Acknowledgement of Country I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land- the Wangal Clan of the Darug Tribe. I pay respect to elders past and present and to all other Aboriginal people here. Welcome and thank you all for coming. We have 160 delegates from all over NSW here today I would like to thank in advance all the presenters who have been so willing to share their expertise and to the MLTA Committee for enabling this PL and networking event to happen Today’s theme is “Growing Languages”
What do we mean by “growing” languages? It could mean…
Everybody thinks it is a good idea to grow Languages This is what ACARA says in the Draft Australian Curriculum for Languages
This is what the Australian Government’s recently released White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century says… In both these national imperatives/statements the focus is on increasing the pool of language learners and raising language proficiency levels of our students. The capacity to communicate proficiently in another language is seen as a priority. So how do we go about it?
The AC for Languages suggests a way to “grow languages”. The draft syllabus for Chinese and Italian is out now for consultation and I encourage all language teachers to participate in the online consultation. Consultation is open until April 12 At the same time the BoS has undertaken a Review of Languages Education Policy in NSW and is proposing a number of initiatives to deliver a broader, more inclusive languages education. Consultation on these proposed initiatives will happen sometime this year (it was to be in March) and again I urge you to check the BoS website and participate in the consultation as individual teachers or a teachers or as a faculty or school. The MLTA will also submit a response to both these documents.
What is the MLTA doing to “grow languages”? Providing a strong voice and advocating for all our Languages. This year we have represented our membership at ACARA, BoS, and AFMLTA. We have made representations on behalf of the membership to the DEC regarding the proposed cutbacks to key Languages positions and resources. We have also represented membership in the Media We want to increase our membership and extend our network so that our voice is even stronger. So we are trying some new things such as introducing school membership. We are trying to work more closely with SLO and also with the education faculties of universities -We are increasing our support of student activities with the introduction of the Denise Soos MLTA Language scholarships. In 2013 the scholarships were awarded to 2 students undertaking Modern Greek Beginners course and Indonesian Continuers Course. In 2014 the scholarships will be awarded to students undertaking Chinese Continuers and German Beginners In Year 11 We introduced TeachMeets in 2012 as a way to increase the professional learning opportunities for members. In 2013 we are hoping to extend these TeachMeets and run them in regional centres. We are intending to support 5 teachers to attend the AFMLTA conference in Canberra this year. Applications will be available on the website. In order to improve communication with members and extend our professional network we have developed a new website which has just gone live. We will be developing it further this year but our aim is for it to be a one stop shop for all your language/MLTA needs and for it to be user friendly. We also published the first volume of Accents in December last year. This is a collaborative project with MLTA Victoria providing members with state, national and international perspectives on current Languages issues. We aim to publish it twice a year.
To keep growing and keep building we need nourishment! The MLTA welcomes new ideas, suggestions and offers of help. If you are interested in perhaps joining the committee or attending the meetings as an observer please speak to anyone on the Committee. If you would like to assist with any of the activities such as the Film Competition, Website, Accents please put your name down on one of the sub-committees. You don’t need to make a huge commitment but if lots of people assisted a little then the organisation will grow and flourish. Today’s conference is about growing and promoting Languages in NSW. We will hear from Ken Cruikshank from Sydney Uni, about building on the resources that we have. Howard Jacobs from the BoS will assist us in debunking the myths surrounding languages and HSC scaling so that we can encourage more students to continue with their language study into Stage 6. Domenica Mufale, Community Languages Consultant from the DEC will provide us with ICT ideas to stimulate and engage our students in primary and Lucie Sorensen from ACARA will provide us with the national perspective on how to build Languages with the latest on the development of the Australian Curriculum for Languages. After lunch we have a number of sessions on teaching strategies and resources that will assist us to engage students. I hope you enjoy the day. I would like to now introduce Associate Professor Ken Cruikshank from Sydney University.
What do we mean? Raising the profile of Languages in our schools and communities Increasing the number of students studying Languages at primary level and beyond 100hrs Stimulating student engagement with Language learning Expanding the number of students studying Languages at tertiary level Building the supply of Languages teachers Developing our professional expertise Nurturing and extending our professional
Everybody says so… “Through learning languages, students acquire:- essential communication skills in the target language- an intercultural capability, and- an understanding of the role of language and culture in human communication. “ “Language capability contributes to the development of rich linguistic and cultural resources through which the community can engage socially, culturally, and economically in all domains.”Draft F-10 Australian Curriculum: Languages, Rationale
Everybody says so… “The capacity for Australians to build deeper ties with Asia will be hampered if there is not an increase in proficiency of languages other than English.” “All Australian students will have the opportunity, and be encouraged, to undertake a continuous course of study in an Asian language throughout their years of schooling.” Australia in the Asian Century: White Paper, October 2012
How do we do it?Australian Curriculum: Languages (ACARA)Participate in consultation at: http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/ Review of Languages Education Policy in NSW (Board of Studies)
What is the MLTA doing? Providing strong representation Extending our professional networks Increasing student activities Providing more professional learning opportunities Applying for accreditation of MLTA courses at Professional Leadership level Enhancing communication with members Strengthening links with Universities