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Little Pig puppet made by Lois Carrington

Date: 1948-1960
Overall: 350 x 180 x 65 mm
Medium: Fabric, plastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Lois Carrington
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Puppet
Object No: 00040564
Place Manufactured:Victoria

User Terms

    This fabric puppet was hand made by English teacher Lois Carrington. It is one of many puppets Lois used to teach English to European migrants coming to Australia after World War II. Puppets provided comic relief and were useful for acting out real life situations migrants would face in Australia, such as buying groceries or posting a letter.
    SignificanceLearning English was a key tenet of the Australian Government's official policy of assimilation after World War II. Migrants were offered English lessons in European Displaced Persons camps, during the ship voyage, in Australian migrant reception centres and in the workplace. This puppet relates to the work of Lois Carrington, one of hundreds of enthusiastic young Australians employed to smooth the passage of migrants to Australia after World War II.
    HistoryLois Carrington (nee Griffiths) was one of the first Australians recruited to teach Situational English to Europeans migrating to Australia after World War II. Situational English was developed in Australia to teach practical English to classrooms of migrants who spoke many languages. Migrants were taught complete sentences using role play, props and film, rather than focusing solely on grammar and vocabulary.

    Lois was a final year Russian language student in 1949 when she responded to the call for English teachers to work in the Australian migrant camps. Her first position was at Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre in Victoria. Lois also worked as a teacher at Greta and Benalla camps before taking on the position of shipboard English teacher on the Italian migrant liner TOSCANA (1955-1956).

    Lois created a series of delightful hand and string puppets and props, which she used as teaching aids in her Situational English classes. The puppets were integral to this method of teaching and were used to act out 'Australianisation' scenes - such as purchasing a train ticket or posting a letter - to the delight of adult migrants and their children.

    In 1957 Lois returned to Bonegilla for a short period before completing her university degree and becoming a secondary teacher in Melbourne. She later used her puppets to teach English in Papua New Guinea, where she lived for six years with her husband. On returning home Lois joined the Australian National University's linguistics department where she worked for more than 20 years.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Little Pig puppet made by Lois Carrington

    Assigned title: Little Pig

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