Abstracts | Friday


Friday 10 July

Diane Larsen-Freeman
University of Michigan
Plurilingualism: The Theory is the Easy PartThere are compelling reasons, both compassionate and practical, for honoring the languages that our students bring with them to the classroom and for supporting our students’ plurilingualism. There are serious considerations that follow, however. On the theoretical side, an understanding of language as a discrete bounded entity is called into question. So is any hint that language is homogeneous. Or that it has an independent existence as an abstract, decontextualized entity. Or that any linear measurement from a native speaker endpoint makes sense. These assumptions may easily be dispensed with, certainly if we entertain a view of language as a complex adaptive system. However, we are still left to grapple with some fundamental pedagogic questions: What is a definition of plurilingual success? How should success be measured? How should it be achieved? How will we reconcile the normativity of teaching with the non-teleology of plurilingualism? In this presentation, I will begin by discussing the language situation in Australia (from an outsider’s perspective). Then, I will propose a view of language that lends itself to plurilingualism. Finally, I will try to answer some of the questions I have posed so that we can aid our students in developing and making full use of all their language resources.
Stephen Dinham
The University of Melbourne
The nature and importance of instructional leadershipThis presentation considers the nature and importance of instructional leadership for improving student and school educational outcomes. Whilst the classroom teacher is the biggest in-school influence on student achievement, instructional leaders perform vital roles in creating the conditions where teachers can teach and students can learn. This is illustrated through a case study from the AESOP project carried in NSW public schools where faculties and teams were found to be achieving exceptional schooling outcomes.
Yvette Slaughter, John Hajek, Smith, Chang, Dryfeus
The University of Melbourne
The online delivery of language programs: Bridging the divide in languages education Languages education is a national key learning area for all Australian students. While our children have the right and obligation to learn another language at school, Australia has seriously struggled with achieving such a goal. The Victorian government has recently announced a new policy, mandating the rolling out of compulsory languages education, in an effort to reverse a pattern of marked decline in language provision. Not surprisingly, regional, rural and disadvantaged urban schools are most likely to struggle with provision of language education – as a result of factors such as isolation, small school size and limited resourcing. Given that one of the most significant challenges is teacher supply, particularly in non-urban areas, the effective use of broadband technologies potentially allows for language learning in a range of different ways. In addition, the recent restructuring of Victoria’s education regions combine urban areas in Melbourne with regional areas of the state, providing a new opportunity to develop new digital relationships between large urban schools with strength in language education and regional schools that face the challenge of critical mass and sustainability of language programs. This paper reports on a pilot project, funded by the Melbourne Networked Society Institute (formerly IBES), investigating language learning and technology use in 12 urban and non-urban Victorian government schools. Case studies were built for each school, based on in-depth interviews with principals and teachers and lesson observations. This presentation reports on the technological and methodological challenges identified by schools in delivering language programs through broadband enabled technologies, including how to determine the best approach to program structure, timetabling and the pedagogy of teaching languages through online platforms, the best use of technology and how to establish which approaches are most sustainable.
Brown, Grigg, Masci, Blick, Amicis, Petersen, Di Vincenzotilka@thelanguagetoolbox.com.au Tools for sister schools: The About Taste ProjectLearning a language opens doors to the world. The quality of the journey beyond the door is dependent upon the effectiveness of the tools which are packed and carried. It is our duty as teachers to provide the best possible language education for our students. Teachers are a crucial factor in the (student) acquisition of the required tools, but we are also the keepers of the keys. First we must enable our students to see the doors and engage their desire to find the correct key to open them. Once found, this key can unlock a myriad of opportunities enabling the leaders of our future to ‘walk through’ and embrace the magic of communicating in another language. The About Taste project was created with this understanding.
Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School
How does the pedagogical practice of distance learning impact motivational outcomes for students studying an additional language at the HSC level?This thesis investigates the experiences and related learning motivation of a small cohort (n=5) of year 12 high school students undertaking a language course via correspondence. This study begins from the premise that, while the majority of year 12 students deal with anxiety (Smith, 2004), correspondence language students have challenges unique to their learning environment (Andrade & Bunker 2009) that could impact their goal-setting and related motivational outcomes. Participants completed both a short, Likert-scale questionnaire as well as in-depth interviews to ascertain which areas of language learning were perceived to pose the greatest challenges, using the three elements of the “school-life” experience (Morin et al., 2012) as a guide for thematic analysis. Results showed that all participants worked to set both task-specific and overarching language acquisition goals and did experience anxiety during their correspondence language learning while working to establish harmony within the three “school-life” components (organisational, instructional, and interpersonal elements of correspondence learning).
