Abstracts | Saturday


Saturday 11 July

Jane Orton,
The University of Melbourne
Horwood Memorial Lecture
Powerful Pedagogies in Language Teacher Education
In recent debates about curriculum, Young (2008) has proposed school learning must involve initiation into the ‘powerful knowledge’ of the disciplines which underpin subject domains, thereby ‘giving students the tools to think the unthinkable’. Opponents query whether such knowledge is available in subjects such as modern languages, or propose that accessing powerful knowledge is only a potential of subjects, that its realisation rests on the use of powerful pedagogies. (White, 2013; Roberts, 2010) At the espoused level, the powerful concepts to be met in language learning are clearly recognised in the curricula of English speaking countries; yet in practice, modern languages education in these countries is a failing enterprise, empowering few to approach the hitherto unthinkable. A key factor in this is the impoverished preparation of language teachers in short, generic programs. The lack of thorough professional education precludes teacher candidates developing the ability to teach powerfully, the product asSchoenfeld (2014) puts it, of a deep understanding of their specific language and culture and skilled use of personal and material resources so as ‘to create procedures, concepts and contexts in the classroom that reflect that understanding, engage students in the issues, and lead them beyond their current experience’; and in doing this, ‘to create and maintain an environment of productive intellectual challenge that is conducive to the linguistic development of all the students in the room.’ If it is not to see its aspirational hopes wither, the field of modern languages education needs to unite in modelling in its own practices and the commercial resources it accepts to employ, the powerful pedagogies it espouses in its school curricula, and to fight for the conditions in which realising them would be possible.
John Hajek (chair)
with Diane Larsen-Freeman,
Joe Lo Bianco, Anne-Marie Morgan
Bilingual panel
Researchers working with bi and plurilingual learning contexts and teachers present their views on the potential for plurilingualism in Australia, inviting discussion in a moderated forum.
Cross, Slaughter, Lo Bianco, Hajek
The University of Melbourne
Enabling plurilingualism: eliminating educational inequity in languages provision in Victorian schools
This paper focuses on the challenges of meeting Language provision targets for students in disadvantaged rural and remote schools. In recognition of the role languages play in strengthening social and cultural cohesion in increasingly diverse communities, the Victorian Government’s long-term mandate aims for all students from Prep to Year 10 to be studying a language by 2025, starting with Prep in 2015. However, this is ambitious given that 28% of Victorian government schools, predominantly in non-metropolitan areas, offered no language program in 2013. It is imperative students are not denied benefits that languages education provides within their own school communities and families, as well as later life. If the Victorian government is to fully realise its policy goals, it is essential that social and educational inequities contributing to the current problem are identified and addressed. Reasons for educational inequity are generally practical and material, however, we also recognise that the discursive terrain plays a significant role in shaping expectations around what seems achievable. This presentation reports on a pilot project, funded by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, undertaken in six rural and regional government schools in Victoria in 2014. Data was collected through Q methodology, which aims to tap the deep discourses and orientations of critical actors in policy writing or implementation. School principals were required to rank and grade statements reflecting the most important questions that foster or impede language education provision. The results were analysed statistically to uncover underlying discourses and viewpoints of individuals and groups of individuals. Combined with interview data, the findings reflect discourse groupings of the subjective, but strongly held positions of the community concerned. This presentation discusses the initial findings and considers implications for the success of government policy.
Independent Schools Queensland
Harris AFMLTA2015
Retraining classroom teachers to increase language programs in schools
Early Years and primary teachers have a unique opportunity to apply their strong teaching practices, classroom management and understanding of childhood literacy development to teaching a language. They could provide the ‘dream scenario’ of introducing a subsequent language in a purposeful, social and communicative environment with only a simple level of language acquisition and cultural understanding to begin with. No one would argue that poor skills are acceptable in the long term just because the students are young; however, in the current climate getting the right teachers in the right places creates a problem that cannot be solved by conventional means. This paper reports on a project from Independent Schools Queensland to increase language programs in schools by retraining classroom teachers. A group of teachers applied to attend either a study tour in-country and an online language course or to do a Diploma in a language. Their experiences and changes in their views of languages teaching and learning are discussed in light of the Queensland languages education context.
