Abstracts | Sunday


Sunday 12 July

Joseph Lo Bianco
The University of Melbourne
IMPOSSIBILISING: The challenge of social multilingualism for education delivery
Formal and public education systems teach only a small fraction of the many languages spoken by pupils in their homes. Our streets, market places and homes are much more diverse and pluralistic than our classrooms.   When the disparity between public language diversity and school offerings of languages is raised public officials, and often teachers, respond by a practice of what I call impossibilising.  I use this term to mean a response of administration efficiency and practical constraints to a question of educational principle.  In this talk I shall trace impossibilising responses to the demands for a much richer offering of languages from diverse contexts, SE Asia, where I have been working on language education policy for some years, Australia, some European contexts and also in Pacific Island Settings.  Impossibilising support for multilingualism is encountered in response to all categories of language, indigenous, immigrant and international.  I will show some ways in which multiple language support is being negotiated in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Australia and more widely.
Edith Cowan University
Language and proximity: Representations in French learning in Australia
Despite the geographical distance that separates Australia from France, Australians appear to be attracted to the French language and, in general, the French language seems to hold a relatively privileged status in the country’s education system (schools, universities and private institutions such as the Alliance française). Given the diversity of languages offered by the education system, and the political and economic pressure to speak certain Asian languages, why then is the French language so popular at the moment in a plurilingual Australia? In the Australian context, it turns out that the visible political issues at stake have less of an impact than the choices associated with groups or individuals. Things seem to take place at the seat of learning, that is to say with those people who decide to learn French. Australian students engage in learning for individual reasons (for fun), group motivation (for a school trip), family matters (in order to communicate with a family member), etc… In this context, the question is how and why the French appears to be a ‘language of proximity’ in Australia. This paper is based on a study carried out as part of a doctoral thesis that entailed the analysis of official documents and field surveys conducted in the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia. It is founded on the viewpoints of Australian learners of French and their representations of language and learning. Sociolinguistic, historical and cultural aspects will also be addressed.
Carey, Ball
Thinking Solutions
Intelligent translation by meaning
Technology has not kept up with aiding students and teachers to facilitate and learn foreign languages. The obstacles are due to open scientific issues in the field of Natural Language Understanding. Problems like ambiguity and word boundary identification still confound speech technologies and translation tools like Google Translate. Thinking Solutions has solved these scientific problems by integrating a theory based on how the human brain approaches language, with a universal linguistic framework, Role and Reference Grammar and has engineered a solution for an intelligent translator – any language, any device. No longer do teachers have t put up with inaccurate translations but now have technology that for the first time, shows how languages work by breaking down a sentence by meaning. Combined with the pedagogical expertise of language educators tools can be created for students to interact through text and voice of source and target languages – any of the 13 in the Australian Curriculum.
St Michael’s College
Let’s make grammar something to sing about! Can singing in the secondary classroom make grammar enjoyable and improve student learning outcomes?This presentation shares the findings of a CESA project focusing on Improvement and Innovation in Learning and Teaching Languages and Cultures conducted in Adelaide. Secondary school students were taught irregular present tense verbs using melodies of popular songs once a week for 5 weeks. They were tested at the start of each lesson and data was collated to examine the results. This approach has since been successfully adopted in the classroom at Yr 8-12 level and has been well-received by students. Can we really make grammar something to sing about?
The Australian Curriculum for Languages: What does it look like to teachers of languages?
The Australian Curriculum: Languages has aspects of teaching and learning languages that are familiar and new for many teachers.There are key ideas that inform the curriculum design and these have implications for curriculum planning. This session will explore the Curriculum Design for Languages and, through interaction with the participants, consider what the curriculum means for them and their curriculum planning and teaching contexts.The session will focus on non Roman alphabet languages as the main curriculum example.It will also be a powerpoint presentation with activities and discussion.
Pearce, Reitzenstein
Lake Joondalup Baptist College, Curtin University of Technology, AISWA (Australian Independent Schools Association Western Australia
