Listen N Talk

Listen N Talk is a digital shell designed to create a phrase-based language learning resource. The shell is the result of collaborative research between Jilkminggan, an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory, Western Sydney University and app developer eLearn Australia, to develop an app to help adult community members independently learn their heritage language, Mangarrayi. In contexts such as this, where there are few opportunities to hear and learn the target language, the Listen N Talk resource provides an avenue for the valued linguistic and cultural knowledge held by older members of Indigenous communities to serve as authentic models of the language.

While the Mangarrayi learning app (Warrma Mangarrayi ‘Learn Mangarrayi’) is specific to the needs of Jilkminggan learners, the Listen N Talk shell underlying it provides a template for the development of a learning resource for other languages in different contexts. Many Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) seniors often have strong language skills in their home languages which could be harnessed to produce language learning resources of value to a CALD senior’s own family as well as community language schools. At the same time, engagement in development of a resource using Listen N Talk is a meaningful and culturally relevant task that can have benefits for a senior’s own well-being and cognitive health.

Warrma  Mangarrayi - Mangarrayi version of the app

Watch this video to see the features contained in Listen N Talk (Hungarian version): here
You can try out a Hungarian version for yourself. As this is a trial version the only topic that contains any language data is ‘General Conversation’: here


We would like to acknowledge the Jilkminggan community for their commitment to the development of the Listen N Talk shell, in particular community Elder Sheila Conway and the design team members Josephine Lardy, Helena Lardy, Anna Godden, Wanirr Godden (Jilkminggan community), Sarah Bock (eLearn Australia) and Caroline Jones and Mark Richards (The MARCS Institute). Our thanks to Caroline Hendy (University of Hawaii) for the instructional video and Szabina and János Leier for recording the spoken phrases in the Hungarian trial version.

Articles and Research - Development of Warrma Mangarrayi and Listen N Talk

Richards, M., (2020), Revitalisation of an Australian language: Archival utterances as scaffolding for independent adult language learning. PhD Thesis, Western Sydney University,

Richards, M., Jones, C., Merlan, F., & MacRitchie, J., (2019). ‘Revitalisation of Mangarrayi: Supporting Community Use of Archival Audio Exemplars for Creation of Language Learning Resources.’ Language Documentation & Conservation, vol 13, pp 253-280.

Richards, M. & Lardy, J., (2019), 'Repurposing archival audio materials for language revitalisation in an Aboriginal community', Babel Vol. 54, Issues 1&2, pp 41-45

If you are interested in finding out more about Listen N Talk contact:

Dr Mark Richards

MARCS  Profile

Google Scholar Profile


Phone: 0403793759