Australian Catholic University
Killing two birds … Developing the AC General Capability – Literacy while teaching a language The introduction of a new Australian Curriculum with a set of General Capabilities and Cross-curricular Priorities for all young Australians being educated in and for the twenty-first century is a great time for Languages teachers and others to grasp a special new opportunity for integrated learning. Instead of compartmentalising English, other Languages, Science, History and so on, teachers across the country can now work within an integrated curriculum framework that allows for a consistent approach to things like developing literacy, technology skills, cross-cultural understandings and more. When the General Capability documents (ACARA, 2011) are ‘unpacked’ and compared with aspects of the Australian Curriculum: Languages (ACARA, 2013), a strong alignment can be seen. Teachers of Languages should be aware of these aligned features, so that they can maximise the Literacy benefits (and subsequent literacy-across- the-curriculum benefits and life skills) of Language study. In this way, they may be able to replicate and strengthen the limited but positive research evidence showing a direct correlation between additional language learning and increased knowledge/understanding of one’s first language – while also contributing to the development of a more literate plurilingual Australia! The session will include input interspersed with discussion and short activities that will help participants understand ways they can (and probably already do) incorporate literacy development into their Languages classroom pedagogy.
University of Tampa
Promoting CLIL through recently established Web2.0 tools: a roadmapCurrently, there is a plethora of web 2.0 tools available through the internet. Yet often teachers, especially the uninitiated languages teacher, ask such questions as: “Where do I start?”, “What do I do?”. The aim of this presentation is to lay out in simple and manageable steps a framework to implement and infuse web 2.0 tools throughout the school year in a way that promotes Content & Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). Starting with how web 2.0 tools can aid a teacher to manage instruction, this presentation provides professional development solutions on how foreign language teachers can move forward using web 2.0 tools to prepare, present, facilitate, extend, apply, generate and create instruction to promote content-meaningful language instruction.  This presentation explores 200 web 2.0 tools that have only in the past 2 years been created by start-up edupreneurs. These web 2.0 are highly interactive, mashable, and leverage all macroskills and more importantly, are user-friendly and free. Participants will take from the session a roadmap to explore ways to promote CLIL through technology. Through the provision of CLIL classroom examples, participants will be shown how languages teachers can make use of web 2.0 tools to manage, prepare, present, facilitate, extend, apply, generate and create CLIL instruction.
Kelli Cato, Jacobs
Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards NSW
Towards a languages education policy for NSWFollowing significant national debate about the need to equip young Australians with the knowledge and skills required for the 21st century, and concerns about the low number of students studying a language in senior secondary school, the Minister for Education requested that the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) undertake a review of languages education in NSW.The BOSTES commenced the Review of Languages Education in NSW in 2012. Starting with preliminary consultation with key languages education stakeholders, research into recent developments and best practice in languages education in Australia and internationally, and a stocktake of language programs both in schools and in the community, the BOSTES developed initial proposals for wider consultation.Findings from the extensive consultation conducted in 2013 indicated widespread support in both the education and community sectors for the development of a dynamic, inclusive languages education policy for NSW. Recommendations arising from the Review were developed into a series of proposals which were announced by the Minister in 2014.Work on the proposals has commenced, with the establishment of a high level NSW Languages Advisory Panel comprised of education sector, community, industry and business representatives appointed by the Minister to oversee the development of a policy statement and the stategic coordination of languages education initiatives.This paper will provide an overview of the challenging three year process undertaken to get the Review to this point. It will detail the complexities of the NSW context, including opportunities and constraints, and the particular approach taken to consultation and policy development.The paper will be of value to participants from jurisdictions charged with policy analysis, evaluation and development and other participants interested in updating their knowledge of languages education in NSW.