University of Canterbury
Enhancing visibility of Japanese language education for advocacy through collaboration: Case of Christchurch, New Zealand
This paper presents an approach to enhance visibility of Japanese language education for advocacy through collaboration between schools and institutions. Due to the declining number of Japanese language learners in New Zealand, there is a stronger need to advocate the value and significance of Japanese language learning through which learners can develop twenty-first century knowledge, abilities and skills. Raising the visibility of language education plays an important role for such advocacy along with a new vision and value that accommodates the changing needs of a socially networked global society. As an approach to achieve it, this presentation shares a workshop and project that involved 13 secondary schools and two tertiary institutions in Christchurch, New Zealand. A special focus will be placed on a dance project in which a total of 270 students and teachers participated. The workshop and project contributed to enhancing the visibility of Japanese language education for advocacy. The video clip of the dance has attracted a lot of interest from a wider community through the effective use of social networking services, resulting in over 11,000 views. The event also created a sense of unity between learners, and it was a valuable step for strengthening inter-institutional connections and for cultivating a Community of Practice beyond school and institutional walls. This presentation will consider the impact of such workshop and project in terms of the 6Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Culture, Credibility, Connections and Communities (based on the values of The National Network for Early Language Learning). It will also discuss approaches and strategies on the advocacy of language education from the perspective of the Communities of Practice.
James Cook University
Young language ambassador program: A North Queensland initiative to promote language education
Despite the recent Australian Government commitment to supporting schools in growing students into global citizens, language educators cannot rely on this alone to attract new language students. The Young Language Ambassador Program (YLAP) is a new initiative started in August 2014. The YLAP is a partnership between James Cook University and schools in North and Far North Queensland that promotes the study of foreign languages while providing young people with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. With more than 40 schools currently involved in the program and over 300 selected young language ambassadors, two successful conferences were held in October, 2014. The theme of the conference was “Shaping the Future of Language Education in the Tropics”. This paper will present the steps involved in the development of this program, and explain how language educators in other parts of Australia could develop similar leadership initiatives to promote languages in their community and beyond.
Semba, Jonak
The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Bringing it together – Advocacy for Japanese learning in the Tasmanian school community
In March 2015 the Japan Foundation, together with the JATNET and MCJLE ran a series of student days touring four centres in Tasmania: Hobart, Launceston, Davenport and Burnie.  This project was planned in response to a request from Japanese teachers, who were searching for opportunities to enable their students to connect with Japanese people and culture in order to give meaning to their Japanese language study in school.The concept for the project centred on an inter-school motivational event for students, and from there a broader plan for advocating the benefits of learning Japanese to the whole school community was developed. Film nights were held for families, meetings with principals were planned, and teachers participated in networking meetings. The response from students was very positive. They discovered links between Tasmania and Japan, and awareness of Japanese study went beyond schools into the wider community through media exposure.Through the process, we were able to strengthen ties with members of JATNET, particularly those who were involved as host teachers. In this session we will share our experiences of the event and consider future applications.
Catholic Education
Maintaining Australia’s first languages – teaching Tiwi language and culture
Tiwi is a language spoken by about 1700 speakers on the Tiwi Islands north of Darwin. While there are still children growing up as speakers of Tiwi, there have been some significant shifts in the form of Tiwi spoken over the last two generations. Tiwi language and culture is taught as a discrete curriculum area within one of the local primary schools. This paper outlines how Tiwi teachers and language workers are addressing the issues associated with creating a Tiwi language curriculum for teaching in the school. These include developing a teaching scope and sequence across the primary school from P – 6, teaching materials and a pedagogy for teaching language and culture in the classroom context. This paper focuses on the impact of digital technologies in developing a classroom pedagogy for teaching language based in group story telling.
