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John Hajek conference keynote 2014


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Inspiration for languages educators in NSW and around the globe!

Inspiration for languages educators in NSW and around the globe!

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  • 1. John Hajek University of Melbourne MLTA NSW 2014 1
  • 2. !  Language teacher !  RUMACCC (Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-cultural communication) !  LCNAU (Language and Cultures Network for Australian Universities) 2
  • 3. !  Some good news, bad news and some crazy ideas to get you going !  Things that work and things that might just work if you were crazy enough to try them !  You have permission to LAUGH! !  In fact: You must laugh! 3
  • 4. (1) For newbies to the Hajek experience: This presentation may contain NUTS! And I’ll do practically anything to get a laugh (2) For those (un)fortunate enough to have had the Hajek experience already My sincerest apologies J 4
  • 5. !  “We would LOVE you to present our teachers with some inspiring ideas of how we can maintain our students beyond the mandatory years…” (in email invitation from Melissa Gould–Drakeley, 20 Jan 2014) My initial reaction: CUE VISUAL Now: good news! A million ideas…. Here’s just a few J 5
  • 6. !  How do we make languages indispensable in our education system and in our society? !  We need to think laterally, engage in new (and old) ways, and make languages COOL !  It’s serious but it should also be engaging !  Where do we start? !  Understand the problem in order to address it 6
  • 7. !  It’s important to understand that the problem is greater than our schools !  We are not alone: It’s the fundamental challenge of all English- speaking countries 7
  • 8. !  English as no.1 = privilege and blight !  3 major issues for native speakers: !  The Monolingual Mindset !  The Anglobubble !  Language cost-benefit formula is totally skewed. The cost of linguistic success as L1 English speakers is so low that there is no understanding of the real cost to achieve the same for L2: !  Result: chronic underinvestment and inadequate policy re language education and bilingualism in the wider societal setting 8
  • 9. !  The greatest impediment to recognizing, valuing and utilizing our language potential is a persistent monolingual mindset. Such a mindset sees everything in terms of monolingualism being the norm, even though there are more bi- and multilinguals in the world than monolinguals (Clyne, 2005) 9
  • 10. !  This is that part of the world, with a concentration of monolingual English speakers, that operates in English, thinks it only natural that everything should happen in English and should logically be experienced and understood in English. !  English is often said to open up the world for you. There is good evidence that for L1 speakers it easily hides it from them. 10
  • 11. !  So what happens when you combine monolingual mindset with the Anglobubble? !  A simple example….. !  Listen carefully! 11
  • 12. 12
  • 13. !  94% of the world's population do not speak English as their first language !  75% of the world's population do not speak English at all !  World languages don't last !  New challenges and challengers !  Shift already occurring – on the web & outsourcing 13
  • 14. !  What are the challenges facing languages in Australian schools? !  Multifactorial – policies and people 14
  • 15. !  (1) Chronic underinvestment !  (2) Excessively low and excessively high expectations + unachievable outcomes !  (3) Misguided policy and failure to implement what policy there is (e.g. principals have a critical role here) !  NALSSP = less than $1 p.a per Australian !  = cost of one dim sim (steamed or fried) !  Gonski report? 15
  • 16. !  Language Teachers !  Students !  Other Teachers !  Parents !  Principals 16
  • 17. !  We’re too polite and accommodating !  We need to show people who we really are: passionate, dedicated, intelligent, successful, role models of language success…. We need to get that message out 17
  • 18. !  Raise expectations: !  Insist on key learning areas being taught !  Demand more: English + 2 languages? !  Cost? Use outcomes to address cost issue: !  (1) Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands…. !  (2) NSW Year 7 NAPLAN results 18
  • 19. !  The big one: we need to increase demand and desire for languages !  (in order to address all the other issues, e.g. funding, teachers quality and supply, etc…) !  The secret: MARKETING! !  Our current approach is too earnest. It’s time to expand our marketing techniques. 19
  • 20. 20
  • 21. ! Let’s compare possible strategies 21
  • 22. !  Why monolingualism is no good for you? !  Monotone - boring !  Monochrome - boring !  Mononucleosis - sickly !  Carbon Monoxide – just plain dangerous !  So you’re Monolingual? You work it out….. 22
  • 23. !  Real human stories that people can connect with – to get the language message across and to increase value and desire !  We need to use truth, humour, star power, role models, anything and everything at our disposition. That’s good marketing! 23
  • 24. !  We need to find and create human stories that everyone can connect to as a powerful tool for languages. !  They need to be dynamic and believable. !  Here’s an example, using a personal testimonial: 24
  • 25. !  Or how languages changed me and my life? !  I was born in the Australian suburbs and I started life as a monolingual !  (absolutely true – speak to my mother) !  Here’s a picture of me just before starting primary school: 25
  • 26. 26
  • 27. !  Through a simple and cost-effective treatment: !  I was introduced to Language with Active Bilingualism !  Applied regularly, look what happened. !  I swear by it! No drugs, no surgery, pain free. 27
  • 28. 28
  • 29. !  I was so impressed, I increased the dose and the treatment: !  NEW, improved, more powerful Languages with Active multilingualism !  Now look at me: 29
  • 30. 30
  • 31. !  I have really cool friends and I get to go to cool places and do cool things: 31
  • 32. 32
  • 33. !  So what do active bilinguals including language teachers look like? !  The results of a recent composite analysis using night vision goggles indicate the following*: !  *warning: sampling may not be statistically reliable 33
  • 34. 34
  • 35. !  Promotional campaign (via AFMTLA website) 3 guiding issues – based on market research: (1)  Languages are not useful to me now (2)  Languages are too hard (3)  Languages in school are pointless We need to engage with these issues in surprising ways: 35
  • 36. !  The cover song as a secret weapon to success !  I love this! !  My favourite good news story for languages in the English-speaking world at the moment 36
  • 37. 37
  • 38. !  Kids engage with what they already know – and are intrigued when it’s in another language !  Fun, practical, all learning styles, experiential, up to the moment, outcome-oriented (concerts, school assemblies, youtube, fb….) !  The Cup Song – great start (loads of clips on line). Do you own version with your students 38
  • 39. !  Where do principals fit in? !  Critical for languages success. !  We need to address their concerns and beliefs directly! How do we convince them? !  We need language-loving principals to role model for the rest. But we also need more: 39
  • 40. !  A nationally funded reality program to give direct experience of the world beyond the Anglobubble !  Survivor – principals and policymakers !  Leave them in sites around the world. Compass, penknife, $10 and a list of challenges 40
  • 41. !  How to get into an Australian’s heart? Especially school principals and young males !  SPORT! Even better: footy !  Use the link to sport to foster language learning and interest 41
  • 42. 42
  • 43. !  (students, principals, teachers and parents) !  That languages are for everyone and can be combined effectively with different learning areas (CLIL) J !  It’s not too hard! It’s not useless: instead it’s so right now! 43
  • 44. 44
  • 45. !  Advocate and motivate – don’t be afraid !  Be proud, passionate and positive !  Work together and share (new) ideas – trial and error !  Humour is a powerful way of getting serious things understood and happening !  Take the MEMES and IDEAS presented today back to your schools, tell your colleagues, use social media 45
  • 46. !  Kids get it! If you don’t believe me, ask: !  John Tiernan (University HS, Melbourne) ! 46
  • 47. ! !  Twitter: JohnHajek_lang 47