ERIC Number: EJ842653
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Reference Count: 2
Revitalising Languages in Australian Universities: What Chance?
Lo Bianco, Joseph
Babel, v43 n3 p28-30 May 2009
Institutions of higher education teach fewer languages, in less secure ways, for less time per week, for shorter periods, by an increasingly casually employed staff, in often underfunded, underappreciated and under stress modes, but participants in the Australian Academy of the Humanities' "Beyond the Crisis: Revitalising Languages in Australian Universities" colloquium aims to change that. Convened by the Language Studies Committee of the Academy, the "Beyond the Crisis" colloquium was the first ever all-Australia university-based conference on language teaching. 27 universities and four other institutions, involving 140 delegates (more than twice the number originally expected) participated. They were teachers, researchers, and planners and they worked through a dense program designed to celebrate innovation and persistence, debate issues and plan to make a difference, and leave an ongoing presence at university level to keep up the pressure for improvement. A key aim was to strengthen existing networks by providing the basis of an ongoing association of those involved in teaching, researching, and administering languages in the university system. By having a dedicated voice they hope to contribute to the development of a stronger culture of multilingualism, "naturalising" the learning of languages by making it the normal expectation of students in far greater numbers than at present. A special focus was on beginners' languages, because of the crucial importance of this segment of university languages teaching, and its preponderance in many institutions.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Foreign Countries, Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Academic Persistence, Educational Innovation, Multilingualism
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.afmlta.asn.au
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia