Mr John Hobson

BA(Hons)(Macquarie), GradDipEd(Adult)(NTerritory)
Lecturer in Indigenous Education
Director, Graduate Indigenous Education Programs

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 93516994
Fax +61 2 93516923

Website Patyegarang: Indigenous Languages Education
Contact details

Biographical details

John joined the University in 1995 as the coordinator of student support services in the Koori Centre after spending 10 years working with Aboriginal languages in Central Australia. During that time he held a range of positions including linguist at the Institute for Aboriginal Development, linguist/ literature production coordinator for Yipirinya School and coordinator of the Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics of Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in Alice Springs.

From 2002 he served as a lecturer in the Koori Centre teaching in a broad range of courses including the Diploma and Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal), the Bachelor of Education and the Bachelor of Arts. John’s teaching subjects include Indigenous Australian studies, Indigenous languages revival, linguistics, technology in education and language teaching, and academic literacies. He has continued in this role in the Faculty of Education and Social Work since 2013.

John’s principal expertise is in Australian languages and linguistics, particularly the languages of Central Australia, including analysis of language use, Aboriginal English, and dialect distribution and variation. He speaks Luritja and Arrernte and has spent many years directly supporting community education and publication in these and other languages, as well as developing the first computer-based interactive dictionary in an Aboriginal language.

John has mapped the contemporary distribution of Aboriginal dialects in Central Australia and has published on its languages and tourism geography. His expertise in Australian languages revival is widely recognised, and in 2011 he was twice called before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs to give evidence to the Inquiry into language learning in Indigenous communities.

Over recent years John has co-authored two units of study in the Gamilaraay language of northwest NSW for delivery in the University’s Bachelor of Arts program. In 2006 he established the Master of Indigenous Languages Education program, which he coordinates, and remains the only degree in the field nationally. In 2010 he implemented the unit of study Re-awakening Australian languages, an examination of the lndigenous Australian language revival process.

John has a long-standing interest in the application of computer-mediated communication in Aboriginal education. He has researched the representation of Indigenous Australians on the internet and provided technical support to numerous community groups in developing their own internet presence. John also established and operated KooriNet, one of the first major Indigenous Australian websites and host to many community sites, several of which he developed.

His research and community development experience includes literature production in on-campus and remote community situations; training and support for Aboriginal language teachers, interpreters and translators, and the publication of literature in Aboriginal languages. He has presented at conferences and international symposia in these areas and has had extensive experience across Australia in liaison with government, community organisations, schools, and community education centres. He also has substantial experience in administrative and financial management gained in government, community and private sector organisations having been the founding president of the AIDS Council of Central Australia and, for a brief period, executive officer of the NT AIDS Council.

Research interests

Research on teaching and learning

  • Teacher education and professional learning

Social structures, inequalities and social justice

  • Indigenous issues

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

  • Languages and cultures education

Keywords: Australian languages, Indigenous languages education, language revival, Indigenous teacher education, ICT in education.

Associations

Australian Association for Research in Education

Australian Linguistics Society

Consortium for Training in Language Documentation and Conservation

First Languages Australia

Foundation for Endangered Languages

Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities

Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity

In the media

Who will teach our languages? Fully (sic), Crikey, August 27, 2014.

For Rare Languages, Social Media Provide New Hope. Lydia Emmanouilidou, NPR, July 26, 2014.

Digital not always the answer. Emma Henderson, ArtsHub, 16 May, 2013.

High-Tech Classrooms Reviving Aboriginal Languages. Madeleine Coorey, Agence France Presse, 18 December, 2012.

New technologies to revive Indigenous languages. Margaret Paul, AM ABC News, 5 September, 2012.

Holding our tongues. Awaye! ABC Radio National, 2 January. 2010.