The University of South Australia
Developing cultural literacy through a language program: A Chinese case study
Language teachers in schools often invest significant time in developing learners ‘cultural literacy’; typically understood as a general knowledge of the social and geographic context in which the language is used, and understanding the world view and daily life of speakers of the language. However it is never too clear what sort of culture-specific knowledge is desirable or necessary to understand the social contexts in which the language is used today. This paper explores these issues through the prism of the Chinese language classroom, and considers what culture knowledge learners may find valuable in order to understand contemporary Chinese communication practices and social values. It considers the role of public texts in this process and discusses ways in which learners may best engage with culture-laden texts in a languages classroom, in an intercultural manner.
The University of Queensland
Self-regulated learning as part of CLIL pedagogies
CLIL environments are demanding and often require students to be pro-active self-regulators of their learning journey. Self-regulated learning, as opposed to fully guided learning, involves the learner being motivated to make decisions about his or her own learning journey, helped by metacognition about which actions are possible and suitable. The learner needs to engage in strategic actions such as planning, monitoring and evaluating personal progress against given expectations and standards (Butler & Winne, 1995). This workshop understands self-regulation as students’ focusing on their own actions and evaluating their own behaviour for improvement (Carver & Scheier, 2000; Kuhl, 2000; Zimmerman, 2002), influenced by an environment that promotes such skills through autonomy-based assessment like portfolios (Paris & Paris, 2001)and the provision of learning pathways for example through technology enhanced learning environments. Workshop participants will work through strategies and activities that support self-regulated learning in CLIL classrooms.
Molyneux, Aliani Bilingual education in a community school
Fielding, Harbon
Fielding, Wahlin
University of Canberra
University of Sydney
CLIL teachers’ perceptions of learning through two languages
The Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) programs in four New South Wales primary schools are now into their 6th year of implementation. These programs offer children a stream of content and language integrated learning throughout the primary years (Mehisto, Frigols & Marsh, 2008). Our evaluative research in the four schools since 2011 has explored stakeholders’ perceptions about implementation (Fielding & Harbon, 2014).This paper reports the perceptions of teachers (the bilingual teachers themselves, the support teachers and senior executive teachers at each school) in relation to the implementation of a challenging model of languages education in the Australian context. The findings include the beliefs among stakeholders of the importance of (i) support for collaborative teacher planning, (ii) the development of teachers’ understandings of CLIL, and (iii) the benefits of a whole school approach to CLIL programs.On the whole teachers report students embracing the challenge of becoming plurilingual. While there are challenges to overcome in managing the many and varied demands of curriculum in the primary school, for most teachers the benefits of a CLIL model outweigh the challenges.
Oatley Public School
Overcoming challenges facing primary languages education programs in New South Wales
The aim of this presentation is to discuss the challenges facing languages teachers in the primary context. The current situation in the Australian languages context is alarming. It is not compulsory for students to undertake foreign language study in the primary years. Students undertaking language study throughout the secondary and tertiary years are declining. Student engagement in language study is critical if there is to be success in foreign language learning. What can language teachers do to ensure languages are retained at all levels of education? Will a National Curriculum for Languages lead to increased student engagement in language study nationally? What is required to encourage students to continue with language study? The focus of this presentation centres on the immediate impact implementation of the Australian Curriculum Languages will have on delivery of the Italian language program at Oatley Public School. This paper explores how continuity between primary school language learning and secondary school transition may be optimised. In an effort to develop opportunities for peer support in language learning, links with local high schools will be initiated as a starting point.
East, Nolan
University of Auckland
Developing students’ communicative proficiency in a foreign language: A reflective journey
Preparing students to communicate and interact in a plurilingual world is a major goal of languages programmes in New Zealand’s schools. New Zealand’s curriculum document, published in 2007 and mandated from 2010, states that languages “link people locally and globally,” and that the Learning Languages learning area “puts students’ ability to communicate at the centre.” As a result of engaging with communicatively-oriented programmes, students will “become more effective communicators, developing the receptive skills of listening, reading, and viewing and the productive skills of speaking, writing, and presenting or performing.” This presentation sets out the theoretical rationales for New Zealand’s communicative orientation to language learning. It goes on to consider how teachers can be encouraged to become more effective communicatively-oriented teachers through critical reflective practice. It concludes with a presentation of how reflective practice was utilised by one teacher in one school, and how this reflective practice enhanced students’ ability to communicate in a foreign language in a range of ways.