Macquarie University
The hidden potential of multilingual teachers in schools: pre-service teacher perspectivesMultilingual teachers, in any faculty in primary and secondary schools, have heightened language and cultural awareness, empathy with students from diverse backgrounds, and can have a positive impact on all learners’ academic and social development.  At least one third of all pre-service teachers graduating have a non-English language, matching the same average distribution of EAL learners in classrooms.  However, outside of the languages pre-service teacher cohort, any multilingual ability is unidentified in their university studies or in their practicum, and represents no capital value in their eventual teaching qualifications.  This paper examines fifteen multilingual pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their linguistic identity, tertiary studies, experience during practicum teaching and beliefs about their future teaching career. The findings reveal that while they have empowered multilingual identities in their personal lives, in their university Education studies their skills are invisible, with no links between their linguistic and professional identities.  Experiences during practicum included both positive linguistic interactions in culturally diverse schools, but also concealment of language skills, and feelings of exclusion from the norm in monolingual schools.  If their skills are valued and visible, they have potential to be ‘multi-dimensional educators’, partners with languages teachers, such as in raising the profile of language and culture within a school, and potential CLIL teachers, being able to teach curriculum content in a second language.  The study calls for Teacher Standards, teacher education and languages teachers, to recognise the role that multilingual colleagues can play in supporting student learning outcomes in schools.
University of Canterbury
Applying Ellis’s principles of Instructed Second Language Acquisition: A success story … so farMoving from a Grammar Translation method of teaching to a communicative task based method of language acquisition has produced results far exceeding expectations. Understanding Ellis’s principles and developing a foundation upon which content and context can be further built has been the key to a successful transition. This foundation provides sufficient language for the students to engage in simple but meaningful dialogue. It also provides opportunities over time to broaden the context and content developing into communicative dialogue. This presentation discusses how the transition has been made and the results so far.
Wilson, Tuckerman
Education Services Australia
Dive into the Language Learning Space (Chinese, Japanese & Indonesian)The Language Learning Space website hosts 1000+ free resources for Australian teachers and students of Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese languages. This workshop will guide participants through key aspects of the site including the free tutor service, setting up classes, uploading resources, creating learning pathways and exploring the range of great teaching ideas and professional support. Resources from each of the three languages will be showcased. It is suited to both primary and secondary teachers in all states and territories in Australia. The Language Learning Space was awarded the International Platinum award in the IMS Global Learning Impact Awards for 2015.  These awards recognise the most effective and influential uses of technology in support of learning.
St Columba’s College
A whole school approach to promoting languagesAccomplished languages and cultures teachers are advocates for language learning, intercultural communication and intercultural sensitivity, linguistic and cultural diversity. They are advocates for languages both with and for students, schools and communities and engage with wider community to promote languages’. (AFMLTA 2005) One of the many roles and challenges of a languages teacher is to be an advocate for the importance of languages education across the school community and retaining students past the compulsory years of language study. This presentation shows how a whole school approach to promoting languages was implemented in a secondary school and how students, teachers and parents were involved in the process. Participants will be introduced to a range of ways to promote the languages program operating in their schools.
Simone Smala
The University of Queensland
CLIL in Queensland – the evolution of ‘immersion’The state of Queensland has been a forerunner in secondary bilingual education in a variety of second languages. Initially called ‘immersion programs’, these programs started in 1985 with a French ‘partial immersion’ program at Benowa State High School at the Gold Coast. This was followed a few years later by programs in French and then German at other high schools. Over the years, several more secondary ‘immersion programs’ were established, and some primary programs were also started up. Several of these programs didn’t survive, but by 2014, the concept of combining language and content learning had a strong resurgence. There are now 11 secondary programs in six languages – Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Spanish and Italian, and two primary programs in Japanese and Italian. A new French primary program will start in 2015. Over the last few year, the schools’ description of their programs as purely ‘immersion’ has moved on to include names such as ‘ Bilingual Education’, and in particular the overarching concept of CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning. This paper will provide a brief overview of the history of CLIL/immersion education in Queensland, including a review of research conducted in these programs over the past 25 years. The paper will then move to present several detailed examples of current CLIL practices in Queensland, with a focus on strategies and activities that can be adapted to other CLIL settings as well. The paper argues that there are many examples of scaffolded Content and Language Integrated Learning that go well beyond the initial descriptor of Queensland programs as ‘immersion’, and that the concept of CLIL is a way forward to share bilingual teaching experiences across Australia.
Fielding, Wahlin
University of Canberra, Association of Independent Schools NSW
Exploring success and sustainability in languages education in NSW Independent schoolsKnowledge of a language is cited by policy makers as essential to children’s education and yet no policy implementation has been forthcoming to mandate the study of languages across Australia (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2012). ACARA have written and released curricula for four languages in the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum 2014). Politicians have cited an aim of having 40% of all school students by 2020 leaving school with proficiency in a language (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2012). The children already enrolled at school in year 6 will be those graduates in 2020 supposedly leaving school with proficiency in a language. Some states and territories are making progress towards the aims, but this is not coherent across Australia. Strong programs throughout years K-12 are needed to allow students access to ongoing, sustained language learning. To explore how successful languages programs operate and how they are sustained over the long-term, the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) NSW undertook research within AIS NSW schools to explore factors which make languages programs both successful and sustainable. This research comprised case studies of 4 schools across NSW who have operated languages programs in their schools for a number of years. In this presentation we describe and discuss different forms of success in languages learning that are possible in Australian schools and provide recommendations that individual schools, teachers, and principals might be able to use in working towards more successful and sustainable languages education in schools. Australian Curriculum (2014). A significant moment in Australian education history. www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/20140721_Four_languages_curricula_release.pdf. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2012. Australia in the Asian Century: White Paper. Canberra, ACT:Commonwealth of Australia.
Australian National University
Connecting schools and universities In language learningThis presentation discusses, and calls for feedback, on four initiatives bringing together school language students with university languages and linguistics projects. OZCLO (The Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (http://ozclo.org.au/) is a language structure contest for year 9 to year 12 students. It engages them in the structural side of language learning by introducing them to fascinating problems in real languages. Access to real materials in Indigenous Australian languages is provided by the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages (http://laal.cdu.edu.au/) which houses a unique digital collection of books in Indigenous Australian languages. Access to information about which languages students can study at which universities, will be provided by the University Languages Portal Australia (http://www.ulpa.edu.au/). Finally, the newly established ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/ is to carry out research on languages of the region, including on their acquisition and their processing, which has interesting consequences for language teaching.
Mao, Boscato
Language policy: Regenerating the teaching and learning of languages – A Northern Territory perspective
This session aims to recount the key steps taken to develop a contemporary languages education policy for Northern Territory schools by the NT Board of Studies. The session is not an evaluative exercise, rather, through a narrative of the research undertaken and the processes used to harness rigorous and diverse perspectives, the session will shed light on the challenges of languages policy development across the diversity of NT contexts and overview the opportunities such work creates. It will include reflection on the major steps taken during the journey, highlighting how the specific needs and challenges of the Northern Territory context shaped and renewed the nature of language policy itself. It will also examine the policy’s potential to drive improvement in languages teaching and learning at the professional, classroom, school and system levels. Two external consultants who contributed to the development process will act as discussants during the Q&A session, sharing their perspectives on the effectiveness and the implications of a ‘facilitated conversation’ among language stakeholders within the NT jurisdiction.
J. Howard, Scott, East
University of Canterbury, University of Auckland
Preparing students for a plurilingual world: How one intermediate school in NZ is meeting the challengeA substantially revised curriculum for New Zealand’s schools was published in 2007 and fully mandated from 2010. The revised curriculum places an expectation on schools with students in Years 7 to 10 to establish programmes in languages additional to the language of instruction which will enhance students’ linguistic proficiency and intercultural capability. In theory at least, it seems that New Zealand is rising to the challenge of preparing students to live and interact across cultures in a plurilingual world. However, the expectation to introduce languages programmes has proved to be challenging for many intermediate schools, largely because these schools lack appropriate teaching expertise and experience. The challenges involved have implications for preparing students effectively for a plurilingual world. This paper outlines a small-scale project (a pilot study for a larger project) to investigate how one intermediate school is meeting the challenges. Using interviews with a teacher of languages, classroom observation, and a follow-up focus group with students, a small-scale project investigated current practice in the school with a view to identifying how the school was currently applying the requirement to introduce a languages programme, and how it might strengthen the programme. This paper presents the project, together with some initial findings that emerged, and proposes what these initial findings mean for future research with a broader range of partner schools.
Iglesias, Erben, Fuchs-Tatum, Jennings
School District of Hillsborough County
University of Tampa
Powerful impact: Instructional ecology of knowing studentsWhatever evaluation model your school or education system uses, there will be a component that seeks to unpack how well a teacher implements their language curriculum as a result of ‘knowing students’. Nowadays, students enter our classrooms with a wide diversity of backgrounds and family situations. This presentation shows how the dynamic nature of a classroom’s human ecology can be leveraged to maximise best student-based language teaching practice. The presenters are Foreign Language peer evaluators in Florida, USA, who have visited hundreds of languages classrooms as a way to mentor teachers of languages to improve learner impact of language instruction and to maximise language-learning outcomes. The presenters will explain through demonstration just how pedagogically transformative knowing students can be and the way in which formal evaluation systems such as the Danielson and Marzano Teacher Evaluation systems, used extensively in the US, can be leveraged to improve languages instruction. Goals of the presentation are: for participants to learn about differentiating learning through personalising language learning strategies; how to best know your students not just their profiles; and how pedagogical content knowledge can be used to create environments for better student learning application. The presentation includes active classroom practice demonstrations, video viewings, and practical take-away handouts.
Taking the multimedia appsmashing iPad challenge!Appsmashing is “the process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project” according to Greg Kulowiec who coined the term. This workshop will show how appsmashing can enhance language learning through the productive skills of speaking and writing as well as promoting the 4 C’s of Creativity, Collaboration, Critical thinking and Communication. Appsmashing challenges language learners to access higher order thinking skills and gives them ownership of their work. They can produce engaging layered digital storytelling projects which channel their creativity in multifaceted ways and promote personal expression. Language learners are able to work creatively and collaboratively to produce writing and speaking in one multimedia outcome giving them extensive and rigorous practice of the productive skills which they can easily publish to a worldwide audience on a blog or video sharing site. Appsmashing allows them to draft, redraft, refine and edit what they have done as a vehicle for promoting creative writing or improving pronunciation. Students are able to work independently and at their own pace or collaborate with their peers. In the workshop, we will look at some practical examples or recipes for combining different apps together to produce collaborative video projects, interactive posters and multimedia comic books which lend themselves very well to enhancing language learning. We will will also explore some language specific lesson planning guidance and outcomes produced by young learners in the UK. You will have the opportunity to share your own appsmashing ideas via an online notice board. Who can produce the most innovative appsmash? Are you up for the challenge? If you like the idea of turning an original idea on its head and coming up with something which is far more engaging, relevant and important to young people, then this could be the perfect workshop for you!
Christie Education PerfectAs we move through the digital age, Educators require the ability to conduct assessments online. In 2014 Education Perfect was part of an NZQA pilot to run the Mathematics Common Assessment Task online (e-MCAT). In this session we’ll take you through what was involved in the pilot and how the Education Perfect online platform developed as a result, now incorporating past examination papers from NZQA, HSC, VCE, as well as ACER ALC tests. You will see how it looks from the students’ perspective – from revising for exams using Education Perfect to self-evaluation of progress. Plus, how a teacher can set and evaluate assessment tasks from the Teachers’ Control Panel and use the diagnostic tools to inform the focus for future revision and learning. As part of this presentation, Craig Smith and Olivia Young will also delve into Education Perfect’s newest features for online language learning, our ‘Languages in Action’ component.
Strategies in LanguageLearning
Engagement: An essential part of learningWhy is it that so many language learners struggle? One of the reasons is that they feel disconnected from what they are learning and as a result they have not found a way to make their learning self sustaining. Instead many of them have to drag themselves to practice and learn, rather than feel drawn to it. Learners look for ways to improve but many don’t understand that learning happens best when they are fully engaged in the process. By being fully engaged in the process we invest all of ourselves in what we do, much the same as when we see “kids” play computer games, or when we are learning to master our Iphone or how to bake a new cake. As teachers, by better understanding the hallmarks of engagement, we can enhance the design of our activities so that our students can experience the kind of learning that attracts them and which results in progress! In this way it is they who end up driving their learning. Through the experiences we provide they can start to refine their own understandings and sensitivities of what it is that has them want to keep learning. This workshop will explore this interpretation of engagement by looking at 3 examples of teaching/learning. Two of them, spelling and grammar, will be a hands on participatory exploration whilst the third, pronunciation, will be a discussion centred around a short video clip. Participants will be encouraged to develop a set of criteria they can use to develop teaching activities that they can use to create the kind of engagement that has been explored in this workshop.