Selected grants

2008

  • Banjalang Master-Apprentice Language Learning Trial; Hobson J; Foundation for Endangered Languages/Research Support.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Edited Books

  • Hobson, J., Lowe, K., Poetsch, S., Walsh, M. (2010). Re-awakening languages: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australias Indigenous languages. NSW: Sydney University Press. [More Information]

Book Chapters

  • Hobson, J. (2010). Introduction- language and Technology. In John Hobson, Kevin Lowe, Susan Poetsch and Michael Walsh (Eds.), Re-awakening languages: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australias Indigenous languages, (pp. 309-311). NSW: Sydney University Press. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2010). Introduction-Language policy and planning. In John Hobson, Kevin Lowe, Susan Poetsch and Michael Walsh (Eds.), Re-awakening languages: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australias Indigenous languages, (pp. 3-5). NSW: Sydney University Press. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2010). Question of fluency in Australian languages revitalisation. In John Hobson, Kevin Lowe, Susan Poetsch and Michael Walsh (Eds.), Re-awakening languages: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australias Indigenous languages, (pp. 267-280). NSW: Sydney University Press. [More Information]

Journals

  • Hobson, J. (2007). Information Technology and Indigenous People [Book Review]. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 36, 117-118. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Hobson, J. (2014). How do you fill all the gaps in the dictionary? Identifying lexical development strategies for re-awakening Australian languages. AustraLex 2013: Endangered Words, and Signs of Revival, Adelaide: AustraLex. [More Information]
  • Edwards, J., Hobson, J. (2013). "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" is not an Aboriginal song (Paper presentation). 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC) 2013: Sharing Worlds of Knowledge, Hawaii Imin International Conference Center, University of Hawaii: Not Published. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2011). How do you teach a language with no teachers? . 2nd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC). University of Hawaii. [More Information]
  • Oakley, K., Hobson, J. (2011). Interactive whiteboard versus paper-based materials in a revitalising language classroom. 2nd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC). University of Hawaii. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2011). Meeting the need for Indigenous languages teachers. Strengthening language maintenance through cooperative training strategies symposium, The University of Melbourne. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J., Poetsch, S. (2009). Aboriginal languages syllabus implementation and teacher training. Aboriginal Studies Association Conference, Koori Centre, University of Sydney.
  • Hobson, J., Laurie, B. (2009). An Australian trial of the Master-Apprentice method. 1st International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC) 2009: Supporting Small Languages Together, Manoa, Hawaii: University of Hawaii. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2008). Training Teachers for Indigenous Languages Education: What's Happening Overseas? Inaugural Indigenous Languages Conference (ILC), South Australia: School of Humanities University of Adelaide. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2007). Who will Teach our Languages? 12th National Aboriginal Studies Association Conference (ASA 2006), NSW: Aboriginal Studies Association. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2004). Learning To Speak Again: Towards The Provision Of Appropriate Training For The Revitalization Of Indigenous Australian Languages In New South Wales. On the Margins of Nations: Endangered Languages and Linguistic Rights, Bath, England: Foundation for Endangered Languages. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (1997). Strategies for Building an Indigenous Australian Cybercommunity: The KooriNet Project. 1997 Fulbright Symposium: Indigenous cultures in an interconnected world, Darwin, July 24-27. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (1997). Where are all the Aboriginal Home Pages? The Current Indigenous Australian Presence on the WWW. Fifth International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference, 1-4 October 1997, Alice Springs, Haymarket NSW: National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia. [More Information]

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Hobson, J. (2001). Growing the Indigenous Australian internet. InCite: News magazine of the Australian Library & Information Association, 06. [More Information]

Other

  • Hobson, J. (2008), Towards a Model for Training Indigenous Languages Educators in Australia [Koori Centre Lectures]. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2004), Queers of the Desert: The Central Australian gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community history project [website]. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (1995), KooriNet: A project of the Koori Centre at the University of Sydney [website]. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (1990), Current distribution of central Australian languages : [Alice Springs region]. Map and accompanying notes. Prepared for Institute for Aboriginal Development, Alice Springs, NT. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (1980), Aboriginal Australian English: a preliminary phonetic investigation into the identifiability of an Aboriginal variety of the Australian English dialect [University BA(Hons) thesis]. [More Information]

2014

  • Hobson, J. (2014). How do you fill all the gaps in the dictionary? Identifying lexical development strategies for re-awakening Australian languages. AustraLex 2013: Endangered Words, and Signs of Revival, Adelaide: AustraLex. [More Information]