D’Aietti, Willcocks
Torres Strait language teaching
Culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP), also referred to as culturally responsive teaching (CRT), is gaining popularity, both within Australia (MCEETYA, 2000; Osborne, 2001, 2003; Perso, 2012), and globally (Gay, 2010; Taylor and Sobel, 2011) as teachers attend to the needs, learning styles and preferences of an ever increasing multicultural school population. To engage learners more deeply in the learning process and in a bid to improve learner outcomes and narrow the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous academic achievement, the Queensland Government (2008) is encouraging teachers to teach in a way that is culturally responsive. Adopting a culturally responsive stance, this presentation documents the learning curve, describing the observations and experiences of two teachers as they strive to become culturally responsive practitioners in a remote Indigenous community within Australia where students possess English as an additional language (EAL). The first is a classroom teacher, possessing over twelve years’ teaching experience both as a primary teacher and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor and who through organising a school fundraiser departs from the trend of learning within the confines of the classroom and instead takes the learning outside into the community. The second is a pre-service teacher completing a one-year intensive graduate diploma in education on his second practicum placement who engages with EAL learners by adapting the science curriculum to meet their needs. The location of this study is a remote island in the western cluster of the Torres Strait (TS) in Queensland, where diverse languages, vibrant cultures, and histories are still highly revered. The setting is a Year 6/7 composite classroom, comprising 20 EAL Indigenous students.
Farmer Bilingual schools network
Teachers implementing bilingual programs in their schools are encouraged to attend this networking session to collaborate with colleagues on effective strategies and program initiatives. Silvia Onorati, Deputy Principal of the Italian Bilingual School in NSW will also present on the benchmarking system they have implemented to support assessment and reporting of students’ Italian literacy skill development.
Catholic Education Office WA,
Swan Christian Education Association WA
An art lesson in Finnish – Experiencing CLIL from the learner’s seat
This presentation will give you a taste of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) as you complete a short Art lesson in Finnish! You will learn to introduce yourself, name the materials you are using and follow instructions for a small artwork in a language you have not studied before. I started CLIL at my school in 2013 by teaching Art to a class of Year 6 students for one year in Japanese. Instead of practicing Japanese vocabulary and structures for a possible future use as in a traditional Japanese classroom, the students have to use Japanese as a tool to acquire new skills and knowledge in a totally different subject area. This is at the heart of CLIL: learning the language in real context for real communicative purpose, which is not only highly effective but also more motivating. The end of year survey showed that 95% of students enjoyed the CLIL more than a traditional topic based lesson and 87% believed it was better for their Japanese. I have chosen my first language, Finnish, as the language for this class, as it will give the participants a more authentic idea of the feelings of a CLIL student. During the discussion time the participants are guided to discuss their experiences in English. This discussion will cover the fundamentals of CLIL pedagogy including the advantages (and disadvantages) of the method, learner emotions and experiences, strategies to enhance understanding and long term benefits to the learner and the school community.
Wong 2015 prezi
Traditional + Modern = Fun! Blending games strategies with digital resources for language learning
Games have been around for a long time and most teachers would have used games occasionally. Language learning needs to engage students so that they are not bored with something that should be fun and exciting, well most of the time! This presentation will begin with statistical data that proves that incorporating games based learning in the classroom improves student engagement and thus learning. Most traditional and modern language teaching strategies when blended with easy to access and mostly free digital resources plus games based learning can create a powerful tool and assistant for the language teacher. I aim to demonstrate how the concepts of most language games with a bit of tweaking and then blended with modern technology can breathe life back into the classroom. The four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing can all be covered in a well designed game. There will be scaffolding and templates to show teachers how they can design their own games, from the most basic to more complex. Games also allow for differentiated learning, group based learning and hopefully engage and encourage students so they can take their learning to another level.