Creative and interactive activities for teaching languages in the early childhood context
Many primary Languages teachers are feeling daunted by the introduction of the K to Year 2 band in the. National Curriculum for Languages. They are concerned that the standard is too high and unattainable for their young students. However, we believe that this ‘raising of the bar’ is a positive step and that the descriptions in this K to Year 2 syllabus reflects up to date acquisition theory and pedagogy. We would like to to present a highly practical workshop on techniques that we have used with young Language learners that have resulted in students who are highly engaged in Language classes and eager to speak and listen to the Language that they are learning. We aim to inspire Language teachers with creative techniques such as interactive book reading, small group rotation activities, using authentic items such as a Japanese school bag and it’s associated items and magic tricks. We would also demonstrate how to teach Japanese and Chinese characters using collage, water calligraphy and play dough. All of these activities are consistent with the Early Years Learning Framework which mandates play based learning. Natalie Pearce successfully presented a one hour workshop on this topic in 2014 for 20 teachers for an AISWA professional development day organised by Kate Reitzenstein for primary and secondary Languages teachers. The feed back from the participants was that they would like more of these practical professional developments. Natalie has been asked to present this workshop for the Perth CLIL Network and Catholic Education Office WA in 2015. We have seen how using interactive and creative techniques in the early year Languages classroom can increase students motivation to learn a different language and their linguistic competence. We would like to share our ideas with teachers from across Australia and New Zealand.
National Gallery of Victoria
NGV – Languages, art and learning
The acquisition of languages other than the students’ mother tongue gives ‘learners the world by opening their minds to other cultures and opening doors to new possibilities. It takes learners on a journey that improves the way they communicate, interact with others and engage with learning – and with life – at home and beyond’ (Languages – expanding your world, Plan to implement The Victorian Governments Vision for Languages, Education 2013-2015, Melbourne, June 2013.) Journey through the National Gallery of Victoria’s rich collection and enliven your teaching of languages and culture through original works of art. This presentation will include frameworks for teaching European and Asian languages through art and explores new ways of introducing culture into the classroom.
Moreno Alcauce
Education Office
Embassy of Spain in Australia
Moreno Alcauce AFMLTA2015
Plurilingualism and multilingualism in Spain
Spain is a country which has changed in the last three decades with many plurilingual and multilingual scenarios. From the policies about languages to the teaching and integrating of languages at different levels in the Spanish society, this paper pretends to offer a comprehensive overview of the situation in Spain and the strategies to place the country into the multilingual and multicultural environment of the European Union and the projection of official languages in Spain.
Pupazzoni Burman
Aurora Publications – Fra Amici Italian Courses
Interviews with native speakers for authentic Italian language and intercultural content
This paper examines the use of interviews with native speakers as the source of authentic Italian language and intercultural content in my Fra Amici 2 Intermediate and Advanced Italian e-Course and in extracts from my forthcoming Fra Amici in Italia. The interviewees in Fra Amici 2 consisted of five Italian native speakers from Italy who were currently working or doing postgraduate studies in Australia or visiting Australia on a working holiday. The other two Italian native speakers in Italy were a teacher of Italian and the Director of Education for the Lombardia region. The interviews in Fra Amici in Italia were conducted and videotaped in Italy on a recent trip. The main purpose of the interviews was to provide authentic communicative and intercultural Italian teaching-learning materials based on the genuine experiences and opinions of Italian people who could comment on life and culture in Italy and, for those interviewees who had visited or lived in Australia, who could also compare and contrast life and culture in Italy with life and culture in Australia. Interviews with well-educated Italian native speakers provide students with authentic, realistic models of high-quality communicative language use and intercultural perspectives. They can listen to the speakers and come to relate to them as people as they get to learn about their work, their families and their favourite pastimes, about their thoughts on Italy, Italian culture and Italian cities, on trains and commuting, on food, exercise and sport. It is interesting for Australian students to listen to the opinions of these speakers when they comment on food, houses, shops, fashion and lifestyle in Italy and Australia. The language of the interviews ranges from brief responses in everyday language to sophisticated and complex, lengthy descriptions of an aspect of Italian culture or history.