Gardenvale Primary School
Enhancing language literacy through technologyLanguage is communication and our students come from a digital era. Technology has changed the way that we communicate in our everyday lives – from mobile technologies to ground-breaking software – the pace of change is almost overwhelming. As teachers of Second Languages, we need to embrace technology, engage in technological advances and intertwine modern communicative methodology into the way that we teach. Interactive Whiteboards, Web 2.0 Tools and iPads have been the major technological tools in many L2 classrooms for a number of years and language teachers have explored and shared different tools and apps that have engaged students and supported learning within their classroom. Within my classroom – a government primary school that offers one 50 minute Japanese lesson per week to students from Foundation to Year 6 – these technologies have not only engaged students but enhanced the students’ second language literacy. Technology is not used as a tool for learning, but rather as a part of a methodology for teaching literacy. By integrating technology into the fabric of the lesson, engagement has been constant, learning has been enhanced and language literacy has improved across all year levels. In this workshop, participants will explore ways in which to integrate technology into the teaching of language, with a focus on Web 2.0 Tools and iPad apps that have been proven to enhance language literacy. Participants will discover how to create digital resources that complement the language content of their own language program and how easily these resources can be adapted to align with different topics and skill levels. Participants are encouraged to BYO laptop and/or iPad in order to gain maximum benefit from the workshop.
St Mary MacKillop Primary School
Enhancing Japanese language & cultural understanding through gesture/sign languageI have always tried to incorporate gestures into my teaching to aid vocabulary acquisition and retention by students. This led me to begin studying Japanese Sign Language, initially from written texts and more recently at a Sign Language school in Osaka. This workshop will introduce teachers to some simple signs that can easily be incorporated into beginner language classes for all ages. We will investigate the embedded culture in Japanese Sign Language and its potential to enhance language learning for our students. Participants will learn to introduce themselves in sign language, learn the signs for key verbs, adjectives, particles and more and learn signs to accompany popular songs for the Japanese language classroom. Access to video resources will be made available to participants to ensure that content learned at the workshop can be revisited and reinforced post-workshop.
Department of Education Western Australia
Multiple linguistic identities: Two-way learning for languages and cultureThe diverse role I play and the diverse narratives of the people I work with make it my dream job and one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. Through the connections that I have made in my job I am continuously redefining my identity and what I stand for. I have come to realise that I am constantly evolving and changing through the experiences my job avails me. I realise that we’re never finished learning and that our personal statement is continually being redefined. Through my role I help teachers and stakeholders to build networks and to reflect on how they too are constantly re-narrating their teaching and approaches to driving languages education in Western Australia. In my paper, I will share the motivation behind delivering the Two-way learning for languages and program, which aims to improve and maximise student achievement in Western Australian public schools.  The pilot program aimed to support mentor teachers and language assistants, and native and non-native speaker language teachers through stronger collaboration and to deepen the understanding of the role of bicultural competence in language teaching.  I will highlight why our thirst for languages and linguistic comprehension should never been quenched and outline how the program has helped to spread this aspiration amongst others.  I will draw attention to the importance of educational sociolinguistics and the significance of context and identity in language teaching.
The University of South Australia
Why is Chinese so difficult to learn? A reflection on 200 years of innovation in Chinese foreign language learning200 years ago Scottish missionary Robert Morrison published the first bilingual dictionary of Chinese & English ever published. He did so in a context where the study of Chinese, ownership of Chinese books, and printing of materials in Chinese by foreigners in China was prohibited. Since then much has changed, China was opened to the west, then closed off, then reopened again. More foreigners now seek to learn Chinese, and the materials available to learn Chinese have expanded significantly. Given the challenges inherent in Chinese, these resources need to make sense of the Chinese language and represent it in ways amenable to the foreign, English speaking learner. How successful have they been?This paper reviews the past 200 years of Chinese language learning, through the advice and reflections of those who have learned it, and through the materials produced to assist others to do so. It considers reasons why, after 200 years of experience, and many innovations and improvements both in understanding Chinese and how best to learn it, many of the same issues of difficulty remain. Some possible pedagogical solutions to the issues confronting younger learners of Chinese in this era of ‘Chinese language fever’ are proposed.

Pedagogies for a plurilingual Australia

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