Barunga School materials – Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages

Once upon a time, the school at Barunga community was a bilingual school, meaning that students there would (among other things) learn to read and write in Kriol before switching over to learning English literacy. To make their program a success, the school had to make an awful lot of Kriol books and literacy materials so that their classes were properly resourced.

Even though Barunga eventually lost its bilingual program (like many other communities) the materials still exists, and you can view and download many of them for free from the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages website:


There are 280 Kriol books made during Barunga School’s bilingual days available on the site and you can download them as PDF files. Some books also have audio files that go with them.

You can also read testimonials from teachers. Read about how a teacher from Ngukurr was surprised to see how engaged her students were with these books: There’s also a two-part series from a teacher from Marrara College in Darwin of the success she had with building lessons around the books for her students: Part One and Part Two.

“You should have seen my kids… They were at such ease… I was asking them to recount and they were recounting with 100% accuracy. Then they asked for more!  … Such a crazy good feeling. I had kids who rarely speak answering questions.” – Teacher, Ngukurr School (2014).

Pro tip: don’t be put off from using these books if you or your students speak Kriol differently to people from Barunga. If you want to use these books but they don’t quite match your Kriol, it can be a really interesting and useful activity to go through these books and adapt them so that they suit the Kriol you are more familiar with!

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