Pantun poetry for Indonesian
The pantun is alive and although it may not be universally well-known and thriving, it is enjoying a revival. The pantun is traditionally a four line poem consisting of the sampiran (lines one and two), followed by the Isi   (lines three and four). In English, the clearest explanation of the manner in which the poem works is as follows. The first two lines (the discrete first part) of the pantun operate as a metaphor and the ensuing two lines (the distinct second part) present the message. Together the metaphor and the message create the sense of the poem. This presentation provides some examples of Pantun and its potential use in Indonesian language classes.
Baldivis Primary School
School kitchen gardens and language learning
This paper describes the first year of teaching German to several year 2 classes using the CLIL approach and the School Kitchen Garden at Baldivis Primary School, Western Australia, in 2014. As a novice in teaching using CLIL methodology, what began as an experiment resulted in a successful year of language teaching and learning. This paper describes the journey of the teacher and the students as they discovered new ways of teaching and learning languages. Using the School Kitchen Garden as the content students were able to learn about gardening and growing food, cooking, insects, and many related topics, integrating science, mathematics and information technology into their lessons, which were conducted in German. Through video footage, photographs, work samples and assessments, a variety of language activities are demonstrated that may inspire others to integrate language learning with other content areas. This presentation will also describe how the German School Kitchen Garden program addresses many of the General capabilities and Cross-curriculum priorities of the Australian Curriculum: Languages. The program was so successful at Baldivis Primary School that this year approximately 200 students are currently taking part in the German School Kitchen Garden program.
Kwok UIT
Multiple Intelligences and Languages Teaching in the Australian Context (Lessons from ESL)
To attract the attention of adult ESL learners and keep them motivated might be a challenge for teachers. Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory has been proven to be effective among young learners (Scott and Ytreberg 1990; Brewster, Ellis and Girard 2003; Currie 2003; Ersoz et al. 2006; Bas 2008; Ahmed 2012; Ibnian and Hadban2013), however, few studies have looked at its applications among adult learners (Christison and Kennedy 1999; Spirovska 2013). In the current study, MI language learning activities are found to be engaging for adult ESL learners. Activities involved linguistic and interpersonal, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical and musical/auditory intelligences but limited bodily/kinesthetic, naturalist and existential intelligences. The research examined issues involved in implementing MI theory, how they may be negotiated and implications for future research are discussed. Recommendations for applications to teach Chinese and Japanese languages with reference to MI theory in Australian context are also explored.
De Fazio
Educatess, Educational Consultancy Services
Fostering our next generation global citizens: Language teachers on a multicultural mission
From a socio-cultural perspective, language teachers take up the responsibility of mediating and supporting a student’s language learning by designing a curriculum which goes further than just teaching the linguistic elements of a language. When language teachers draw on culture and interculturality, language becomes an instrument whilst social interaction becomes a significant driver. Australian classrooms are made up of students from a range of cultures and rich language backgrounds. This paper proposes that language teachers are in a unique yet often, undervalued position of being multicultural educators as well as language educators. Further, that language teachers are often powerful mediators of a student’s entry into global citizenship. The paper recognises that it is often in the language classroom where students’ cultural backgrounds are valued as funds of knowledge and drawn upon through customised activities that aim at academic progression in the language. The language teacher leverages the student’s lived experience – personal cultural background in order to support a student’s growing sense of interculturality. Language teachers draw on strategies that connect, culture and language in a way that moves the student towards cognitive, social and personal development. This paper will provide teachers with the opportunity to explore teaching and learning strategies that go beyond language. Further, how the teacher might set up carefully orchestrated learning situations to help students negotiate their own lived experience and entry to what is often a new linguistic and socio-cultural context for students. The paper argues that in establishing a classroom culture of respect and cultural curiosity via subtle but consistent themes around interculturality, the language teacher often takes up a proactive or leadership role in the school.
University of New England
Online communities of practice for languages learning
Online teaching of languages educators using a community of practice model is investigated in this presentation. Teachers and students alike report on the benefits of shared interactions throughout the learning period, connected to classroom work, and as preparation for teaching of languages in schools. As tertiary learning moves more and more online, this model provides a way for interaction to remain live and relevant.

Pedagogies for a plurilingual Australia

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