Craig, Matwijiw
Daramalan College, Narrabundah College
How to make a languages immersion day for senior students a success
It is important to bring senior Languages students from different schools together to exchange ideas, broaden their minds and speak the target language. This workshop will show how a successful immersion day can be organised. Participants will have the opportunity to try out some of the activities.
Department for Education and Child Development

Language and literacy development through the Indicators of Preschool Literacy
The Indicators of Preschool Numeracy and Literacy (the Indicators), have been developed by the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development for teachers to use in a continuous cycle to identify, plan for, assess, monitor and report on each child’s learning and growth in preschool settings. The Indicators support teachers to extend and enrich every preschool child’s numeracy and literacy learning. Research shows that the ability of teachers and learners to set goals is linked to increased student motivation, languages and literacy achievement and growth in proficiency (Moeller, Aleidine J., Theiler, Janine & Wu, Chaorong, 2012). This workshop will focus on language and literacy development through the Indicators of Preschool Literacy and will explore: which of the Indicators are equally applicable to L1 and L2; the transferability of L1 orthography skills to L2 skills; and the use of the Indicators to assist in developing progression in L2.
San Sisto College
Improving confidence in speaking: From iPads to immersion week to CLIL
One of the challenges of teaching a scripted language is the amount of time absorbed in mastering script, which can ultimately result in less time being spent on mastering aural and spoken skills. When I began work at San Sisto College in 2013, this complexity, coupled with a shy senior Japanese class, resulted in a group of students who were reluctant to produce any spoken language, let alone spontaneously. This lead to a series of pedagogical shifts with a view to increasing speaker confidence. We needed to get the students speaking and doing so without fear from the beginning of their high school journey rather than trying to “fix” this issue in Year 11 and 12. As a part of Brisbane Catholic Education’s Action Research Program, we introduced iPads to the Japanese classroom with the main focus being using the technology for recording and reviewing speaking tasks such as role-plays and short films – all speaking-focussed activities. We also changed the format of our biennial Japan Trip, allowing an extra week of immersive learning. Both of these endeavours resulted in students reporting increased confidence in their speaking abilities and at a senior level, improvements in speaking exam results were observed. In this year’s Action Research Cycle we are undertaking a twelve month investigation into the feasibility of introducing a Content and Language Integrated Learning Program at our school. We are in the early stages of researching and planning our potential trial, but by the time of the conference we will have a concrete picture of how CLIL will be able to assist in improving student outcomes and teacher practice and also how CLIL will work logistically in our setting. CLIL is gaining momentum in a number of educational settings Australia wide and the ability to hear from a school that are currently in the throws of trying to introduce CLIL would allow teachers a glimpse into the practicalities of trying to introduce the theory that is CLIL.
Ma, Biebricher
Auckland Uni Services Limited
Avoiding checkmate: A winning combination to achieve a language proficient Aotearoa
Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Without a formal policy for languages, the learning of foreign languages in New Zealand may appear as if it is in stale mate. English is no longer enough. Globally, there has been an increase in the demand for graduates who are interculturally capable and proficient in an additional language. International research has identified the shortfall in additional language skills and intercultural capabilities and governments around the world are scrambling to address the issue. Language learning and intercultural capabilities have never been more important for New Zealand’s future success in the global context. Despite growing interest in and support for the learning of additional languages in New Zealand, data shows decreasing numbers in the five major international languages at secondary level. There is evidence that many New Zealand students are not given the opportunity to study a foreign language as regularly or for the length of time that is required for them to progress to formal study or achieve a useful level of proficiency in the language. In this presentation, we examine the key players, including parents, teachers, school administration, academics, policy makers as well as the business community and the roles that they play in working towards achieving foreign language proficiency in New Zealand. As in the art of chess strategy, we identify key strategies that could be used by these players promote and foster the learning of foreign languages in New Zealand.
Russell Cross,
Margaret Gearon,
Jessica Winstone,
Marie Petersen,
Giuliana Bertucci,
David Marsh.
CLIL Panel (until 5.15pm)
A roundtable interactive discussion of teachers’ use of CLIL pedagogy in local primary and secondary schools, including both Asian and European languages.
