Friday, June 27, 2008

Matthew Absalom - Primary school languages - our primary failing

Matthew Absalom, lecturer in Italian at the University of Melbourne, has advanced his thoughts on languages education in media articles over the last few years, most recently Languages: our primary failing by Matthew Absalom - 30/05/2008 on See also Stop minding your language April 02, 2008 in the Australian.

On 26 June Matthew Topic will present "a critique on our approach to languages education in primary school, ie any old speaker will do, and anyway all they have to teach is numbers and colours. Primary school languages - our primary failing."

We believe there is the will and the opportunity to vastly improve languages education at all levels. The AFMLTA points out in its recent communication to the Federal Minister that the Commonwealth's current plans seem to focus instead on secondary schools only. Is this giving into those "jurisdictions" whose "insufficient commitment" is identified as a cause of the failure of current endeavours? Primary schooling is in the hands of state governments some of which truly dropped the languages ball during the Howard government's xenophobic and tight-fisted tenure. Come join in democratic debate (not bureaucratic obfuscating) with Matthew Absalom to celebrate the International Year of Languages 2008.

Friday, June 20, 2008

19 June Online Seminar. Lia Tedesco: Developments on the National Scene

The next IYL Online Seminar will be led by Lia Tedesco "Australian Languages Education: What is happening at national level?"

19.30 AEST 19 June 2008

Lia Tedesco, Principal of the School of Languages in South Australia, President of the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA) for the last several years and closely involved with the eight National Projects which aimed to implement the National Strategy and Plan for Languages in Australia. Tune in via Lia is that combination of acutely informed policy administrator, passionate languages teacher and tireless networker. For the latest developments, there is no better source. See Lia Tedesco's recent article Languages education in Australia in 2008 in Curriculum Leadership Volume 6 Issue 18. The archive for Lia's address is at

Sunday, June 1, 2008

11 June Online Seminar: Oj Rugins on the Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM)

This IYL Online Seminar will be held at 7.30 pm AEST on 11 June 2008. The first presenter will be Ojar Rugins who teaches French at Eumundi and Cooroy State Primary Schools in Queensland, Australia. Oj will report on his use of the Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM) originating in Canada and the reactions of his upper primary school students during the last year. Jen McKinney from Melbourne and Tim Girard from Brisbane will demonstrate some of the famous "gestures" of this method. Jen's enthusiasm about this approach is enough to make us all rush to enrol in her classes. For a two page explanation of this incredibly successful approach, also called the Gesture Method, see the founder's Theoretical Perspective on the Program The Accelerative Integrated Method - A holistic approach to the teaching of French as a second language by Wendy Maxwell. This method is really winning over parents, not just students. Have a quick read. Languages teachers, teacher educators, pre-service teachers, parents, all interested are welcome to logon and practise the Adobe Connect system before the 11 June via

The 11 June AIM archive (Oj Rugins, Jenny McKinney and Tim Girard)

National conference for AIM

There will be a National conference for AIM - The Gesture Approach to learning 2nd Languages held in Melbourne at Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar, on the 4th and 5th September 2008. Teachers from all States, NZ and Singapore are attending. Info courtesy of Jenny McKinney at or
Pour vous qui comprennent le Francais, va a Vous serez convaincus.