Reset, Refresh, Renew: Languages moving forward

Language educators having been fighting the good fight for Languages for a number of decades now and it is timely to document both the progress we’ve made and the challenges we continue to grapple with.

In this presentation, I want to unpack some important factors that affect the sustainability and success of the Languages field; in particular the relationships between:

  • research, theory and practice: – what’s relevant and feasible for the busy language teacher?
  • the envisaged and the enacted curriculum – what the curriculum documents say and what really happens in language classrooms;
  • primary and secondary languages programs and practitioners – is continuity the holy grail of language learning?
  • Languages and other teachers – from marginal to mainstream
  • multilingual Australia and the monolingual mindset – the potential of translanguaging and plurilingual perspectives

Uncovering the complexity of the current situation of Languages Education in Australia is only partially helpful in moving the field forward. We need ‘where to next’ feedback to enable us to plan for progress. In the final part of this presentation, I use case-studies from practising teachers to showcase worthwhile initiatives that have helped to reset attitudes to learning, teaching and using languages. My goal is for you to leave this presentation with specific ideas to refresh and renew your own programs and pedagogy.

 

Andrea Truckenbrodt Andrea has been involved in Languages and Literacy Education for 30 years as a teacher, writer, presenter, researcher and academic. Through her consultancy business, Australia has worked with language teachers, schools and systems to help improve their programs and practice through professional learning seminars, program evaluations and coaching. She has published teaching resources in a number of languages. Her current research interests lie in the areas of CLIL, differentiation and L1/L2 literacy interface. Andrea works part-time at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.