2013

  • Edwards, J., Hobson, J. (2013). "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" is not an Aboriginal song (Paper presentation). 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC) 2013: Sharing Worlds of Knowledge, Hawaii Imin International Conference Center, University of Hawaii: Not Published. [More Information]

2011

  • Hobson, J. (2011). How do you teach a language with no teachers? . 2nd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC). University of Hawaii. [More Information]
  • Oakley, K., Hobson, J. (2011). Interactive whiteboard versus paper-based materials in a revitalising language classroom. 2nd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC). University of Hawaii. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2011). Meeting the need for Indigenous languages teachers. Strengthening language maintenance through cooperative training strategies symposium, The University of Melbourne. [More Information]

2010

  • Hobson, J. (2010). Introduction- language and Technology. In John Hobson, Kevin Lowe, Susan Poetsch and Michael Walsh (Eds.), Re-awakening languages: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australias Indigenous languages, (pp. 309-311). NSW: Sydney University Press. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2010). Introduction-Language policy and planning. In John Hobson, Kevin Lowe, Susan Poetsch and Michael Walsh (Eds.), Re-awakening languages: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australias Indigenous languages, (pp. 3-5). NSW: Sydney University Press. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2010). Question of fluency in Australian languages revitalisation. In John Hobson, Kevin Lowe, Susan Poetsch and Michael Walsh (Eds.), Re-awakening languages: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australias Indigenous languages, (pp. 267-280). NSW: Sydney University Press. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J., Lowe, K., Poetsch, S., Walsh, M. (2010). Re-awakening languages: Theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australias Indigenous languages. NSW: Sydney University Press. [More Information]

2009

  • Hobson, J., Poetsch, S. (2009). Aboriginal languages syllabus implementation and teacher training. Aboriginal Studies Association Conference, Koori Centre, University of Sydney.
  • Hobson, J., Laurie, B. (2009). An Australian trial of the Master-Apprentice method. 1st International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC) 2009: Supporting Small Languages Together, Manoa, Hawaii: University of Hawaii. [More Information]

2008

  • Hobson, J. (2008), Towards a Model for Training Indigenous Languages Educators in Australia [Koori Centre Lectures]. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2008). Training Teachers for Indigenous Languages Education: What's Happening Overseas? Inaugural Indigenous Languages Conference (ILC), South Australia: School of Humanities University of Adelaide. [More Information]

2007

  • Hobson, J. (2007). Information Technology and Indigenous People [Book Review]. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 36, 117-118. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2007). Who will Teach our Languages? 12th National Aboriginal Studies Association Conference (ASA 2006), NSW: Aboriginal Studies Association. [More Information]

2004

  • Hobson, J. (2004). Learning To Speak Again: Towards The Provision Of Appropriate Training For The Revitalization Of Indigenous Australian Languages In New South Wales. On the Margins of Nations: Endangered Languages and Linguistic Rights, Bath, England: Foundation for Endangered Languages. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (2004), Queers of the Desert: The Central Australian gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community history project [website]. [More Information]

2001

  • Hobson, J. (2001). Growing the Indigenous Australian internet. InCite: News magazine of the Australian Library & Information Association, 06. [More Information]

1997

  • Hobson, J. (1997). Strategies for Building an Indigenous Australian Cybercommunity: The KooriNet Project. 1997 Fulbright Symposium: Indigenous cultures in an interconnected world, Darwin, July 24-27. [More Information]
  • Hobson, J. (1997). Where are all the Aboriginal Home Pages? The Current Indigenous Australian Presence on the WWW. Fifth International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference, 1-4 October 1997, Alice Springs, Haymarket NSW: National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia. [More Information]

1995

  • Hobson, J. (1995), KooriNet: A project of the Koori Centre at the University of Sydney [website]. [More Information]

1990

  • Hobson, J. (1990), Current distribution of central Australian languages : [Alice Springs region]. Map and accompanying notes. Prepared for Institute for Aboriginal Development, Alice Springs, NT. [More Information]

1980

  • Hobson, J. (1980), Aboriginal Australian English: a preliminary phonetic investigation into the identifiability of an Aboriginal variety of the Australian English dialect [University BA(Hons) thesis]. [More Information]

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