each student spoke for around 15 minutes in Tok Pisin on some aspect of Pacific politics, culture, tourism, environment, etc.).

On jumping in to learn a new language:

“This course is great in inspiring the study of languages. Tok Pisin offers the unique opportunity to be able to read and write to a high level in only one semester” (PASI 2010 student).

“Close learning space with peers makes it easier and more fun to learn a new language – very interactive” (PASI 2010 student).

“I never thought I could learn a language in one semester! My teacher is from Bougainville and provides amazing insight to local contexts where pidgin is used. I can’t wait to get over to PNG now…” (PASI 2010 student).

“The course is really good and valuable, but I was surprised at how few people actually signed up… I don’t feel that there is much awareness that we actually have a Pisin language course here at the ANU” (PASI 6010 student).

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