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A high proportion of students may have first languages that are different to the language of instruction. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators who speak community languages and Standard Australian English can advise and support understandings about students and effective ways to communicate.

“Relationships guide the way people interact. Local Aboriginal educators know, respect and use personal and professional relationships to enhance the learning environment. This includes their relationships with students; students’ relationships with each other; as well as relationships within the teaching team” (Aboriginal teacher, NT).

Teacher Professional standards (Graduate)

1.3 Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds
2.4 Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
3.5 Use effective classroom communication