Thursday, May 15, 2008

The education of languages teachers

Listen to and view the archive of our latest audio-conference on 14 May when Lesley Harbon of Sydney University presented "Over-enthused and under-prepared: pre-service languages teachers in the spotlight." Lively discussion followed. [Give the archive a full minute to load.] This is the future of the languages teaching profession at stake. In 1996 an investigation into 'Languages Other than English teacher supply and quality' produced a report for the Federal government entitled "Language teachers: The Pivot of Policy" (available as pdf). Sound analysis; sound recommendations. Then we went into the decade of decline. Now a brand new “Review of Teacher Education for Languages Teachers” has been handed to government (available as pdf - link at bottom of page). Is this the same old policy cycle, or is there hope of real action and results in languages teaching and learning?

Languages at school

Languages at school
special feature articles for May at

Languages: our primary failing
by Matthew Absalom - 30/05/2008 - 12 comments
Languages and music: natural partners in education
by Stephen Crabbe - 29/05/2008
Multilingualism and multiculturalism
by Karen Woodman - 28/05/2008 - 8 comments
Squandered worlds
by Nicholas Ostler - 23/05/2008 - 20 comments
Repairing languages education
by Phillip Mahnken - 16/05/2008 - 27 comments
Languages at school
by Jane Orton - 15/05/2008 - 4 comments
Reversing the trend
by Peter Jones - 13/05/2008
Ignorant of the fact of being ignorant
by Paul Doolan - 12/05/2008 - 39 comments
What’s the point of teaching languages?
by Brian Manning - 12/05/2008 - 18 comments
Tapping the reservoir: languages at school
by Joe Lo Bianco - 9/05/2008 - 8 comments
A universal language
by Henriette Vanechop - 8/05/2008 - 15 comments
A world of understanding
by Claudia Mainard - 7/05/2008 - 28 comments
Language learning
by Penny Vos - 6/05/2008 - 17 comments

Click image to view at larger size

UQ Public Lecture and Round Table on Languages

University of Queensland
- URL of recording coming soon (supposedly). Joe Lo Bianco again presented the important facts and issues in his relaxed and authoritative manner.

2008 has been declared the International Year of Languages by the United Nations with the aim of fostering and celebrating linguistic diversity around the world while at the same time warning about the risks of monolingualism and the rapid disappearance of minority languages. In addition, 21 May has been declared the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies invites the University community to join its staff, students and associates in a celebration of language diversity in the context of UQ Diversity Week, 12-16 May.

A half-day symposium will be held on Tuesday, 13 May with the aims of celebrating the linguistic diversity of the UQ community, raising awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and promoting the role of the University in contributing to social cohesion and community understanding of language matters, the importance of foreign language literacy, the role of indigenous and minority languages and the key role of languages in the globalised economy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Archive of Joe Lo Bianco online seminar

The Adobe Connect (sound and visuals) archive of the first IYL Online Seminar of 16 April is available at Give it a minute to establish. Thanks again to all concerned, especially Joe Lo Bianco for his clarity, his connection to both theory and the real world of classrooms and society,and his unstinting optimism.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

IYL event at University of Queensland

13 May, Year of Languages at the University of Queensland

1.00 pm PUBLIC LECTURE "Are we entitled to be optimistic about language education in Australia?" Professor Joseph Lo Bianco
2.00 pm Refreshments
2.30 pm Round Table "The present and the future of languages and language education in Australia" Moderator: Professor Roland Sussex

This event is open to all –
RSVP required for catering purposes. See online flyer (pdf)

Assoc. Prof. Alfredo Martinez-Expósito Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Head of School, School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
The University of Queensland Brisbane Queensland 4072 Australia

UQ is also running a series of lunchtime foreign language movies to get in the spirit of IYL