Somerville House
How classroom observations might inform language teaching and learning
Classroom observations, often referred to as ‘Classroom Walkthroughs,’ ‘Learning Walks,’ or ‘Pedagogical Rounds,’ whereby teachers observe classes of their teaching peers specifically to inform and improve their own classroom practice, have been well-documented in the literature (e.g., Kachur et al., 2013). At the presenter’s school, Somerville House in Brisbane, there is a formalised process for teachers to engage in such worthwhile professional development. This workshop will comprise two parts. In the first part, data will be presented from observations that the presenter has conducted of his peers’ classes from disciplines other than Languages, at his school. The second part will be a discussion and analysis of how such data may inform the planning of Languages classes in the future. This workshop is aimed at all professionals involved in Languages teaching and learning at all levels, both at school and at tertiary level. Participant discussion and input are strongly encouraged and valued.
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
Planning for implementation of the Australian Curriculum for Languages
The aim of this workshop is to discuss strategies for implementing the Australian Curriculum for Languages in schools. We will look at suggestions for devising units of work based on the recently released language –specific curriculum documents and ideas for developing an overall program. We will consider templates for unit planning and for assessment and discuss the most recent developments and directions in the area of the Australian Curriculum for Languages.
NSW Department of Education
The how and why of teaching French with authentic audio-visual texts
Selected French television programs have been compiled over the last two years and produced on a single DVD (this DVD will be offered to each participant at the workshop + the comprenhensive worksheets and support materials).There are 29 tracks. Each track is a specific text type such as an interview, documentary, TV news report, television panel discussion and song etc. The pedagogical rationale is discussed and analysed and referenced to the Quality Teaching Model in Languages for NSW public schools; the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers; the Languages Syllabus from NSW and the Australian (National) Curriculum for French. The bulk of the session will explore how to present these linguistically and pedagogically challenging audio-visual text types.
Department of Education
Western Australia
Driving innovation through key language leaders in Western Australia
The Department of Education Western Australia places importance on high quality language programs, ensuring students have access to the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s global community. This is in line with the Australian Government’s commitment to strengthening the curriculum through languages. In 2015, the Statewide Services Key Language Leaders initiative has helped build the capacity of key language leaders through a program to draw on identified expertise amongst the language teaching community. This will enable the nominated leaders to support and lead the implementation of the new Western Australian curriculum: Languages in schools and networks. The program is targeted at primary and secondary public school language teachers of Aboriginal languages, Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian and Japanese. The year-long project-based initiative will help to establish sustainable structures of support for language education in Western Australian public schools. My paper will focus on the identified need to establish a shared knowledge base that recognises the values and diverse understandings and expertise of language teachers, how the program has further developed their leadership skills within languages and will outline the project work undertaken by the participants.
University of Auckland
Creating opportunities to interact in the language classroom
The implementation of a revised national curriculum for New Zealand schools placed a greater emphasis on communication as an essential component of language proficiency. This led to the introduction of new assessment standards in order that assessment would be more closely aligned to this curriculum renewal. One of these, the Interact standard, requires students to: ‘interact using spoken French to communicate personal information, ideas and opinions in different situations’ (www.nzqa.govt.nz). The key feature of this standard is that as students converse in pairs they should be engaged in genuine interaction. This presentation argues that the NCEA Interact standard has the potential to create positive ‘wash-back’, that is, to have a beneficial effect on teaching practice in New Zealand foreign language classrooms. In order to substantiate this claim, examples of interactional sequences are presented from a Year 9 French classroom where students are practising the language they have learnt in order to sit a ‘mock’ Interact standard. These sequences are used to demonstrate how genuine interaction can help learners consolidate learning, develop fluency and, importantly, allow them to experiment with language. Claims are made that these opportunities to experiment with language can promote learning (Ortega, 2007). Examples are also given of how learners assist and scaffold each other in their attempts to communicate and the issue is raised of whether students can be trained to provide, in contexts where they have opportunities to interact orally, the sort of support for each other that is most likely to assist learning.

Pedagogies for a plurilingual Australia

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